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solar powered generator help!?

I want to make a solar generator. I found a solar panel that is 12v and 5 watts. I have a deep cycle battery that is 12v. How much power in volts and watts would I have if i fully charged the battery with my solar panel. I am young and don't know too much about this subject so keep it simple.

Wow, this sounds like fun. I used to work with Solar projects for EPRI and NASA, so I can give you a few tips:

1. 5 watts is a pretty small panel. You don't want to put it on a large battery (like a car or boat battery), or the battery's tendency to discharge will happen faster than the cell can keep it charged! A battery for a kid's scooter or car is probably about right (5 to 10 amp hr rating).

2. Even though your panel can deliver 5 watts peak, the actual power it will delivers varies with it's angle to the sun, the weather, how clean the face is, and the length of the day. It's not unusual to average only 1/5 to 1/7 of the output of the cell per day.

So, you can expect to get about 24 watt-hrs to 17 watt-hrs per day. That's about 2 to 1.4 amp hours.

3. The batteries don't charge perfectly, and they lose some charge just sitting around. Count on getting about 80% of the energy your putting in. So, count on having 1.6 to 1.12 amp hrs to power your gadgets for every day of charging.

You can run a small radio just about indefinitely on this, or a small brushless fan (about .1amp for about 11-16 hours), a small fluorescent lamp for maybe 4 hours, or even a small TV for maybe an hour.

Have Fun!


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