The Gardeners World range of Solar Panels offers you various methods of harnessing the power of solar energy, the eco-friendly energy of the future. Solar Panels work by collecting energy from direct sunlight via a photo voltaic cell, a type of semiconductor that converts sunlight into energy. You can then power light, heating equipment and electrical devices without the need for pesky wiring, cables and other such encumbrances. A Solar Panel contains no chemicals and is a cost-effective and efficient way of reducing your carbon footprint. The extent to which you can power equipment in your garden depends on the wattage of your panel. You can use two or more panels in conjunction, fixed perhaps to the roof of a greenhouse in order to provide more solar energy. Multiply the wattage of each individual electrical device by the number of hours you expect to use them each day. That combined number will be your benchmark, or the bare minimum your system must be able to generate. You need to know how much energy your battery can store and then select a solar panel that can replenish your ‘stock’ of energy in the battery in line with your pattern of use.
Solar Panel battery capacity is measured in Amp Hours or AH. You need to convert this to Watt Hours by multiplying the AH figure by the battery voltage. For a 17AH, 12V battery the Watt Hours figure is 17 x 12 = 204WH. This means the battery could supply 204W for 1 hour, or 102W for 2 hours. The more energy you harness, the faster the battery discharges. The power consumption is indicated in Watts. To calculate the energy you will use over time, just multiply the power consumption by the hours of use. The 13W light fitting, on for 2 hours, will take 13 x 2 = 26WH from the battery. Repeat this for all the appliances you wish to use, then add the results to establish total consumption.
The power generation rating of a Solar Panel is also indicated in Watts. To calculate the energy it can supply to the battery, multiply Watts by the hours exposed to sunshine, then multiply the result by 0.85 (this factor allows for natural system losses). For a Solar 10W panel in 4 hours of sunshine, 10 x 4 x 0.85= 34WH. This is the amount of energy the Solar panel can supply to the battery.
As well as a broad selection of Solar Panels, in this section of Gardener's World you will also find useful accessories including mounts, cables, stands and bonding agents. Whether you required a free-standing/temporary panel or a more permanent fixture, you are sure to find something to meet your requirements.
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