Reddit Reddit reviews Renogy Solar Panel, Single

We found 41 Reddit comments about Renogy Solar Panel, Single. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Renogy Solar Panel, Single
TECHNOLOGY - Advanced encapsulation material with multi-layered sheet minimizations enhance cell performance and provide a longer service life. Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame allows extended outdoor use; the panels can last for decades, anti-reflective, high transparency, low iron-tempered glass. No hot-spot heating .Usages - high in power but compact in size, this 100-watt Solar panel is a favorite for RVs, boats, campers and similar applications, providing clean energy and excellent efficiency per space.Installation - pre-drilled holes on the back of the panel allow for fast mounting and securing. Pre-drilled holes included for grounding. Compatible with different Renogy mounting systems such as z-brackets, pole mounts and tilt mounts.Dimensions - each panel weighs 16. 5lbs. length 47. 0" X width 21. 3" X Height 1. 4”. IP67 Rated waterproof MC4 connectors25-year transferable power output ; 5-year material and workmanshipPower Source Type: Solar-PoweredGuaranteed positive output tolerance (0-3%); withstands high winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa)
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41 Reddit comments about Renogy Solar Panel, Single:

u/rosinall · 24 pointsr/vandwellers

Using solar in a van is simple if your expectations are in line, and unworkable if not.

First, the bad: If you want to run devices that heat or cool with electricity, such as coffeemakers, hotplates, A/C, toasters, hair dryers, etc., you will not make your numbers or anywhere near them. Give that all up. There is a reason whole-house systems cost $30k, it is heating and cooling.

For a quick example, say you have a tiny 700 watt A/C unit. This represents half a normal small window A/C, or half a hairdryer. A 100Ah marine cell (basically a car battery that swaps maximum acid/lead contact area for thicker internal lead plates) from Wal-Mart ($100) has 100Ah, which translates to roughly 1200 watt hours. You do not want to run a wet cell like this below 50% or so; a fully-charged marine cell will run a unit like this for about 50 minutes. So, if you want to run it 10 hours a day off batteries, you will need 12 fully-chrged batteries, costing $1200 and weighting 700 pounds. You would also need a semi-sized trailer covered in panels to charge them. Oh, and the A/C compressor takes double the load when it starts up — which will tire the batteries out quickly, so expect that $1200 in batteries to be a yearly thing.

Now, the awesome: IT WORKS. I ran 30 feet of LEDs, a laptop, a small but nice stereo, a PoE wireless antenna, a wireless hub, iPhones and iPods, 18v DeWalt battery packs, a fan — plus whatever I am forgetting — off of 2 x 100W solar panels and 2 x 100Ah marine cells while boon docking in my camper for ten weeks.

To run a full system you will need a solar panel, an inverter, a battery, and a charge controller.

First you must go ahead and do all the math of your usage, because we are are still at the stage where we must all do all the math, and math is good, but when you are doing all the math to the third significant digit, and looking up the model of that rechargeable flashlight you like for its charging amperage requirements, maybe say screw it and start with half what works for my boon docking setup; one beefy panel, one solid battery. You can then add another panel later if your location or climate require it to keep the battery charged.

As to wiring, your charge controller will have connections that include a legend where to hook up your batteries, panels and inverter, so easy peasy there. See the link below for an example. I recommend spending the extra on an MPPT controller, which converts some of your extra juice (the 12V panel below can run almost 19V) that normally is dumped when charging into increased amperage of the charging current. Do the math of your expected load, it's possible you will want a 20A.

YOU WILL WANT TO DO THE MATH on wire sizes. There are calculators online. For your small setup, the important run is going to be between the battery and the charge controller. This is where the fires start. If you think you will EVER add another battery dig deep and wire for it. Also, fuse your system correcly, there is a schematic on the charge controller link below. Don't skip this, you can get the fuse holders and fuses at your local auto parts store.

For inverters, I feel better about everything by getting a well-respected pure sinewave unit. I run a Cotec 350W for the solar, and it seems bulletproof. I also run a Xantrex 600 in my 4Runner and it seems just as solid. You could save a ton by getting a cheap modified sinewave one and seeing if it meets your needs. Either way they will have outlets on them, so you don't need to wire it further.

Also, no wet cells inside the vehicle unless properly secured, sealed to the inside, and vented to the outside.

Solar panel:

Charge controller (10A likely okay, do your math, I got the 20 amp)


u/kmc_v3 · 10 pointsr/preppers

First of all, I don't agree that a generator is an important prep unless you have a specific life-or-death need, e.g. medical equipment or an electric-powered well. The average apartment-dweller should be able to get by without electrical service for a few days. Stock up on spare batteries for flashlights and such. Get some non-electronic forms of entertainment. Get a hand-crank radio — many of them can charge your phone as well. Get food that doesn't need refrigeration or cooking. Learn which food actually needs refrigeration for safety; don't throw out your whole fridge on day one of an outage.

