Using Solar Power vs Battery Power

In an effort to go green, many consumers are opting for renewable energy sources like solar power. In order to establish a solar power system, you’ll need to understand the importance of solar power vs battery power. The basic rule of thumb is that solar power needs to be balanced with battery power. If you have too much solar power without the batteries necessary to hold that much energy, you’re going to waste valuable solar energy. If you have too many batteries, each battery won’t be able to achieve a full charge, which means your energy could run out during the night.

Efficiency of Solar Power

Efficiently using the solar power you have is the first step to balancing out solar power vs battery power. Solar panels have to give off enough wattage so that the energy can be used throughout the day while the sun’s up. There needs to be enough solar power to charge the batteries to run through the whole night, too. You’ll also need enough reserve energy to power through cloudy days when the sun isn’t reaching the solar panels.

How To Maintain Battery Efficiency

Generally, to maintain efficient use of various types of batteries you’re using, here are some tips you can follow:

  • To harness the solar power, it needs to be charged fully at least once every month.
  • Maintain the batteries regularly so that they can last longer and hold more of a charge.
  • Every month, clean the batteries’ terminals.
  • Get rid of any batteries that have a short. These batteries will drain nearby batteries, offsetting the balance of solar power vs battery power.

Tips for Charging a Battery

Understanding the relationship of solar power vs battery power won’t help if you don’t know how to charge a battery. Many people mistakenly think that they can charge a large battery, like one for their boat or cabin, in a couple of days.

  • A large, discharged battery can take up to a week to charge fully.
  • The best condition for charging your batteries is direct sunlight on the surface of the solar panel.
  • The more energy the solar panel soaks up, the more charge to the battery.
  • An overcast sky, shadows, or a solar panel that hasn’t been mounted at the right angle can all cut down on the effectiveness of the solar panel and the charge of the batteries.
  • Charge controllers should be used on panels that have more than five watts of output.