what can you power with a 10w solar panel
Max power out put of 10W panel is 10W, i.e. if it is a 12v(output voltage 16 or 18v) panel, the current output is around .50Amp maximum.
So what we can do is things like charging a smartphone, power some lights or charge a laptop.
But the main advantage is that you can pack one inside a backpack. Therefore, the best option for travel.
How much power can we get from a 10w solar panel.
While some options are available which you can connect directly to phone(These are usually 5w panels, with inbuilt charge controller.
But those will stop charging your phone the moment Sun goes out. Another disadvantage is that you have to put your phone along with solar panel in sun(or bring a long cable along, so you can put panel under sun and phone in shade).
So in this post, we will find out how much power we can get from a small 10w solar panel. And what are the things we can power with such a panel.
We are assuming that we get 4 Hour of very good sunlight and another 4 hour of low light.
Imagine we have a 7Ah, 12w battery. We are selecting a 12v, 10w panel with an average output current of .45 Amp
Phone chargers are rated around -2w to 15w DC Led bulbs - 5w Laptop - 30w to 90w Can we charge a laptop, phone etc. with 10w panel? What about LED lights?
10w solar panel with 7Ah LI-ion battery.
Best thing about Li ion battery is that they are lightweight & efficient. We can safely discharge these batteries upto 80 to 90% of charge.
Usable Energy available from 12v Li ion battery without using inverter
Total power - 12v * 7 Ah = 84
Maximum depth of discharge - 80%
Maximum power usable from battery approx- 65Wh.
Now using above information we can calculate amount of time we can use for each item by deviding it with watt rating of light, fan etc.
For example in this case for a 5w LED light will work for - 67Wh/5 Watt = Around 13 hours.
Only for light - 5w bulb for around - 13 hours, two 5w bulbs each 6 hours, one 10w light for 6.5 hours etc
A 5w phone charger can be used to charge for around 2 times(if it get fully charged in 6 hour). Or
A 40w laptop can be charged one time/just enough charge to get by).
10w solar panel with 7Ah lead acid battery.
Lead acid battery is not good for travel because of weight, but it is an option if you are staying in one place for long time. In this very low backup requirement of 7Ah, price difference between li ion & lead acid is very low.
Anyway, let’s see how much power a 7ah lead acid battery can provide along with 10w Solar panel.
Usable Energy available from 12v Deep cycle lead acid battery without using inverter
Total power - 12v * 7 Ah = 84
Maximum depth of discharge - 60%
Maximum power usable from battery - 40Wh.
Only for light - 5w bulb for around - 8 hours, two 5w bulbs each 4 hours, one 10w light for 4 hours etc
A 10w phone charger can be used to charge for around 1 times(if it get fully charged in 4 hour).
A 40w laptop can be charged one time partially, but old laptops with more power consumption will struggle to get charged.