Entering the world of solar panels can be confusing and filled with mathematical equations.
So, let’s keep it simple and inform you about everything you need to know with regards to your new 100-watt solar panel.
We’ll guide you through how to calculate the various power outputs so you know what can be powered using your solar panel.
We’ll talk about how amps per hour are measured through a solar panel and what devices you can charge or power up using a 100-watt solar panel.
100-Watt Solar Panel Amps Per Hour
The Power of the Sun
As life goes on, prices of necessities increase. This includes electricity and power.
Making use of fuel-powered generators is harmful to the environment and will cost you a lot in terms of expenses.
Having to refill your source of power by paying for it adds up in the end. Whether that’s paying an electricity bill, charging your electric car, or requiring gas for a generator.
Since conventional electricity is generated from burning fossil fuels like coal, they emit harmful gases that cloud the environment. This causes air pollution and worsens the effects of climate change.
The sun, however, is a form of natural, renewable energy that’s green for the environment. Solar panels harness this energy and make use of it for long periods.
Opting for solar energy instead of your traditional electricity is eco-friendly and can be used in a variety of ways.
Solar Panel Lifespan
Solar panels are built to last. The average lifespan of solar panels is between 25 to 30 years. This means you will be able to supply natural and reliable energy to your electronic devices without seeing a hefty electric bill at the end of the month for years to come.
You won’t need to worry about purchasing gas for a refill. Your only concern is whether the sun is shining. Solar energy is reliable and at the end of the day will save you money in the long run.
Solar panels are made up of smaller cells known as solar cells. Usually made from a silicon semiconductor, a solar cell gathers light from the sun and generates electricity.
When the sun shines, its waves hit the surface of the solar cell. Electrons flow through the different layers of the solar cell as long as the sun is shining. Once you connect this solar panel up to a device, that device will receive the power from the electrons
With us now knowing how to harness the sun’s energy using solar panels, we can start to question what appliances would benefit most when charged using these panels.
This allows us to test solar panel efficiency and determine the amperage or amps per hour.
What Is Wattage in a Solar Panel?
So you’ve just purchased your brand new 100W solar panel and start to question what exactly can be powered. A solar panel is rated by the amount of power created during STC, or Standard Test Conditions.
STC includes statistics such as the intensity of the sun, which is the solar panel watts per square foot, the angle that light hits the panel, and other factors like temperature.
The tilt angle of the panel is one of the most important criteria in determining how much power you receive from the sun.
In the winter, the sun is lower on the horizon and in the summer it’s high in the sky. You must adjust the angle of your solar panel placement depending on what season we are in.
You want to ensure that your solar panel is always at a 90-degree angle to achieve more power out of your solar panel.
An interesting way to look at wattage is by comparing it to the speed of a car. If a car travels 50 miles in an hour, you would say it is traveling at 50 mph. The same logic applies to wattage.
You multiply the watts by the number of hours a device is running to figure out how much power is generated over a period.
During the day, you will have a varied amount of sunshine. In the morning around 8 am, the sun’s radiance is half of what it would be at midday.
Calculating solar panel output allows us to determine the watt-hours.
If we take the hours in which the sun is shining and multiply it by the 100W rating of the solar panel, it gives you the watt-hours. This is a measurement that will help us understand what exactly can be powered using our solar panel.
What Can I Charge With a 100W Solar Panel?
Let’s say we get an average of 3.3 hours of daily sunshine. Multiplying that by the solar panel wattage will give us around 330 watt-hours.
Now that we know how many watt-hours we have, we can start to figure out what exactly can be powered and for how long.
Powering a laptop that uses 40W for a total of 3 hours will equate to around 120 watt-hours. Charging smaller appliances such as smartphones or LED Lights can range between 20 to 50 total watt-hours.
Whether it's something as small as a smartphone or something more power demanding like a laptop, you can use a 100W solar panel to charge and power pretty much anything.
However, you can’t power these devices directly from a solar panel. You would need a battery or generator where this power can be stored and utilized.
If we have a battery or generator that runs on a 12-volt system, we will take our watt-hours and divide it by the 12 volts. This will give us the total number of Amp-hours or amperage, a measurement used to size our batteries or generators.
A 100-watt solar panel can produce an average of 6 amps per peak sun hour.
Another example would be powering a fridge or deep freezer at 100W per hour. You could run this for an entire day before needing to discharge the batteries.
Having a solar panel will allow you to charge and power technological necessities and save you money when paying that electric bill.
If you are using a lead-acid battery, you wouldn’t want to discharge it fully or go beyond 50% discharge. Going beyond 50% discharge makes for fewer average cycles in terms of what you’re going to get out of it.
In other words, you should keep the depth of the discharge to a minimum to get the most life out of your battery.
Charging a 100 amp-hour battery will take approximately 13 hours to fully charge.
Having a 100 amp-hour battery paired with a 100W solar panel will give you plenty of power to create a solar-powered system, allowing you to charge and power any device for hours on end.
In terms of what can be powered using a 100-watt solar panel, that would depend on the wattage and voltage of your electronic devices. So having something that requires more than 100 watts like an air conditioning system won’t be powered for too long and can cause the battery to discharge beyond 50%.
The amperage is around 6 amps per hour and what this means for you as a customer is to shop for batteries or generators with roughly the same amp-hour as the wattage on a solar panel.
For example, getting a 100 amp-hour battery hooked up to a 100-watt solar panel will give you plenty of power to charge a variety of devices.
So know that you know about amperage, wattage, and what you can use your 100-watt solar panel for, stay powered and keep your energy green.
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