Stuff worth knowing about > Opinion > Overcast days can lower your solar panel output to as low a 1 watt a second

Overcast days can lower your solar panel output to as low a 1 watt a second

One of the things I have enjoyed the most with the Safari LT is that it shows numbers for the input and output of energy. What I have learned is that during the overcast and dark days, the Merlin solar panel fluctuates wildly with output. When I think it is too dark to gather energy and it is overcast, it still produces 1 watt a second. For a 100W panel this is amazing with no sun hitting it.

So if you do the math, in an hour you will have 60 watts of energy stored up. I have 2 10 Watt solar lights so even one hour of overcast sky will get me enough energy to charge up my solar lights, iphone and ipad.

However once you get a taste of solar power, you want more. What I have learned is that when I realize that I just need to buy 250 watts of solar panels to charge my 1KW solar generator in 4 hours, then it is an easy decision. I will buy that and I will be thrilled to be able to power my laptops and devices off of that source. What is also tempting is to use solar generators as storage containers or batteries and store as much energy as possible. It is incredible to me to be able to store energy. Yes, I have bought gas but only the car could use that. Now I am able to make something that is so crucial to my daily life. It gives you a great feeling of empowerment to know that you no longer depend on the electrical grid.

Even though both of my large and small solar generator battery were half full, in about 5 hours today they are almost completely filled. I also charged up my devices so I am ready to go. Since tomorrow will be sunny as well I have to think of how I am going to use the extra energy. I might plug it into a laptop for the first time since I have plenty of solar power now. Who knows?

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