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Solar help please! Answered

I want to charge rechargable batteries with one solar panel and use the batteries to run fans in my home to save on summer cooling costs. The central air can handle night cooling. What will I need and how do I set it up ?



I've attached a simple diagram that I whipped up in only three minutes that'll help you figure out what to do next. Follow the instructions and you can't go wrong :)

QND solar.GIF

Keep in mind that solar panels may generate more voltage than required. I have 2 panels I picked up from Harbor Freight Tools. Both will peak at 22V, or nearly double what a car battery will handle. Installing a charge controller between the solar panels and the batteries solves the overcharging issue. I use mine in a garage (sans electricity) for lighting at night. Panels deliver power to the charge controller, then delivered to the batteries. Switch allows the batteries to be tapped for 12v lighting in the garage.


9 years ago

I'd like to do the same this summer, but I want to do without batteries. I have a small fan from a computer. It runs on 12V/0.15A. I also have 2 homemade solar panels(3V/0.1A each) and a voltage booster(5 to 12V). So my idea is simple. As my kitchen's window faces SE, I'm going to install the fan into the window and run it with the solar panels connected in series(via the booster). In this way the fan will be controlled by the sun.


9 years ago

This is pretty broad. You need to know what kind of voltage and current you'll be getting from your solar panel. You'll probably also need some sort of charging control mechanism. Battery charging can be complex, moreso as you get into more efficient/newer battery technologies.

There is tons of information about this available online. You might want to look up "living off the grid", which will bring up information about how to integrate home generated energy into your house and utilize it.

Here's one page that has a lot of useful info/pictures.