That will cover the short term and, in a long-term disaster, fuel will be in short supply so a generator is of questionable use.

> Unfortunately, i live in an apartment in socal. Can generators even be used in an apartment? I have a small balcony.

Do not risk it. Carbon monoxide can get inside the building. Do not risk it.

As an alternative, consider a portable power pack, and remember to keep it charged up! Some can be charged from solar as well. Or DIY with a bare panel, a charge controller, a marine deep-cycle battery and an inverter. (Also, a lot of things such as LED light strips can run directly from the 12V battery and don't need an inverter.)

> How long do they last if i buy one and just throw it in storage?

All prepper equipment should be tested regularly. I'm not an expert but I would say run it for 30 minutes every month or two. Remember that gasoline goes bad after a few months. They also have starter batteries that need to be topped up like a car battery. You'll need to check the oil and air filter and replace if needed.

> Once i buy a house, what is the best generator to own?

Like any "what's best" question, it depends on your needs. How much power do you need? Look into a dual-fuel gas/propane generator as well. Propane is much safer to store and it stays good for decades assuming your tank doesn't leak.

Also for the love of god, don't jury-rig a connection to the house wiring. There are about seven ways to kill yourself or someone else by doing that. You need to use a proper transfer switch or at least a breaker interlock plate. The easier option is to rely on extension cords and not the house wiring.

u/nathhad · 7 pointsr/vandwellers

Not a bad price on that kit. Personally I pieced together my own, using a Renology 100W panel and a cheap Mohoo PWM controller, and what you're looking at looks pretty comparable for a comparable price.

To try and actually answer your question, though, here's a fairly quick run-down of how to roughly size your battery. I'll use my own situation as an example; I have a small popup camper my wife and I use in the boonies, nowhere near power, for days at a time. This will assume you're using decent quality, sealed AGM deep cycle batteries, not the garbage RV/Marine "deep cycle" batteries, which are not true deep cycle, just slightly tougher starting batteries.

First step is actually the hard part, the rest is easy. You need to know what you want to run, how much power it draws, and how much you want to be able to run it between charges. That sizes your battery. Finding the current draw on your items if you don't already have them can be the hard part - if possible, it's often best to have what you want to run, and measure it for actual numbers.

For example, my main loads are:

  • I wanted to be able to run a pair of Fantastic Fans on low (1A each) overnight, for up to 10 hours each, which is roughly 20Ah.
  • Alternately, on colder nights I have a propane heater with a fan that draws about 3A, but which would only run for about four hours tops in twelve hours on a really cold night, so that's only about 12Ah. Since that's less than the fans and I wouldn't be running both, I don't count it.
  • I have a water pump that draws about 3A but that is only used for minutes a day (not worth counting)
  • LED lights that are 3W (about 1/4A). Let's assume I want to run one of those for up to 12h per night, so that's 3Ah.
  • I also recharge two phones overnight, which are usually roughly 2Ah batteries each, maybe 2/3 discharged. The charge circuits aren't very efficient, so you can assume at least 2Ah each to recharge those phones, for 4Ah total.
  • I'm also recharging a pair of 2.5Ah small batteries for e-cigarettes ("mods" ) overnight. They aren't fully discharged, but assume 5Ah to charge those up.

    My worst case overnight loads basically work out to 20Ah (fans) + 3Ah (lights) + 4Ah (phones) + 5Ah(mods). That's about 32Ah of load per day, pretty much worst case in hot weather.

    Now, you can do a few different calculations to get a minimum battery size from that.

    Number one, you really don't want to regularly cycle your battery below 50%, unless you want to be replacing your good batteries a lot. Hence, your absolute minimum recommended battery size would be 2x your load between charges. In my case, that's about 64Ah. A deep cycle discharged to 50% will usually last about 400 charge cycles.

    Now, given the choice, you really don't even want to discharge that low. A deep cycle discharged only 30% (roughly 1/3) will usually last 1100-1200 cycles. I generally recommend you size for at least triple your daily load. This pays off big time in the long run. For 50% more battery, your batteries will usually last nearly 200% longer (3x as long). Enormous cost savings long term.

    Hence, my recommended sizing would be 32Ah x 3, or 96Ah. I'm running a 100Ah battery, UPG UB121000, part number 45981. In practice I'm not regularly discharging this battery more than about 25%.

    Now, you get some extra benefit from oversizing as well. By sizing to 1/3 discharge, I can run two days without charging if I have to, and not be worse than a 70% discharge. That's a good emergency backup, since if you regularly discharge anywhere near 100%, your battery usually won't last more than 100-150 cycles. That covers me in case I get a day with absolutely zero sun. In practice this isn't a big worry for me, as on days with poor sun I'm only running the fans about half as much anyway, and if I couldn't get topped off during the day, in a pinch I'd just connect jumper cables to my van and have the battery at full charge after about an hour at idle.

