Oftentimes, a camping battery would read 100 amps or 100Ah on the label—for instance, a 12V 100Ah battery. But what does this mean? Your battery's amp-hour pertains to its power and longevity. Simply put, this indicates how long your battery will last without recharging. For example, if you're battery is rated 8Ah, it gives you 4 amps in 2 hours, while a 100Ah battery will give you 100 amps in an hour. Here at Outbax, we have 100Ah batteries available for your next adventure, and even a slimline battery version of it if you want something space-savvy.
How Long Will a 100Ah Battery Last?
A lead-acid 12V 100Ah battery usually lasts around 170-190 minutes or 200-900 charging/discharging cycles within a 0.05-0.2C discharge rate. While this is a decent longevity rate, there are better alternatives you could go for especially for off-grid camping, where you won't have access to a mains power. You might want to try a 100 amp lithium battery for this, as it's known for a more modern technology that supplies you with ample battery power for a longer period. A lithium 12V 100Ah battery can withstand 2000-7000 charging/discharging cycles at a 0.1-0.3C discharge level. If converted to time, this would be around 240 minutes. Additionally, if you're going to opt for a lithium battery, make sure it's a 100Ah deep-cycle battery as well like a LiFEPO4. Lithium iron phosphate batteries are known to be long-lasting, plus, it offers extra safety and efficiency features perfect for outdoor use.
What Size Inverter Do I Need For a 100Ah Battery?
Typically, a 100Ah to 125Ah battery can run a 1000W inverter. However, keep in mind that your inverter size really depends on how much load you want to run. If you want to operate a microwave, this could draw 900W to 1200W, so you would need to install an inverter with a minimum of 1500W since this will charge the microwave and leave extra power output for other smaller appliances as well.
When it comes to calculating the amp usage of an inverter, you just need to get its output wattage and divide it by the battery voltage. For example, a 1000W inverter divided by a 12V battery would be 83.33 amps. Another thing to remember is that if you're planning to run a larger inverter load with over 1000 watts, make sure you choose a lithium battery suitable for larger inverters or a system that can be connected in parallel safely, with active balance on both batteries. You can't use a 2000W inverter for batteries connected in parallel, since this will cause a "ping-pong" effect, with the inverter/loads being transferred from one battery to another which will eventually lead to damage.
How Long Does it Take to Charge a 100Ah Lithium Battery Using Solar Panels?
It takes 12.5 to 14 hours on average to fully charge a 100 amp-hour battery with a 100W solar panel if you use a solar charge controller like an MPPT or Maximum Power Point Tracker. This may still change of course, since the efficiency of solar panels is also dependent on weather conditions, battery type, and state of the battery. If you're using a LiFEPO4 with an 80% depth of discharge, it can take up to 20 hours to fully recharge your battery using an MPPT charger as well. While this may take a longer time, deep-cycle batteries are best for camping battery setup or caravan batteries due to their consistent stream of power that lasts significantly longer than any other battery type.
Now, how many 100W solar panels will you need to charge a 100 amp-hour battery faster? Technically, you can reduce your charging time to about 5 hours with two units of 100W solar panels. In case of insufficient sunlight, you might need to add more solar panels with about 20% of watts for 1 hour, which means you will be needing a 240W solar panel in total. This computation was derived by multiplying your battery's amp-hours to the voltage and dividing it by the number of peak sun hours. So if you have a 100Ah 12V lithium battery and 5 maximum sun hours, that would be:
100Ah x 12V = 1200W
1200W/5 = 240W
More from Outbax
Knowing how long and how much your portable battery can provide you with camping power is one of the main steps you should take before going off-grid. Whether you're bringing a 100 amp AGM battery or 100 amp lithium battery with you, make sure that you have properly calculated the appliances you want to run off it, to avoid insufficient power in the middle of camping. Outbax has tons of quality and affordable batteries of different sizes to choose from, and the best part is that everything is done online. You could be looking for batteries in Townsville or batteries in Port Macquarie and we'll have your battery pack delivered to your location. We also have other camping gear available including solar panels, inverter generators, and power stations.