Solar panels come in a variety of sizes both in terms of physical size and power producing ability and generally the more expensive and larger the panel the greater it’s capacity for power generation – bigger is normally better when dealing with solar panels.
A 50 watt solar panel is far from the smallest capacity panel that can be purchased but on it’s own it will struggle to handle much and there are few appliances that a 50 watt panel would be able to service.
What can a 50 watt solar panel power?
As a sole source of power a 50 watt solar panel would be best used in one of two ways.
- As a source of power to charge a battery or bank of batteries. The power from the panel would be used as a charging source, keeping battery power levels up during the daytime. Whenever power is needed this can be drawn from the batteries which will have greater capacity to deliver larger amounts of power than the panel. As power is used up the panel will re-charge the batteries. Using a 50 watt panel in this way you could expect it to handle your lighting needs and entertainment, such as laptop, LED televison, radio, MP3 players and other ligtweight consumers of power.
- The other option would be to connect your panel to a grid tie inverter. This type of inverter provide the ability for your solar panel to be connected into your household electricity supply. The inverter converts the power that the panel makes into useable power for your home and pushes this power into your household grid. Whenever you switch on an appliance in your home you use the power from the grid tie inverter ( which comes from the solar panel) before you use power from the utility company – this means that, in the case of a 50 watt solar panel, you will use all of the power that the panel produces and you will still be able to run all of the appliances in your house as any extra demand comes in from the grid. The panel means that you use less grid power, so you save money.
Solar power provides you with the opportunity to save money and become more self sufficient for your energy needs. Whatever levels of power you generate, you are saving having to buy this from the utility company that provides you with electricity. So a 50 watt solar panel would be worth the investment as in addition to the two main areas mentioned above, there are other areas where you can put a 50 watt solar panel to work and get decent results.
- You can use a 50 watt solar panel to charge a small re-chargeable battery which can then be connected to outdoor, garden or household LED lights. You’ll get your outdoor lighting ‘off the grid’ which will save you some money and would be a great project to undertake.
- A 50 watt solar panel can be used as a source of power to charge a re-chargeable battery and the collected power can then be used to re-charge items such as mobile phones, sat navs, laptops, digital cameras and enough power will be available to charge several of these things at once. Again, you’ll be ‘off the grid’ with this power so again you’ll be saving money.
- Charging electric bikes and scooters – I don’t personally own one of these (yet) but some owners of these machines have successfully charged their e-bikes and scooters with smaller solar panels such as 50 watt panels.
- You could take care of some of your internal lighting needs if you change the types of bulbs that you use to more efficient LED bulbs. By using your 50 watt solar panel to charge a battery, the power from the battery can then be used to power the LED lights. As LED light bulbs use less power then you could conceivably power your lights, in the evening for several hours, dependant upon the number of lights that you use.
- You could power 25,000 2v LEDs – of the type that you find on Christmas decorations – this would give off a fair amount of light and would look great!
- A 50 watt solar panel could be used to power a water pump to draw water from a well.
- If you connected the panel to a good battery then the panel would charge the battery constantly during the day and a considerable amount of power can be built up within the battery. You could then use this power to power almost anything that you like, the only restrictions would be the capacity of the battery and the amount of power needed by the appliance – You could watch TV all night, and probably longer, or you could use the microwave for maybe ten minutes before a re-charge is needed.
- There are many re-chargeable products on the market. Anything from re-chargeable lanterns and torches, floodlights, walkie talkies, radios, toothbrushes, you can even buy a re-chargeable vacuum cleaner. All of these items can be ‘fed’ by a 50 watt solar panel. If it is re-chargeable then a panel of this size can re-charge it. There are loads of re-chargeable items available. Want to be surprised at what’s out there that’s re-chargeable and that a 50 watt panel could power – Amazon have loads of things. We’ve found loads via this link. Here.
- Re-charge your batteries, AA & AAA and other sizes. Why use mains power to re-charge them when you can use a solar panel. A 50 watt solar panel is more than a match for a bunch of AA batteries and will quickly re-charge them.
- Night time security lights. Use a 50 watt panel to charge these up during the daytime and they’ll switch on when it goes dark. You can get lights that have built in motion detectors so they only turn on when someone walks past.
- Do you go camping? Chances are that a lot of your camping equipment is re-chargeable and you use you car as a source of electricity, burning up gas to charge them. Why not use solar? Take a 50 watt panel along, they tend to be compact and you can get foldable ones – here’s a good example of a 60 watt foldable solar panel that will charge your camping items.
You can even get low powered refridgerators that can run from a 50 watt solar panel…..