    Next, once you know your average daily usage, you can also size your solar panel. You actually need to size more by charge time than by pure wattage, since a 100W panel will not produce 100W using a PWM controller. My 100W panel produces about 5.3A at 19V under ideal conditions (that calculates to 100W), but since the PWM controller just knocks the voltage down to an appropriate battery charge voltage, I'll never actually get 100W out of this panel. The current maxes out at 5.3A, but my battery pulls the voltage down to around 13.5V at charge, so at most I'm actually getting about 72W out of it.

    To size your panel, look at the optimum operating current (usually listed as Imp), and use that to size in amp hours instead. Plus, you also need to include any loads you'll be running while you charge. In my case, my panel puts out about 5.3A, but if it's a hot day, I'm going to be running one of those fans on medium (2.25A) for our sheepdogs in the van, so I really only have about 3A to work with to charge. If I can get a solid 8h worth of good charging light, that's about 24Ah useable per day. As you could see, I'd really do well with a second panel. As it is, it's been just sufficient with one panel to mostly keep me topped up, since I haven't had a ton of hot weather where we've really had to run the fans a lot.

    If I added a second panel, I'd have roughly 8A to charge with even with that fan running, and could reliably charge my bank all the way with only about 4h of good, full sun.

    I know that's a bit long, but hopefully it'll be a help to get you going in the right direction!
u/schnauzage · 6 pointsr/bugout

I have a solar panel and power station. In tandem they allow me to power basic electronics. Eventually I'd like to get a generator hooked up to the circuit breaker in the garage and have it automatically switch on. Being in the South, A/C is paramount.

u/asanano · 6 pointsr/solar

500,000 tons of coal ~ 4 billion kilowatt-hours. Say solar panel lifetime is 30 years, producing electricity 8 hours a day. That means you need 45 kilowatts of solar panels. That means you need 22.5 Watts per pound of sand. A 100 Watt solar panel is [16 lbs] ( That would mean ~ 25% of a solar panels weight was silicon. Seems about reasonable.

u/edheler · 5 pointsr/preppers

I just wrote this in another post in this subreddit yesterday and attached (mostly) a copy here. One caveat: don't use automotive batteries! They are not meant to be deep cycled and will quickly be ruined if you try and use them that way. A less expensive option for batteries are used golf cart batteries (6v) which can be wired up in series and parallel into a configuration which is 12v and a reasonable number of amp-hours.

Here is a 100w solar panel for $170 add a 30A Solar Charger for $90. You will also need an extension cable to get the solar to the charger, a 12v deep cycle battery of 30+ amp-hours $100+ (Here is a really good battery for $230), a small inverter for $53 and some cables to connect the inverter and charger to the battery.

The grand total above would be less than $600 with the expensive battery. Buy it a piece at a time and spread it out over a few months. When you're done the charger is large enough to add 3-4 more of those solar panels. If you do that you should add batteries as well.

For more ideas I would listen to The Survival Podcast episodes with Steve Harris. I don't agree with him on everything but none of his advice is bad.

u/funbob · 5 pointsr/amateurradio

How about a solar panel for all your off-grid hamming needs?

u/TinyMetalTube · 4 pointsr/skoolies

I can't seem to find the Ah capacity of that battery, but it doesn't look very big. What's the capacity? It won't always be sunny out, so I'd do an energy audit and build up the system such that you can run it for 2-3 days without dipping below 60%.

100W will recharge those batteries, but not very fast. I've only met one legit fulltimer so far IRL, he had a fridge on 100W. It barely ran; I suspect because the batteries were so low it wasn't getting a full 12V.

I went with Renogy 100W panels. I put 7 of them on my van, so I'm sure you can get a crapload of 'em up there. You might prefer a larger panel for simplicity, but balance that against the weight, height you have to lift it, and when one breaks you incur a bigger loss.

The mini fridge won't need too much power. 200W should be fine for that. 100W may be enough if you're careful about your usage and keep everything 12V. My 12V fridge says it pulls 7A @12V, but the reviews indicate it's closer to 3-4A. I barely notice its power draw. I would expect it to be much worse on a 120V dorm fridge.

There are 12V fridges and slow cookers. I hope you'll be getting those in 12V so you don't need to run the inverter all day. A full house-style 120V appliance will use more power, and you'll incur additional overhead from the inverter running. Unless you're on shore power, of course.

You may be able to find a 12V power supply for your laptop, but those are hit-or-miss. With the projector you're basically stuck with 120V. Which is OK as long as it's not a lot of the time.

