How Long Can a Solar Generator Run a TV

A solar generator can keep your lights on and keep your appliances running while off-grid. A TV is great for entertainment and keeps you connected to what is going on in the world. 

The amount of power used by a TV depends on the size, features, and type of display. A 32-inch LED tv will need around 40 watts to run. 

We take you through how to choose a solar generator for a TV and how to calculate the run time for your solar generator. 

What Size Solar Generator for a TV?

To get the right size solar generator for an appliance you need to match the inverter rating of the solar generator to the appliance.

To run a 40-watt TV you can use the smallest solar generator available;  a 300-watt 250Wh solar generator. 

How Long Will a 300-watt Solar Generator Run a TV?

Electrical energy is measured in watt-hours, which is calculated by multiplying the wattage of the device by the number of hours it will be used. 

For example, if you have a 30-watt TV and want to use it for 5 hours, you will need 150-watt hours (Wh) of energy. 

A 300-watt solar generator has a 24v 12Ah battery. With a lithium-ion battery, you can pull 100% of the battery in an hour. This means you can operate at a max of 12 amps at a voltage of around 21V. Hence the 250Wh rating. 

If you like to calculate the working times for tv you can use the following formula:

Working Time =  Solar Generator Watt-hours x 0.85/ operating power of the device 

You’ll multiply the Watt-hours of the device by 0.85 because of system losses. This is due to the wiring, DC-AC conversion, and efficiency. 

For example to get the working time for a 30-watt tv

= (250 x 0.85)/30 

=  7.08 hrs

So 250 Watt-hours is enough to run the Tv for 7 hours

How Long will the 300-watt solar generator last with a 100-watt solar panel?

A 12Ah 24V battery will need 3 amps of DC power to charge. A 100-watt Solar panel can provide 3 amps to charge the battery in around four hours. This will depend on the availability of sunlight. 4 hours of sunlight in an ideal situation should provide 400Wh enough to recharge the solar generator.

With the 100-watt solar panel, you can continually support the tv without using capacity from the solar generator.  

With the addition of the solar panel, you can potentially run the TV for twice the running time of 14 hours. 

Conclusion and Recommendation 

A lithium-ion battery will be better than a LiFePO4 battery in the case of a small solar generator. A lithium-ion type that is similar to the batteries in our phones recharges much quicker and will allow you to run more things from the solar generator. 

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