WHAT CAN A 50-WATT SOLAR PANEL POWER?

WHAT CAN A 50-WATT SOLAR PANEL POWER?

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Solar energy promises clean, green, and cheap electricity for us to power everything from a basic single lightbulb up to even using it in industrial applications. The need for electrical power is an essential part of modern society. Here, we will see what basic appliances of daily life can be run using a 50-watt solar panel.

A 50-watt solar panel can run many basic household appliances without interruption. You can run mobile chargers, LED bulbs, DC-power fans, and LED TVs. With common DC fans, you can even run two LED bulbs—as well as a mobile charger or internet router—enabling you to sit back and enjoy your free and clean electricity.

By adding a solar charge controller into the equation, you can also charge 20Ah batteries with your 50-watt solar panel, and you can run the same electrical load during times when the sun is not present, such as in overcast weather conditions or during the nighttime. Similarly, stored energy can be used as backup power for your basic necessities like mobile charging, internet routers, lightning through the use of LED bulbs, and watching entertainment programs on your LED TV. 

Details regarding power generation and calculations for consumption of these systems is discussed briefly but in-detail in the following subsections.

How Much Power Does a 50-Watt Solar Panel Generate?

First, we need to look at how much energy a 50-watt solar panel can generate.

On average throughout the year, the sun shines at its brightest for 5.5 hours per day even though you will still see it visible in the sky for more hours than this. It’s this peak brightness that is essential for generating power, especially for charging up solar panels and other solar-powered devices.

For a 50-watt solar panel, on average, it generates around 300 watt hours (50 W x 5.5 hrs = 275 Wh) of energy daily. This energy is more than enough to run the daily basic appliances that are necessities for most individuals.

Let’s now look over the different categories and examples of energy-consuming devices that can run without interruption and for minimal cost on a 50-watt solar panel.

AppliancesNumber and Rating
Battery1 x 20Ah (charging)
LED Bulb6 x 7-watt (for 6 hours)
Mobile Charger5 x 10-watt (for 6 hours)
DC FanLED Bulb1 x 30-watt 2 x 7-watt
DC FanLED BulbMobile Charger1 x 30-watt 1 x 7-watt 1 x 10-watt
LED TVInternet Router/Mobile Charger1 x 21-inch 1

Charging Batteries using Solar Panel

The output of a solar panel is direct current (DC), and batteries store and provide output in DC form as well. So, we can charge easily a battery with a solar panel without having much lost in conversion. One thing you will definitely need to invest in is a charge controller for charging batteries though; these controllers help to keep the voltage within the safe limits of your batteries.

If there is 20Ah battery which operates at 12 volts DC, it has a total energy of around 240 Wh (12V x 20Ah = 240Wh). As we have seen that a 50-watt solar panel can give an output of around 300 Wh, this means that one can charge fully a 20Ah battery with this type of solar panel with no problem.

This type of battery can be used at night for running LED bulbs, security lights, or even a small streetlight. During the day, individuals can charge these batteries with their solar panel and have that stored electrical energy at night to use, free of cost.

Lighting with a 50-Watt Solar Panel

We can have interruption-free and free-of-charge lighting during the day even without using batteries. LED-based lighting is very popular these days as it generates light with minimum power consumption. A 7-watt LED light is commonly used in place of standard 60-watt incandescent light bulbs to save power and provide the same effect.

With a 50-watt solar panel, you can run 6 LED bulbs of 7 watts each with no problem. LED lighting typically runs on DC power, but most common household appliances run on AC power. With this being a significant concern, to accommodate LED bulbs alongside your existing wiring, the DC power from your solar panel will need to be converted to AC power; then, to run an LED bulb, it will again need to be converted to DC form. This process of multiple conversions will unfortunately result in power losses.

The best solution is to directly use the power from your 50-watt solar panel to run your LED bulbs with an additional device in between to keep the voltage on a constant and consistent level, such as a voltage regulator or a charge controller. By using this method, there will be minimum losses, and you can run 6 LED bulbs of 7 watts each as well to brighten your home.

Mobile Charging

An average mobile charging session takes around 10-12 watts of power to fully charge a phone. On a sunny day, you can charge five phones at same time on a 50-watt solar panel. If a phone takes about one hour to charge to its full capacity, then this means that you can charge five phones five times each during the whole day.

Similarly, you can also charge one of the common, mobile-charging, pocket power banks. It takes, on average, 15Wh for 3 hours to fully charge a power bank, so by using different combinations in what you choose to hook up, you can charge three phones as well as a pocket power bank at the same time on a 50-watt solar panel.

The problem here is the same as what was discussed earlier: mobile chargers have circuits that convert AC power to DC power to charge your devices. So, if we use a voltage regulator that directly converts the output of a 50-watt solar panel to 5 volts, we can save some of the power losses that would otherwise occur during the conversion of AC to DC and DC back to AC again.

DC Fans

Common older household fans take around 80-100 watts of power to run at their full speeds. However, there are also DC fans available on the market that run at the same speed, yet they do so by consuming just 30 watts of energy. These have a DC motor in them, and you can easily run these directly from your solar panels without any need for a device to serve as a buffer or converter in between the solar panel and fan.

When you run a DC fan on a 50-watt solar panel, you can additionally run two LED bulbs as well. You could also choose to run one LED bulb while charging up a mobile battery bank. So, for a single person sitting in a room, a 50-watt solar panel could easily run their fan, a bulb for lighting, and power up their mobile charger. That’s all a man needs nowadays anyway, isn’t it?

LED TVs

LED TVs are an important part of today’s modern lives. They are either used for cable television purposes, multimedia, or gaming. You should be amazed to learn that you can even run an LED TV (up to 32 inches) on 50-watt solar panel—and without interruption, too. For LED TVs with smaller screen sizes, you can additionally power internet routers, mobile chargers, or a single LED bulb alongside your TV as well for added comfort and convenience.

Final Words

Solar panels provide you with free and green electrical energy. With a 50-watt solar panel, you can easily run almost all of your basic necessary appliances. Again, here are some of the possible combinations to meet your needs:

See Also:
Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Portable Power Station Review
How Many Solar Panels are Required to Run a 5 Ton AC Unit
What Size Charge Controller Works for a 200W Solar Panel
Running Cold: Can a 100W Solar Panel Run a Refrigerator?

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