Of course if you go with the big ("real") solar panels (the ones i linked, or larger), you'll need a charge controller and a bit more complexity. Not sure what your budget and knowledge levels are. The small one you linked has its own controller built in.

Definitely do that energy audit; I think you underestimate your power needs.

u/robotsdonthaveblood · 4 pointsr/OffGrid

Uhh. No, it so can't. It has 100Ah capacity. Rule of thumb for 12v DC to AC conversion is 1 hour @ 100w AC draw = about 10A being pulled from the DC battery. 1000w would run it flat in one hour. Likely much less since that would be a very high discharge rate for such a battery and that generally reduces capacity.

While I admit I don't have a solid answer to your original question in my response I do need to express interest in why you're set on the goal zero platform? They are laughably over priced. The Yeti 1250 is 1600 bucks in Canada, and it's not a generator at all. It's a 12v Absorbent Glass Mat battery with 100Ah capacity, with a 1200w pure sinewave inverter and a Maximum Power Point Tracking solar charge controller. It's all stuck in a box with some connections and a nice display. It doesn't come with a solar panel to charge it at all either.

That 100Ah may seem like a lot, but it's not. Especially considering you shouldn't really discharge a lead acid battery more than 50% So 50 amps a day is all you can pull. About 2 an hour. Depending on the duty cycle of your fridge that's it right there. I'm a big fan of 6 volts for dollar/Ah, and you can grab two T105 Trojan batteries most places for 300 bucks. They are good batteries and can take a lot of abuse. I also like USBattery, and have picked these up in Alberta for 100 each. that's 230 Ah for 200 bucks. My last load test on a pair of heavily abused ones that are about 6 years old now still pull just over 100A before 50% discharge. I can't argue with that quality. That leaves us with 1400 bucks to play with, and more capacity to run things from. Since we saved money on storage, I'd spend the money on a good inverter like this. Naturepower and Go Power should be avoided, but might be available a lot cheaper so by all means take the risk if you wish. That's 1500 watts vs the 1200 from the Goal Zero package. So we now have 800 to spend on a charge controller, a box, and 12v output/input options and a box. A box could be simply constructed with plywood and scrap 2x4's and could probably be sourced in any nearby alley. Charge controllers can be had for very cheap or for a little more depending on your requirements. The charge controller in the Yeti appears to be able to handle 20A, so our 13 dollar and change controller above works. Even factoring wire, nuts, bolts, crimping supplies and the time to build it all you're going to be coming out with 600 bucks in your pocket for solar panels. The Yeti doesn't even come with solar panels. They want TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS for 30w in Canada! Unbelievable! Another 30 bucks gets you more than 3x the charging potential. It's also in a nice aluminum frame suitable for reinforcing and adding hinges for portability should you want to pair it with another with all the money you're saving. There is absolutely no way you'd get me to support their over priced gear when it can be done so simply and cheaply on your own, all with better results.

Edit: the specs on the 30w panel say 2A output max, so they're only 24w peak. That extra 30 bucks on a real panel gets you (barely) more than 4x the charging potential. To max out the 20A capabilities of the Yeti 1250 using 30w panels would cost you 2000 dollars for 10 panels. Two of those 100w panels would be 460 dollars and cover just over 80% of that capacity. But why stop there? We saved 600 bucks, lets buy another pair of batteries for 200 to increase our capacity to 460Ah.
With over 4x the reserve you STILL won't be pulling 1000w for a few hours. Just about though, you might get 4.
My favourite part about this is I hate going retail and it's STILL cheaper to piece it together doing it that way. I could find a better inverter used thanks to the used marine market out in BC, for less, I could source a few used batteries after a load test for cheap. I could DIY panels for cheap using epoxy and reclaimed aquarium glass. About 80c a watt materials included. In Canada that's amazing for a single panel.

All Goal Zero prices were from here

The only opinion I can give you with pellet stoves is they are VERY expensive and installation is semi permanent, your landlord might even have to get different insurance if there is a stove pipe jammed out his roof. He's probably not going to be happy with having to duct the cold air supply in either. They are also equipped with hoppers for pellet storage, how long you intend to run it and what model of stove you get depends on how often you have to fill it. They are also electronically controlled, so it will need to be constantly plugged in for the auger to feed pellets into the stove to keep the fire going or between a specific range of temperatures. You want to do this for a month and that's a lot of effort for an experiment. You could probably get away with a propane heater of some kind, along with the appropriate detectors for safety. I wouldn't advise on running that unsupervised at all, and it's not going to be appropriate for cooking like a stove would be.

u/Mohevian · 4 pointsr/teslamotors

I hope you're joking.

One human unit of power is equivalent to 600 watt-hours. A "decent" electric car has a 60,000 watt hour battery bank (60 KWh).

The smallest decent portable solar panel is about 100W in size.

