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Old 06-02-2023, 02:08 PM   #1
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New to solar

I bought this panel many years ago. I would like to use it operate a fan and radio. What do I need?
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Old 06-02-2023, 02:14 PM   #2
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I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed. You cannot directly connect a solar panel to a fan or radio.
Solar panel output must be controlled by a charge controller. The charge controller is then connected to a battery. Then you can connect your radio or fan to the battery.

This one panel is not going to operate anything substantial. On a perfect day at solar noon it will produce 120 watts.
Volts times amps equals watts. Realistically this panel will produce about 6-8 amps of charging current to a 12 volt battery for only a few hours per day.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-02-2023, 02:16 PM   #3
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Solar panels don’t work real well running things on “active duty”, because the power being produced fluctuates with the amount of sun. They work much better when you capture the power with a battery. To do that, you’ll need a solar charge controller to convert the voltage from the panel in charge amperage.

Further, are the appliances you described dc or ac powered? If dc powered, you can run them directly from your battery. If ac powered you’ll need an inverter to run them.

Since we don’t know anything about your rig or your appliances, there’s not much more anybody can say that would be useful information for you.
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Old 06-03-2023, 07:43 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

Equipment to be run: satellite radio and 12" dc box fan. Both only run during daylight hours. Panel will be mounted to the roof of my shed in Florida.

I was looking for a recommendation as to what brand / model charge controller is needed.

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Old 06-03-2023, 07:51 AM   #5
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Harbor freight has kits that will do what you need for under $200.
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Old 06-03-2023, 09:07 AM   #6
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It might run without a battery in good sunlight, but when a cloud passes by the fan will slow and the radio might not be happy.
Get a little cheapo 12v battery for the solar to charge, and run the fan/radio off the battery.
I use one of these to charge trolling motor batteries on my boat;
Renogy Voyager 20A 12V/24V PWM Waterproof Solar Charge Controller w/ LCD Display for AGM, Gel, Flooded and Lithium Battery, Used in RVs, Trailers, Boats, Yachts, Voyager 20A https://a.co/d/aX4guL5
And this battery should buffer the cloudy moments;
ML9-12 - 12 Volt 9 AH, F2 Terminal, Rechargeable SLA AGM Battery https://a.co/d/8rG7Zws
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Old 06-04-2023, 03:07 AM   #7
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Agree with other, that for your application. The panel you have is already sufficient. pwm charge controller ($20) paired with a 20ah LiFePo4 battery ($80) will power your stuff and will last practically forever with no maintenance.
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Old 06-04-2023, 06:13 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the info.

battery, change controller and wiring kit for $150.

Or this: https://www.amazon.com/Powered-Water...9VNS1DSZ&psc=1

Solves shed cooling. use ac/dc adapter for radio.:
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Old 06-21-2023, 04:09 PM   #9
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Hi everyone, this looks like the best thread to ask this question. It seems installing solar is a DIY job for many RVers... is it easy enough to do? The quote I got from a solar installer was way out of my budget. Should I give it a go myself or pay the hefty installation fee?
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Old 06-21-2023, 07:16 PM   #10
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Solar charges batteries, that's it.
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Old 06-22-2023, 05:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmackenzie View Post
Hi everyone, this looks like the best thread to ask this question. It seems installing solar is a DIY job for many RVers... is it easy enough to do? The quote I got from a solar installer was way out of my budget. Should I give it a go myself or pay the hefty installation fee?
It depends on if you want permanent panels mounted on the roof, or portable panels that can connect through a sidewall port. It also depends heavily on what kind of rv you have and whether it is equipped with any solar prep options. Youíll have to provide a lot more info on your rig and what kind of solar you are considering in order to get legitimately helpful responses.
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Old 06-23-2023, 04:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmackenzie View Post
Hi everyone, this looks like the best thread to ask this question. It seems installing solar is a DIY job for many RVers... is it easy enough to do? The quote I got from a solar installer was way out of my budget. Should I give it a go myself or pay the hefty installation fee?


If you do the research many can cobble a system together. Are you physically capable to do it? Only you know that.
Will it work? Maybe, depending on your research and what you want it to do.
I did mine in 2017. I donít think I could do it physically today.
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