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Using Solar Panels

Gladys Said:

Anybody using solar panels for charging inverter batteries?Wat is the cost for each solarpanel and its rating?

We Answered:

Yeah, we are off the grid and have 10 panels @ 130W charging 16 6V batteries. The whole system was about $13k. Generally panels cost about $5/watt, uninstalled. You need to have a complete system designed though, you should def talk to a local solar expert.

Melanie Said:

How do I charge two 12V batteries using two solar panels that are 15V each and 5 AMP each?

We Answered:

yes, it's called a charge controller.

A 15 volt panel is marginal to charge a 12 volt battery, you need something more like 20 volts.

A 12 volt battery needs 15 volts with some current to be charged.
A 15 volt panel will only put that out with full sunlight, and not with any substantial current.

Best is a charge controller (see second reference) that includes a DC-DC converter to adjust the voltage to the optimal value to charge the battery. With this it will be better to put the panels in series and the batteries in parallel so you can charge them both at the same time with one charge controller.


Mabel Said:

Is heat a factor in how much energy is gained when using solar panels?

We Answered:

If you are talking about solar PV (photovoltaic), panels, (these are the solar panels that generate electricity), temperature DOES effect the power output. But it works opposite of your example. They actually work better in cooler temperatures. In other words, you will get more electricity on a cold, sunny day than you will on a warm, sunny day. The difference is not huge. It is a percentage point or two for every ten degrees cooler it is. But it is significant enough that solar system designers like myself need to know the temperature fluctuations in the area we are designing for. I know of a few improperly designed systems that were damaged on sunny winter days.

Solar thermal panels (the ones that heat water) do not work this way. A warmer sunny day is usually better, but again, the difference is not huge.

Michael Said:

How to make electricity from the sun without using solar panels?

We Answered:

Solar things are always costly... You can use concave mirrors and concentrate the heat and heat what and then steam ll be formed and then steam directed to turbines, there you go generating electricity with out solar panels...

Elaine Said:

What is the cost and benefit of using solar panels as an energy source for my home?

We Answered:

I'm in the middle of putting in solar/wind to offset the power needs of a 75 unit condo in St Thomas.

Cut to the chase. Solar systems, with batteries to store power for use at night and inverters to change battery power to 120v cost about $7 a watt installed

in Phoenix you'll get about 30 watts a square foot about 10 hours a day

a 1000W panel, at $7,000 installed will run 10 100 watt light bulbs or (maybe)) an energy efficient refrigerator.

do the math

Arlene Said:

Anybody have an idea for a project using solar panels?

We Answered:

This site is showing a DIY solar electricity project:…

Some additional information can be found at

Good luck!


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Anybody using solar panels for charging inverter batteries?

Mulberry Replica said:

Generally panels cost about $5/watt, uninstalled.