So after a full day's worth of charging (sun and no clouds) for six hours on your exercise bike in the woods, you'd be at 1.05 KWh, or 1.75% of battery charge.

According to random internet forums, that would get you about 3 miles of driving in the woods.

u/Dlichterman · 3 pointsr/overlanding

I've had good luck with the Renogy Panels from amazon and the price isn't too bad at all.

Edit: and they went down by 5 bucks since I bought one last week!

u/Upvotes_poo_comments · 3 pointsr/preppers

What are you going to do with it? Unless you buy an inverter and a battery then all you really have is 4 shitty panels and a cheap ass charge controller. This is just a come-on price that suckers you into buying more things that you need to make it work. And at the end of the purchases, you could've built something better if you started with quality parts. Why not buy similarly priced stuff in better quality? Buy a good panel and charge controller. That way if you ever want to add to the system, you can.

Hi quality solar panel 100 Watt/12v

Hi quality charge controller.

Only 50 bucks more and you the beginnings of a modest system.

u/steezburgers · 3 pointsr/vandwellers

The most recommended setup I see from other vandwellers in Renogy. They make pretty much everything you need, and it's competitively priced.
You can buy a kit and have almost everything you need but a battery or you can build from scratch. The big components are deep cycle battery, panel, charge controller. There are obviously lots of other smaller things you'll need as well such as fuses, wires, mounting brackets, etc.

This option is much more cost efficient but also requires a good working knowledge of electrical setups (or the desire to learn them) in order to do it safely.

u/Kromulent · 3 pointsr/worldnews

We agree that it would work with electricity; the point is that it requires enormous amounts of it.

Here's one estimate, which suggests it takes 5,550 to 13,900 watt-hours to produce one kilogram (about two pounds) of steel from iron. Glass is in the same ballpark at 5,000 to 9,700 watt-hours.

Glass and steel comprise the bulk of the weight of a typical solar cell (the rest being the fancy exotic stuff that's probably even most costly to refine and process). A typical 100 watt cell seems to run about 15 pounds or so, call it seven kilos.

7500 watt-hours X 7 kilos = ~50,000 watt-hours.

If you're investing 50,000 watt-hours to produce a single 100 watt-hour cell, you can see the problem. Just for the production of the glass and steel - never mind building the actual guts of the thing - you're running each cell for 500 hours of daylight.

If you just want to produce the frames, you're running 60 cells for every one you produce, and producing one per day.

u/chithrow101 · 3 pointsr/vandwellers
u/drbudro · 2 pointsr/solar

Regular car batteries are made to have a lot of cranking power, and then stay on a trickle charge once the alternator gets going. Running the battery voltage down each night and charging it daily will kill the life of your battery (if it's not deep cycle).

Honestly, charging a phone (5w), running some small LED lighting (8w), and a couple 12VDC fans (6w) can all be done through your cigarette lighter port and won't be drawing more than 20watts. If you ran that all night, you would only be using 15amp/hrs or so of your battery; and if you get 8 hours of sunlight, you only need a 30watt solar panel to charge it back up. Whenever you are talking about solar though, you should plan on doubling your capacity to account for non-optimal performance, cloudy days, long winter nights, etc.

kieranmullen gives a pretty good rundown of what you would need to setup a separate 12v system but seems like overkill for what you are asking (and would run you about $300-400).

Personally, I would get a 100 watt panel, 7 amp charge controller, the cheapest 12v deep cycle marine battery from walmart, and maybe a 3-400w inverter (for a laptop charger or any other AC devices). Also, I'd put an inline fuse between my charge controller and load, and maybe another between the battery and charge controller.

u/olivestab · 2 pointsr/buildapc

Ok. Im sorry I don't have a book or a source because I was forced into this whole situation and had no time. I had to ask on forums and look on google, and perform the results the very next day. So now I have a little knowledge that grows every day by just asking around here on Reddit and on cruisers forums because Im out living In the moment lol.

This is a diagram I made of my electrical set up. I made it to ask a question to experts so a few crucial labels are missing to make it a complete beginners diagram in my opinion.

This is my solar Kit by RENOGY

These are the best batteries to get for house/cabin use and for solar power These are the ones I and everyone hopes to afford. I have 4 (lesser known equivalent) 6v batts, all brand new from Orileys, paired and converted into 2 beefed up 12v batteries. Mine will do the job, maybe last 5-7 years but Trojan T-105s last a life time.

Next is where I got the "Know how" from some forum posts.

  • Here is when I first got my boat, and asked about what kind of batteries to get. I almost made the mistake of buying a big tractor battery before the guys on this forum set me strait, and they provided lots of helpful links and explanations.

  • This is a new thread I made recently asking about advanced knowledge of electricity from batteries. I can build and set up the whole system properly, but I have no idea what the numbers mean, so these guys helped me out with that, again.

