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How Solar Panels Work

how solar panels work

A solar panel is a device made up of silicone cells. These are then fixed inside an aluminum frame, or for Marine use vacuumed formed onto a semi flexible board made out of metal or plastic.

No solar panel can store power; it creates power when in daylight, then sends electricity to a leisure battery which is 12 or 24 volts.

All our solar panels, unlike some, have a blocking diode built into the back which stops the panel drawing power back from the battery when it is dark.

Please remember, when using a solar panel over 20-watts you must use a regulator/charge controller box. These are relatively cheap and will stop your battery becoming over charged when it has reached full capacity.

12 volt batteries can range from 15amps to over 200amps, although the average leisure battery maybe around 100amps.

Most solar panels will have information on the back saying how much power output they have.

Solar panels meant for leisure batteries will be classed as 12-volt but may put out over 20-volts when in bright sunlight. Don’t worry, as this won’t cause damage.

If you take a standard 100 - 150amp leisure battery and only need to keep it topped up when not in use, we would recommend use of a 30-watt solar panel. However, if you are planning on using appliances for at least two days without connecting them to mains electricity, that’s when you should opt for a more powerful solar panel.

In most cases, if you have two or more leisure batteries, we suggest users to have one/two 80-Watts+ panels, which should keep your battery(s) topped up fine for optimum use.