Re: Solar power
- I lived on a sailboat in the Florida Keys for a few years and had a
solar panel rated by the factory at 4.8 amps also rated at 75 watts.
When I installed the panel I put a 0-6 amp meter in line so I could
tell when to change the tilt for more efficiency etc. Well, after
about 10 o'clock the amp meter was pegged solid. I called the factory
to ask what gives and they told me that each panel was actually
measured after construction to give its rating as the cells themselves
and the variations in manufacturing effects the output. It was
measured at their factory which was somewhere in the midwest. I was
getting much more sun energy in the Keys than they did where they were
which was why my 6 amp meter was pegged. The difference between laying
flat and being tilted early and late in the day was about 11/2-2 amps
which said another way was a 25-30% increase in efficiency. My panel
measured about 2'x4' and was mounted on a goal post sticking up from
the transom of the boat. We lived very simply and it supplied all we
needed and save running the diesel to charge the batteries ( 2-85AH).
Also you will note that a solar panel will put out as much as 16-17
volts so don't think of it as just 12 volts, it isn't. Good Luck.