Field Testing My Portable Solar Kit Off the Grid - #OffTheGrid
I decided to document the charge time of my battery today to help provide some insight into those that are considering a deep cycle AGM battery and solar panels for off the grid boondocking. The test was conducted on a mostly sunny morning with full view of the sky (no obstructions). Even the slightest amount of shade has huge impacts on the productivity of your system.
While off the grid, I use electricity to run my Jobo to develop films in my Sprinter van, run a fan if I am hot, charge up my laptop, portable WiFi unit, and so on. I have low power LED lights that I use for reading at night and I run a small refrigerator too.
My battery was at about 75% capacity when I connected my 120W portable solar panel for charging. I wanted a realistic test, so I turned on my pure sine wave A/C inverter and ran my TV while charging. I have written another article about how to interpret your battery voltage that you also may want to review.
GoPower 120W Portable Solar PanelsI started at 8:35AM at 12.3 volts. By 9:00AM the battery voltage was teetering between 12.5 and 12.6 and by 9:15 it was at 12.7. Then at 9:32 the battery was at 12.8 and at 9:35, exactly one hour into the charge the battery was at 12.9 fully charged.
My portable solar panel is about 32″ x 40″ when fully extended and half that size when folded in the carrying case. I absolutely love my solar panel and deep cycle battery.
Let’s break down the above testing data and make the information useful. Here are some observations that I take away from the test:
I look forward to your comments below.
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