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Can someone suggest a solar panel? Answered

I will be charging a 12v 14.5AH motorcycle battery. The reason is that my charging system died and parts are more than 2 weeks out. I live in a state where a headlight is a requirement any time of the day and it really takes a toll on my usable range. So my short-term solution is to attach a temporary solar panel on it and leave the bike in the sun. I would plug it in and attach it when I was not riding so mounting it is not a problem. The panel needs to fit into a backpack and be fairly light (under 10 lbs).



Best Answer 8 years ago

The most common and convenient size is probably good, it looks about the size of two auto license plates long, and is sold with a cigar lighter plug for the purpose of maintaining car batteries while sitting on the dashboard of an underused car. It either makes 16 to 20 volts at 150 milliAmps (2 watts) in full sun or has a charging circuit that maintains that voltage earlier and later in the day. I have several of those which I use to charge batteries for CB radio and emergency lights during storm blackouts and stuff and the panels are attached to the south window of my room. For an often used bike I imagine I'd mount one on the handlebars (though I am not really familiar with motorbikes) and I'd leave it connected all the time and not parked in the shade at least until I got a new battery, or if I had a lot of electronics on the bike I'd buy two batteries and use the panel to save a little bit of fuel that's used when the generator/alternator charges the batteries.

oops. I forgot to mention. Last I checked they were less than $30 USD and I've seen them on ebay for 2 for $30. The optimum price per watt for solar panels hovers around $4 a watt, and I've seen it recently lower, but for these panels I mention and prefer they should be only $8 but are consistently between $15-$30 retail. I only pay retail when I immediately need that size for convenience, and retail is almost always much more than $4 per watt. House roof panels can be more easily found near the $4 per watt rate, which are around the size of a whole window.

The problem is that my charging system... doesn't. I don't want something permanent i want something i can just plug in and leave for 15-20 minutes when i'm at the store or whatnot.

Get to an RV or boat store there are lots to choose from there. Frys has some in their stores, I saw some yesterday.