    Finally, here is a AWESOME detailed explanation of battery power, and solar power from a redditor who actually used my own setup as an example.

    With the right equipment, about 400 watts of solar power, 6 to 8 6v batteries. A 250-500watt wind generator, a working engines alternator, and a back up 2000 watt honda generator you can go on with your every day life using free energy. With care you can maintain your batteries health, and your own energy consumption in conjunction with the solar panels, or have a costly back up of a gas generator or the boats engine alternator to beef up your batteries and make sure they never go down. You can also invest in a water maker that turns sea water into fresh drinking water. Our unit can turn 38gallons of sea water in one hour.

    With all that in mind, your only expense is food/propane gas for the boat or generator and clothing. Anchoring is free anywhere and most marinas have anchorage spots close to their docks so you can get into town quickly. also some cities have free public docking, so living on a sail boat is pretty cool once you have built a complete self sufficient system. we have USB modems that use 4G signals to provide internet, or we can use our big wifi antenna to reach open wifi signals from a mile away, so gaming and Reddit is possible anywhere we go, especially if we can afford to buy some 4g data for the month.

    Im interested in this because I already have one solar panel and 4 batteries. I eventually want to have 2 big 250 watt solar panels that will make up a total 500 watts, and I want to have 8 6v batteries total.
    Instead of getting a AC inverter, I can switch everything I use to DC power supply, like a laptop, Wii U, Fan, Fridge to save power, and even more so if I upgrade my computer to run more efficiently.
    Ive alredy replaced EVERY SINGLE LIGHT with little LED bulbs, even my navigation lights and mast lights. I can turn them ALL on and my volt meter doesn't drop a single volt and its freaking amazing how little they draw.

    Ive come to realize that I can realistically save and continue to build off my current system, instead of struggling to sustain a "normal" lifestyle with bills and rent. $200 here and there, one new solar panel this month, two more batteries that month, and before you know it, you have spent less than a years worth of bills and finances, only this time its a permanent solution that no longer requires a yearly or monthly bill.
u/tangakalol · 2 pointsr/solar

I have a 2018 ford transit van. We take this with us camping ( I camp about 20 times a year, 2-3 day trips ) .


I am looking to get a small electric generator / battery and a simple solar panel to charge it. This will be used just to run a water pump for once a day quick shower, power some low energy fans at night and charge devices.


I already own this power source -


I was debating getting this solar panel -

Is it compatible and will charge the power source listed above or is there a better one? Am I missing any critical components to get this to work?


I plan to mount it on top of the van as a permanent structure.

Thanks in advance.

u/tornadoRadar · 2 pointsr/electricians

I picked: Model MB7420 motorola for an example.

power draw: 12v @ 1a. 12 watts.

12v supply is really REALLY nice for the next thing i'm going to suggest: solar and a battery.

26 bucks for a charge controller:

46$: a 20 amp hour battery will be more than enough to get your thru the night. if you're concerned about cloudly days then you can double it up.

130 bucks for a 100watt solar panel

figure 20-30 bucks in wiring and mounts and random stuff.

total cost to power it: 200-250$.

u/fromkentucky · 2 pointsr/ebikes

I don't know how big your trailer is, but this 100W solar panel is about 1.2m x 0.54m.

100W x ~4.5 (guessing) hours of equivalent ideal sunlight in Romania, per day, equals 450wh. 450wh/48V = ~9.7Ah. That's assuming no losses from the power converter and charger, which would likely bring you closer to 6.5Ah after a full day of charging.

We really need solar panels with higher conversion rates.

u/ontheleftcoast · 2 pointsr/camping

However if you are dead set on this, one option would be to get something like this "solar generator"

This should have enough battery capacity to take you 24 hours before it needs a recharge ( it could go about 2 days, but that would reduce battery life significantly). If you add a 100W solar panel you should be able to keep it charged up.


The "generator" above has a built in charge controller so you just need to plug in the solar panel and put the panel in full sun ( any partial shade dramatically lowers the charging). It also charges from a wall plug or a 12V outlet, so if the sun isn't out you can charge it from the car engine.

u/ItsBail · 2 pointsr/CampingGear

Has a much bigger battery, has an AC inverter. Only issue is the inverter is rated up to 120w. This mean you can run a laptop and other small devices but don't expect to get to run things throughout the weekend. Much better than what op linked. However w/ the panel it's almost 4x the price.

It sucks that the solar panels cost extra but if you were to buy now, the 25w panels are on sale. I would get two and hopefully get up to 50w (under optimal conditions).

It would be nice for car camping or a camper. If it's a permanent or even semi permanent installation, It would be better to purchase a larger panel, solar controller/charger, deep cycle large capacity battery and an inverter.

