The Introduction To Ten Things About Solar Power You May Not – Part 2

By   October 31, 2015

Solar PowerWe recently discussed how the need to have a complete understanding about how solar chargers and solar panels can be used to provide power, you must consider how is power produced and how power is consumed. What is needed is a balance between the volume of solar power produced and the volume of solar power needed.

Continuing with this series on solar power, today we’re going to discuss in more detail about the Balance of Power when it comes to solar power.

The Balance of Power

Before you get all excited and hyped about going green with solar power by installing solar panels, you probably should be aware of a few things.  Solar panels are not capable of running many of the things you use today, including the computer you’re reading this article on.

One of the first things you need to understand about solar power is that a Five Watt solar panel along cannot run a notebook computer. Nor can it run a twenty-five Watt lamp after dark for an hour. And you won’t be able to heat your home with a solar electric panel during the winter either.

Yes, you read that right. Solar panels will not be able to power your computer. Solar panels will not be able to run your air conditioning or refrigerator. So why are you even bothering to go with solar power at home if you can’t utilize any of your day-to-day things?

Let’s review the purpose of solar panels first. Solar panels are an important thing to have when you’re in a remote location that needs a portable power system, aka solar power. It acts as a generator so-to-speak. While there is daylight getting to the solar panel, power will be produced. However, a solar panel will not produce enough solar power to directly power very many devices. A solar panel needs to be a part of a more inclusive system.

Ideal For Small Things Requiring Lower Power

Solar chargers and solar panels that create collect the solar power are best for small devices that are battery driven, like cameras, GPS receivers, laptops, mp3 players, satellite phones, etc. But the things that take a big surge of power, like heaters, need a lot of solar panels – a lot of them. A good way to determine if you can run an item on solar power would be to ask yourself if you can run that item with your car battery. If the answer is now, then you probably can’t depend on solar power either.

Will Solar Power Do It Or Not?

In the beginning of this piece we said that a laptop computer cannot be run on a solar panel. But then we said a laptop computer can be powered by one. Well that’s confusing huh? What we mean is that five Watts of solar power will ‘power’ a large device such as a notebook computer: for a short time every day if the solar panel has stored enough power in a battery pack while the battery is used to power up the notebook. This means that your laptop’s solar charging and solar powering is happening at the same time.