A 30-watt solar panel is a basic and small-sized solar panel. It’s perfect for DIY projects for beginners when using a small capacity battery. A single 30-watt module will be around 24 inches in length by 13.8 inches in width with a depth of 0.7 inches. This module will also weigh just under 4lbs.
Some 30-watt solar panels have been customized to be foldable and portable with 5v USB outputs that can be used to recharge phones and tablets. This panel will have a more compact size (11.18 × 7.68× 1.57 inches folded or 33.76 × 11.18× 0.8 inches when opened)
A rigid module will have an Aluminum frame around the Panel. The Panel will be behind an EVA film protected with low iron tempered. On the back is a white TPT backsheet.
While this solar panel might not seem useful to those who plan to live off the grid or have a large off-grid cabin, it actually has an application. Different sizes of solar panel chargers come with their own specifications and can be used for different things.
In this article, we will examine a 30-watt solar panel charger.
What can a 30-watt Solar Panel Run?
A 30-watt Solar panel has various applications including battery charging and powering some small 12-volt devices. It can be used for charging car, RV, and boat batteries.
It can also power low voltage electric fences and gate openers. It can also be used to run the lights in a home through a battery as it can provide sufficient charge to run 5w LED lights throughout the night.
How many Amps does a 30-watt Solar Panel produce?
Solar panels collect and convert sunlight into electricity. They are made up of photovoltaic cells, which are made of semiconductor materials like silicon.
When the sun’s rays hit the solar panel, they knock electrons loose from the atoms in the silicon solar cells. The electrons flow through the material to metal conductors on the other side of the cell, creating an electric current.
An Amp (unit of measurement) is the amount of electricity that flows through a conductor. A 30-watt solar panel can produce up to 1.67 Amps in peak conditions. This means it can produce more than 8 amps in a day or 5 hours of sun hours.
What Battery for a 30-watt Solar Panel?
Battery capacity is measured in Amp-hours. Amp-hours is the measure of a battery’s capacity to deliver current. It is usually expressed as a unit of time, such as hours, or as a unit of charge, such as Coulombs.
While 1.67 is not enough to fully recharge a 100 Ah battery but it can be useful as a trickle charger helping the battery not to die when it’s not in use.
It can however fully recharge a 7Ah Battery that is used in Alarm Systems, Medical Devices, and lighting. However, if you intend to use this solar panel with a battery you must use a charge controller.
What Size Charge Controller for 30-watt Solar Panel
A Charge Controller is a device that regulates the flow of electricity from a solar panel to a battery. It is used to prevent overcharging of the batteries, which can damage them.
A Charge Controller will also protect the batteries from being discharged too much, which can also damage them.
A 12/24V PWM 5-amp Solar Charge Controller will be enough protection for your battery.
A PWM charge controller is a type of electronic control unit that regulates the charging of batteries or accumulators. It does this by varying the width of the pulses that control the current flowing into the battery.
The advantage of a PWM charge controller over a linear charge controller is that it is much more efficient, often wasting less than 10% of the power that flows through it as compared to 30-40% for a linear charge controller.
How to Use a 30-watt Solar Panel
A 30-watt solar panel should be easy to install. You can drill holes in the back some solar panels come with pre-drilled holes that can be easily mounted on your shed, car or RV.
Some panels in the market come with a mounting bracket that you can use to mount on the ground or hang on trees outdoors.
An adjustable bracket will allow you to face the panels towards direct sunlight for maximum efficiency.
If your battery is far from your Solar panel, ensure a wire but 10ft is more than enough as using a longer wire will increase losses.
Recommended 30 Watt Solar Panel
Suner Power solar panels are made of high-efficiency solar cells, tempered glass, heavy aluminum frames, and IP65 rated waterproof junction boxes. Rugged enough to handle the toughest environmental conditions, the solar panels are built for at least 10 years.
Compatible with multiple mounting brackets, they come with a plug-and-play SAE connector kit, making installation easy and virtually maintenance-free.