100w panel ($120) -

Simple Charger/Controller ($15) -

AC inverter ($35) -

100Ah SLA Battery (Apprx $100) - Autoparts/Big Box Stores

Ends up being a $270-$300 investment. That's not bad. If you were to buy the monoprice system w/ larger solar panel, it would be close to $300 and it wouldn't anywhere as efficient as if you were to make your own system. Only thing are sacrificing is portability and weight. A 8Ah battery will be much smaller and lighter than a 100Ah+ SLAB but won't last anywhere as long. If you have a rainy/cloudy week, good luck.

u/FireClimbing · 2 pointsr/vandwellers

Solar pannels are always getting better, just do some quick checks on the internet(amazon for me) and compare the efficiency of the panels. If the efficiency it is not directly stated divide the panels power by the panels size. Ex 100Watt panel / (47.3" X width 21.3" ) = 0.1 watts per square inch.

my example pannel

u/stinkypeech · 2 pointsr/TinyHouses

I am also a solar panel noob but i just managed to set up a system in my bus. I went with 4 renogy panels, they're cheap, good, and seem to have a good customer service.

We have 3 of them for 2 people. You will need a charge controller to regulate the energy going to the battery. If you opt for a nicer MPPT controller, you will have 30% more nergy coming to the battery. That's what we did.

For more of an idea on what to do for the electrical system, i used a video by a guy named campervan cory.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

u/TomTheGeek · 1 pointr/AskElectronics

Amazon has some decent prices on panels if you don't want to do a lot of searching. 100 Watt 100w Monocrystalline $170 You should be able to get that and the chargers, batteries and inverter for $600-ish.

u/jamilbk · 1 pointr/TinyHouses

Good catch ;-)

I'm using the Renogy 100w monocrystalline panels. They claim to be 21.3" wide by 47" long: My roof is 92" wide, so it will be a tight squeeze but they will fit.

u/robshookphoto · 1 pointr/SailboatCruising

Cheaper per panel if you bulk buy.

You will get more power from more expensive panels though, be aware. But it's looking like 400w is going to run me just fine.

u/CockasaurusRex · 1 pointr/vandwellers

I went with this battery and this panel. I really only need electric for charging my phone when I'm not doing that at the library, charging my laptop, and running a small fan that will be on a timer as I am falling asleep. I'm thinking this battery bank and solar panel will be able to supply me with more than enough of what I need.

u/victorsmonster · 1 pointr/GoRVing

Hey, thanks!

I'm going to go into detail on the equipment I bought with my next video (and I've got a really fascinating powerpoint presentation where I try to explain a little electrical theory without putting everyone to sleep). I'll answer your question here though:

I started with a kit that came with the wires you're asking about. The solar panels have those short (2 or 3 feet) wires that end with what's called an MC4 connector. The wires have the MC4 connector on one end, and a bare wire on the other. The MC4 is a weatherproof, snap-on connector.

For the second panel, I had to get the MC4-tipped cables separately. From browsing YouTube, it looks like you can save some money by buying the connectors alone and splicing them onto a wire. I didn't feel like messing with this.

I got all my stuff on Amazon. Here's the list:

u/mrCloggy · 1 pointr/AskElectronics

Further down on that solar charger's page:
Voltage: DC 12V / 24V
Self-consuming: 10MA
Rated Charge Current: 20A
Rated Load Current: 20A

>Over charge:
Protection: 14.4V / 28.8V
Floating charge: 13.5V / 27V
Recover: 13.2V / 26.4V

>Over discharge:
Protection: 10.8V / 21.6V

Those 14.4V and 10.8V work nicely for lead-acid, it should work for LiFePO4, but Li-ion might be a big problem.

Those 200-300 charge cycles you mentioned could happen if you have a small battery (low Ah) that is drained to (below) 80% DOD (depth of discharge), basically if you double the battery's 'Ah'-size, the DOD drops to 40%, and cycle life doubles to 600.

A simple calculation, if you go to you'll find about 63 kWh/kWp during december (Fresno, CA), 2 kWh/day, your 72W LED-strip (at 70% battery efficiency) for 4 hours needs 400Wh, the panel size should be 400Wh/2kWh=200Wp (two of these in parallel?)

Those LED-strips: 72W per 5 meter?, if you look carefully you'll see you can cut them in 3-LED sections (individual LEDs are 4.2V, three in series for a 12V supply, all the 3-LED sections are wired in parallel), and with careful soldering or possibly special connectors you can make shorter low-power sections yourself, or buy a 'remote controller' (as offered on those links) to reduce brightness/energy-use.

