I Want a Solar Panel Kit That Can Run a Space Heater for a Few Hours When the Power Goes Out?

If the power is never going out for more than a few hours, what you really want is a little portable gas-powered generator. For the kind that you just occasionally use, the price will be low, maybe even $100 or less on craigslist, if you shop. If you wait until January, the people who got one for Christmas but do not want it will put theirs up for sale. If all you really wanted was heat, and are not concerned about running lights or computers, then you could get a portable kerosene heater, or even burn wood in a fireplace, if you have one.

1. Can I hook up a Solar Panel to a car battery? Does it matter the kind of car battery?

well the thing to remember just like any rechargeable battery they don;t respond well to continues charging they need some down time to discharge and then recharge. during the charging process the liquid or battery solution get hot and even evaporates. Replacing the battery solution with water wo not work when your battery has lost it's solution you need to get battery acid replacement or battery repair solution. this is sold in many location near where the batteries are sold. check your spec for your solar panel out put and take those specification to your local auto store and they might even suggest an over sized battery. you might consider adding an additional battery in series for additional power storage. you might also using a light sensor and cut off switch solenoid which which stop charging or which would also stop and current from returning back to the panel. if you have every own a small car the battery is much smaller than that of a pick up. be sure that you do not get the small battery look for a large heavy duty battery all sold in the same store.

2. How much power can one expect from a Solar Panel?

Hey Lib, I will make a couple of assumptions here for your question, mainly that you have a 12 volt battery, and you are talking about a sunny day. A 12 volt nominal solar panel is normally wired with 36 cells, each developing 1/2 volt, so that gives you 18 volts maximum. This is a normal starting voltage for charging a 12 volt battery, some of the voltage is lost in wiring and charge controlling, and the battery voltage has to creep up toward 15 volts during charge anyway, this is why car alternators are normally set at 14.8 volts or so. Take your panels watt rating, and divide it by the maximum voltage, 100 divided by 18 = 5.5 amps. On a normal sunny day in the midwest for example, if you put the panel in the sun facing south, you should get the equivalent of 6 hours of direct sun. This happens because the sun comes up in the east, shining through a large cross section of atmosphere, and hitting the panel at a sharp angle, so only about 10 to 20% or its rated power is available. By noon, it is at 100%, and by 7pm, back to maybe 10% or so. Over the course of the day, the average is roughly the same as about 6 hours of direct noon time sun. So 5.5 amps X 6 hours = 33 amp hours. Most flooded lead acid batteries, in good or new condition convert around 92% of this power to chemical charge, so figure maybe 30 amp hours, on a good clear sunny day for a 100 watt panel. If you are looking at a 6 volt battery, the amp hours are twice as much, for a 24 volt battery, half as much, assuming you are using a proper voltage solar panel for the battery bank. We have a 50 watt panel here charging our 12 volt battery bank, and on a good day we see around 12 to 16 amp hours, so I would expect your 100 watt panel to do around 30 amp hours for a 12 volt system. Hope these numbers make sense to you. Take care, Rudydoo

3. What do I need to use a solar panel to charge a deep cycle battery?

You will need a voltage regulator to prevent prevent overcharging the battery and consequent damage

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