Solar batteries are batteries that are charged using energy that they get from solar panels. The solar panels on solar batteries or solar blankets attached to batteries harness the heat and radiation from the sun and convert it to energy. This kind of technology is easy to access, cost-effective - especially after your initial set-up - and clean. Although there are different kinds of solar batteries with different applications and specifications, the most advanced solar battery design can store energy gathered during a sunny day to be used when the weather is cloudy or at night.
These may be large, expensive and some are only for home use. Others can just provide added energy during the day to power up your basic, or not so basic, outdoor needs, such as your fridge. For those who are keen to go off-grid and get back to nature, solar batteries are a perfect accompaniment to outdoor adventures – be they caravan, camping or 4WD. Solar batteries can also provide backup energy to supplement your other RV batteries or replace a noisy and smelly generator.
What should I look for when buying solar batteries?
When looking to buy your solar set-up, you’ll need to think about how you’ll use the solar battery set-up and how to get maximum efficiency. First, you’ll need to work out the amp ratings of each appliance and other extras you want to use your solar batteries to power. To do this, you’ll need to convert the wattage of the items to amps. How long you run each item will be important to think about too. For example, you might run the fridge 24/7, but the lights only for a few hours at night, so getting your consumption right is important. Portable batteries are going to provide less amp hours than in-vehicle or hard-wired ones. AGM batteries are a reliable choice from the range of lead-acid batteries available.
The solar panels are also going to be taken into consideration. The higher the wattage of the solar panel, the quicker they will charge your battery, so that’s something to look for if you want a faster charge turnaround. Also, some days are not sunny, so you might want to ensure that your solar panels can balance out that reduction in output. It’s also important to ensure that the inverter you are using has enough power to supply the equipment you want to run on it.
How to instal a solar battery?
For a simple setup of your solar batteries, put your solar panels outside, angle them towards the sun, and connect them to your deep cycle batteries. However, a battery box and a solar regulator can make your solar battery set up more efficient and useful. In short, there isn’t any installation required – it’s a set and go situation, so you can even leave the battery to charge up at your campsite while you head out for the day. This is a great start for enough capacity for a car fridge or radio, for example.
A more complicated system that will allow you to run an even wider range of equipment and appliances will require an inverter. Inverters change power sources from a direct current (DC) to an alternating current (AC). Essentially, it converts a 12-volt connection to 240 volts. This gives the performance and convenience of a power socket to provide electricity like you have at home while on the road. This also means that appliances that don’t accept 12-volt power can be used easily. Overall, what does this mean? It means coffee, anywhere.
However, solar panels can also be permanently installed on your caravan or RV. Having fixed panels to charge your solar batteries is safer as a set-up left at a campsite is easy to steal. Furthermore, as space is always at a premium in any outdoor adventure setup, permanently installing solar panels on your vehicle can save space that a portable set-up would take up. A key issue is to remember to use the appropriate wires and cables for the total current that will be drawn from your solar panels. Also, you’re going to need all the gear; battery, regulator and inverter. Finally, it’s important to install the items to function best and space for their size. The panels need to be where they can access the most sun but won’t get damaged, and the solar regulator should be placed near the battery, for example.
What are the uses of solar batteries?
For the outdoor enthusiast, solar batteries provide power to the campsite wherever you go. They can save you money as you don’t need to pay for a powered campsite, and they can allow you to camp anywhere. In short, they provide flexibility and freedom, which is what it’s all about.
At Outbax, we have a range of solar batteries and other batteries such as trolling motor batteries, boat batteries, marine batteries and golf cart batteries with great offers and delivery across Australia.