That brightness control is done using PWM (pulse width modulation), for bulls-eye practice you probably want a constant high(-ish) intensity, when hunting cardboard vultures and plastic crocodiles you can also use an Arduino-type to (remotely) program whatever sequence to make life a bit more challenging for the hunters.

u/jayrady · 1 pointr/solar

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel

u/DStoo · 1 pointr/AskElectronics

> two 100W panels

Dimensions: 47 X 21.3 X 1.4 In

You're not going to mount those on the top of a station wagon.

u/ushutuppicard · 1 pointr/SolarDIY

another thing... i looked at the renogy panel description and it says this:
Diodes are pre-installed in junction box and a pair of 31-inch cables with MC4 connectors comes with the panel automatically

so from my research, it really seems like the diodes which would bypass the entire panels... for when wired in series... would go in the junction boxes... essentially bypassing the entire panel if the previous panel was pushing more power? maybe? and that there would be no other real purpose for a diode in this location... so they already have bypass diodes?

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/mexico
u/sexislikepizza69 · 1 pointr/OffGrid

So if I understand you correctly I can buy the product you linked as well as a solar panel such as this one

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel

And I should be fine for making let's say 10 margaritas a day for a week (assuming my solar panel is in the sun all day)?

Also does 288kh mean that, on a full charge, it will be able to power anything up to 288 watts for an hour before running out of juice (assuming it's not hooked to the solar panel)?

u/uncoolcat · 1 pointr/mildlyinteresting

The solar panel in the photo looks a lot like a Renogy 12v 100 watt solar panel. You would need a minimum of 3 of those 100 watt panels along with a decent battery bank and sizable power inverter to power that refrigerator 24/7 while maintaining a fairly cool temperature inside of the fridge.

source - assuming "average use" for the fridge

u/Minivan2016 · 1 pointr/teslamotors

> fortune

It would only cost you a fortune if you have to buy them. If you are Tesla and you are making those packs IN HOUSE then the cost will be much less. Plus easier to maintain them with your own experience staff. Tesla could essentially run a fully autonomous semi company and rip in huge profits moving items of all kinds around. Another thing is that semis+their vessels are very long and wide. Long and wide is perfect for solar panels. If they are fully autonomous and run all day long the sun could help out by some degree from continously charging. The more length and width the more solar panels you can place.


  • Looks like the trailer by itself is 53' feet long

  • What is the average length of a tractor trailer? |
  • A: The interior dimensions of a 53-foot trailer are 630 inches x 102 inches x 110 inches (length x width x height).

    Here is a 100 watt solar panel:
  • Product Dimensions 47 x 1.4 x 21.3 inches

    So that is 47 inches long. 630÷47=13.4 So you'd be able to fit 13 and a half 100 watt panels on top. That is 1350 watts per hour. width of the solar panel is 21 inches. 102÷21= 4.8 So that is 4.8 rows of 13 and a half solar panels. I'm not the best at math but that would give you 1350×4.8=6480 watts per hour. That is almost 6.4k watts

    Plus also this is just using a regular home solar panel. Tesla could make a more specialized panel that utilizes the space better with less losses. They could do so many more things to specialize the panel and therefore get more solar power out of it. So that 6.4k watts per hour figure could increase perhaps as high as 8.0k watts per hour or maybe more?

    This is with out even taking the trailer truck portion into consideration (Where the driver used to be. Remember Autonomous.) Plus also you have the SIDES of the trailer though those won't be as effective as the top due to angle, but can still be used. I wouldn't be surprised if you could get 12.0k watts per hour through solar power with a trailer. Perhaps even higher like 15.0k watts.

    Sure it won't keep the trailer moving indefinitely, BUT it should increase the range of the trailer by some degree. Again if they could reach a figure like 10.0k watts in solar power per hour it should definitely help with the range of the trailer.

    I am bad at math I did mess it up
u/krustyy · 1 pointr/vandwellers

If cost is an issue, I'd suggest a crappy solar setup just to keep lights and fans going. There's also some DIY methods to greatly increase the efficiency of your cooler. With a highly efficient cooler and enough access to refill your ice there's not a lot of need to invest in a proper mobile refrigerator.

For some quick and dirty solar:

If you need more than 45W of power, add one of these buggers:

You can tie it into your current vehicle battery or split it up and get a dedicated battery or two for your power needs.

u/buddhra · 0 pointsr/solar

Here's another option for a peltier cooler A/C.

250W peltier cooler - $30 -

3 100W 12V solar panels - $415 -

2 heat sinks and fans - $26 -

add some wire and some mounting odds and ends - $100

So for around $500 you mount this little contraption in a window with the cold heat sink on the inside and the hot heat sink on the outside. When the sun starts shining, the panels will start powering the fans and peltier and you can enjoy that sweet solar A/C.

Of course, a peltier is only about 10% efficient, so it's only going to move about 25W or 85 BTU/hr, but it's free energy right!

u/00fruit · -2 pointsr/teslamotors

I am going off the top selling panels on Amazon. Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel 47 x 21.3 inches