More and more people are looking for ways to reduce their energy bills, especially during these tough economic times. One solution, for those who live in area that have plenty of sunshine, is to install solar panels. Government incentives and reduced prices have made this a viable option for many householders. Yet this solution isn’t for everybody. If your current energy consumption isn’t that high then it might take a very long time for the savings to pay off. But there is another option – inexpensive solar chargers.
Economical solar chargers are an ideal solution for reducing energy costs. They use solar panels to harness the energy of the sun to charge batteries which can then be used to power such things as laptop PCs, pumps, satellite dishes, RVs, or anything that can run off a large battery.
There are all kinds of reasons and advantages to using solar chargers:
- Save the environment by using a renewable source of energy
- Reduce your energy bills
- Leave less of a carbon footprint
The following are the key components for an entire solar charging system:
- Solar panels – collects energy from the sun
- Charge controller – manages how the panels charge the battery, preventing overcharging or discharging
- Battery – stores the energy for later use. This is typically a deep cycle 12V battery.
- DC to AC inverter – allows you to power AC applicances
Sunforce offers a couple of inexpensive solar charging solutions – a 60-watt kit and a 15-watt kit. These are intended to be part of an off-the-grid system idea for remote power needs. Both feature amorphous solar panels which allows them to be used in all sun conditions, including cloudy or shady environments. They do not include the storage battery.
The Sunforce 50044 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit typically costs around $250. It is ideal for weekend use, where the panels charge the battery during the week and then the battery runs appliances over the weekend. The kit includes the charge controller and power inverter.
The Sunforce 50033 15-Watt Solar Charging Kit typically costs around $100 and is more suited for keeping vehicle batteries charged, such as for RVs, semi trucks, or other large vehicles. Keeping batteries charged using solar panels prevents trickle discharge from occurring that shortens battery life. The kit includes a charge controller but does not include a power inverter.