How to power a 12V motor with a pair of 250W solar panels? Answered
I am on a team in a solar vehicle competition that doesn't allow for the solar panels to be connected to the circuit while running the 12V motor in a solar power race.
The solar panels are 24V @ 8.6 amps each. We have 2 of them, and are going to connect them in parallel for a total of 24v 16 ish amps.
The panel's over voltage is 30.4V. The maximum current through the decades old (but free to us) brushed 12V electric motor is 35 amps.
We are planning to run a DC to DC step down / voltage regulator between the Array and the motor, and a small charge controller to a battery for in between races.
We are looking into charge controllers that allow a small battery and a load to be connected to them at the same time for charging and between races. The battery size is limited by the race organizers to 180Watt hours.
1st ?> Are charge controllers powered off of their Input sources? I.E. Will the charge controller even turn on with out a battery present?
2nd ?> What would happen if my array is connected to the charge controller and the battery isn't connected to the charge controller? Wouldn't that be harmful to the charge controller or motor?
3rd ?> If charge Charge controller to motor is a viable option, then would a DC to DC step down still be necessary?
Thank you in advance,