What can I power with a 100W solar panel?

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In this video, we explore how to determine how much power a 100W solar panel will generate, what size battery and charge controller you need to store the power, and some ideas of what you can power with it and for how long. We also show you how to do the calculations for yourself to figure out what you could do with off grid solar. Note that at minute 7, we included a deration for the inverter losses. Since we are talking about what size battery is needed to put power in, not taking power out, we don’t need to do that step. The battery can be 5% smaller than we calculated.

45 thoughts on “What can I power with a 100W solar panel?

  1. 9:04 minutes saved for you: a lot more every day with a bit of math and some extra expences in batteryes and inverter you could power up two phones, two usb light bulbs ,a usb fan a ,laptop, a small 12v tv for a few hours. But still a good video to watch if you know nothig about solar.

  2. For those who can't add 2 + 2, you should have started with "You can't reliably power anything with a solar panel" to get their attention 😉 Solar power can be as fleeting as a child's giggle and must be collected to be USEFUL. But the math haters want an instant answer.

    My solar application is primarily a "Wait until daylight" solar generator (540AH AGM battery bank kept charged by one 250 watt panel on an MPPT controller). It can provide limited pure sine wave power (fridge, freezer, internet, some lights) for 8 to 20 hours depending on the season (the 2000 watt inverter can handle the starting loads with no problem). The gen can power the central heat for a few hours, which gives the 8 hour limit in winter. If the power outage is longer than the solar generator can handle, I do have a couple of gasoline generators. If the outage were to be weeks, we'd drop back to a much smaller fridge and I'd install the other 1250 watts of solar panels.

    I did the math, including creating a spreadsheet that takes into account battery AH, inverter efficiency, wattage and number of hours of daily use of the things I want to power, winter versus summer sun hours and the difference between STC and NOCT solar panel ratings. I KNOW what I can power and for how long but you need a Kill-A-Watt and some math to get there. The Kill-A-Watt is essential, as an "1100 watt" microwave oven may actually draw 1750 watts

    In the case of "Wait until daylight" backup, the depth of discharge is 50%. We only have a few power outages each year, usually for a matter of hours, so 50% DOD is reasonable. There's also a spreadsheet page for long term power outage with the DOD at 20%.

  3. I'm curious (don't know if you or someone else can answer) if I have a 100 ah battery and a 60 watt solar panel that puts out approx 5 amps would it be able to eventually put 100 ah back into the battery?

  4. I don't know what some people are moaning about. Her calculations are the best part (with the exception of 5% energy loss calc.)and she answers the title question. And…I don't see what her hair has anything to do with the subject.Nor do I think its dated.

  5. Your videos are great but, none of the calculators work on my cell phone. I was almost finished filling out the load calculator, which took me nearly 20 minutes, and the whole thing reset. The true south app only shows a thin strip of the map and is basically ineligible. When using my laptop i found a dozen other sites with great calculators with the one you referred us too being the worst one of all. I did find your videos to be outstanding tho, thank you!

  6. I really really want to learn all this stuff coz I'm getting into solar and want to ween myself off relying on the energy cartel {U.K. prices just go up and up and up} but unless they do a version of this video with big bird in it I'l just keep zoning out. I managed to take in "Hi I'm Amy………..since 1999" I'l try again later.

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