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Solar Panels and Solar Battery Chargers

Updated on May 14, 2009

Solar Energy

Although, solar power has not taken off as well as it may in the future, there has been great advancements in solar technology, and by harnessing solar energy, we can easily replace electricity, fossil fuels, and gas as our main sources of energy.

Solar energy is a great source of energy so that homeowners can not only save money on their power bills, but save natural resources. Being able to save money, is enough reason that many people are switching to various solar powered panels to heat water and air in homes and small offices.

Even if you just opt to keep a few solar powered battery chargers around the house, they can be great options to have on hand for when the power goes out, as they are able to store the energy.

Just make sure that you are aware of how the solar panels and chargers work, and what the potential pros and cons are, as even things that have a good purchase will have a disadvantage to it.

Solar Panels

Solar panels collect and harness the energy from the sun and its rays using photovoltaic cells, or solar PV, so that they can function at night and on cloudy days. The power that the solar panels harness is a direct current, but the panels can't convert the current into an alternate current. They also can't use previously received energy.

You will need a converter in order to ensure that the direct current is channeled through the inverter in order to create the current. Generally, the solar panel converter will be included in the solar panel kit, but if not the same company will offer a converter that you can purchase.

Benefits of Using Solar Panels

Before you opt to use solar energy and purchase solar panels for your home, you should understand the potential benefits from switching to solar energy.

By using the solar panels and harnessing solar energy for use in the solar powered battery chargers, you are using a source of energy that does not emit any harmful chemicals or pollutants into the air. Now, pollutants are emitted during the manufacturing process, transport, and installation of the larger solar panels, but once installed the solar panels do not emit any pollutants.

Installing solar panels will cost you less than if you were to install high voltage wires.

You will save money in the long-run by using solar energy versus the energy from a non-renewable resource.

Disadvantages to Solar Panels

And, at the same time that you understand the advantages and benefits, it's a good thing that you understand the potential problems with switching to solar energy.

The initial startup costs are rather expenesive. You'll have to purchase the panels and the special installation to ensure that the solar panels are connected and working properly.

During bad, cloudy weather and at night when the sun is not shining, the solar panels are not able to produce any energy.

If you live in a highly polluted area, you'll find that solar panels will not work as well as they are meant to because the sun will have a hard time shining as bright and strong through the air pollution.

Solar Battery Chargers

If you were thinking more of a simple route, then you don't necessarily have to outfit your entire roof with solar panels, as it is rather expensive. You can just purchase a small solar panel battery charger to use when the electricity is out and you need a fan to cool you in the blazing summer months or a portable heater during the freezing winter months.

Most of the solar battery chargers use either highly efficient polychristalline cells or ABS plastic and amorphous solar cells to harness the solar energy so that you can use it to power your vehicle, RV, tractor, all terrain vehicle, home, boat, or electric fence, or you can just use it for a back-up and remote power source.

Most of the solar battery chargers are even designed to prevent discharge at night and during cloudy days.

Basically, the solar panel harnesses the energy from the sun, converts it to electricity, and stores the electricity in the battery so that you can use it to power your electronics. Depending on the solar battery charger that you're looking at, the output of electricity will generally vary between 40mah per hour and near 200 mah per hour.

The solar battery chargers can take between about 5-20 hours to fully charge, but if you think about it, even 20 hours isn't that bad if you can just leave it in the dashboard of your car or near a window during the day, and then under a flourescent light at night.

The one thing that you want to be leery of is the battery that the solar panel uses to store the electricity. Most of them are lithium ion, which are generally only good for about 500 charges before they need to be replaced, which in reality isn't that bad if you aren't using the solar battery charger on a regular basis. But, when the battery does stop working, it's not replaceable so you'll have to purchase a whole new charger set and trash the old one. And, in this case, you'll have a lithium ion battery and non-biodegradable plastic in the landfill to worry about, and while producing a new solar panel and battery charger, the manufacturing company will produce high amounts of pollution and use a lot of energy.

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      joyce.blue 7 years ago

      Great hub about solar panels. It is true that many people are not into solar power use and missing all the benefits that they could get. But who knows? maybe in the near future many will realize the great use of solar powered devices.

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      Joe Knight 7 years ago

      Those are some cool chargers. Similar to battery trickle chargers.

    • solar.power profile image

      solar.power 8 years ago from Brisbane

      Solar power beats wind power hands down in suburbia

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