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How many solar panels are needed for 12V 200Ah?

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

To calculate the number of solar panels required for charging of 200Ah battery you need to understand the following things.

By understanding all the above-mentioned points you will master the selection of solar panels for charging of any size of the battery.


Related Posts:

Amount of energy stored in 200Ah battery


The amount of power stored in a 200Ah battery is equal to the multiplying of its voltage rating with its current rating.


Battery Power, VA = Battery Voltage x Battery 'Ah'


The most common terminal voltage for a 200Ah battery available in the market is 12V. We can calculate the power stored in a 200Ah battery by =12V x 200Ah = 2400VAh.

To select the rating of solar panels for the charging of your 200Ah battery you need to understand what is 2400VAh means.


‘VA’ or Volt-Ampere is the unit of power that is generally known as ‘Watt’.


So, 2400VAh will be equal to 2400 Watts of power hence for the charging of 12 V, 200Ah battery you will require solar panels that can generate 2400VA in 5 to 8 hours.


If there are some other doubts you have regarding 200Ah batteries, I highly recommend you to read our blog on "What is mean by 200Ah battery" to clear all your doubts

Amount of power generated by 1 Watt solar panels

You may think that to generate 2400VA of power in a day you will require 2400 Watt of solar panels, but that’s not true. Because 1000 Watts of solar panels don’t generate 1000 Watts of power in one hour and you have 5 to 8 hours of sunlight to charge your batteries.




In the above picture, Fig#1 shows the average sunshine hours in the USA, whereas in Fig#2 average solar power production (in kWh) by 1kW of solar panels is shown.


By looking into these two pictures, you will understand that a state with average sunshine hours of 5 hours generates 4.2 to 4.5 kWh of power. Whereas States having sunshine hours more than 5 hours of sunshine generated 4.8 kWh units.



We can say that for 5 hours of sunshine 1kW of solar panels generates 4 kWh of power.


1kW of Solar panels = 4kWh of Power


1000Watt of Solar Panels Generate = 4000Wh (or 4000 VA) of power


Hence 1 Watt of solar panels generates 4 VA of power


For some states during the summer season when sunshine time is on average 8 hours, 1 watt of solar panel can generate power as high as 6VA per day.


All the above-mentioned data is applicable for a non-movable, fixed-type solar structure whereas with the seasonal solar structure, you can increase the power generation by up to 30% by changing the tilting angle of your solar panels.


These seasonal tilting angles are called optimal angles at which solar panels generate maximum power in a specific season.


For the winter season, the optimal angle for solar panels varies from 10 to 20 Degrees, and for the summer season, the optimal angle for a solar panel varies from 50 to 60 Degrees depending upon the geometrical conditions.


To find the optimal angle for your solar panels follow the below steps

  • For the winter season, minus 15 from the latitude of your place.

  • For the summer season add 15 to the latitude of your place.

So if your latitude is 40 Degrees, then for the winter season place your solar panel at 25 degrees and for the summer season place your solar panel at 55 degrees.


To find the latitude of your place, go to Google Maps and right-click on your place, and your fill finds the latitude of your place followed by longitude.

The above picture shows the latitude of New York, the USA is 40 Degrees.


Below is a picture that shows an example of a seasonal structure for solar panels. These seasonal structures are very handy in increasing the output of solar panels for different seasons.


Safe charging voltage for 12Vbattery


For a 12V battery, it is very important, to limit the maximum battery voltage during charging otherwise the battery will be damaged. The battery voltage should not exceed 13.8 volts for long periods and 14.4 volts for short periods.


Now for Solar panels, there are two different voltages mentioned in the specification of Solar panels, Vmp and Voc, where Vmp is called maximum voltage which is generated by the solar panel on Load.


Voc is called, the open-circuit voltage which is the maximum generated by a solar panel on no-load.


Below is the table showing Voc and Vp for different capacities of solar panels available in the market.

As you can see from the above table, the Open circuit voltage (Voc) of the minimum size of a 50-watt solar panel is 22.5V.


Since the internal resistance of the batteries is very low that is, 3.49 milli-Ohm for 12V, 200Ah Battery selecting solar panels on Vp (Peak voltage) will damage your battery, hence it is a standard practice to select solar panels on the Voc for both On-grid and Off-grid solar power plant.


Now you will require a solar charge controller to limit and regulate the Voltage across battery terminals and save your batteries from the high voltages of solar panels.


What is a solar charge controller?


Solar charge controller limits and regulates the voltage across the battery terminal to avoid any damage to the battery from the high peak voltages of solar panels. There are other functions of the solar charge controller too, like protecting the battery from overcharging and over-discharging.

Now, there are two types of solar charge controllers available, is PWM-based and MPPT-based.


MPPT-based solar charge controller is far mush advanced and efficient than PWM-based solar charger, due to which PWM-based are not popular.


The efficiency of PWM-based Solar Charge controller: 68 to 73%


The efficiency of MPPT-based Solar Charge controller: 95 to 98%


I highly recommend only using an MPPT-based solar charge controller to charge your batteries from solar panels. By using a PWM-based solar charge controller, you require a solar panel rating that will be increased by 30%.

 
 

Calculation of solar panels for 200Ah battery


Considering all the above points we can calculate the number of solar panels required to charge a 12V, 200Ah Battery, which is equal to = Power stored in batteries/ Power generated by 1 Watt of solar panels (in 5 or 8 Hours)/Efficiency of the solar charge controller.


Let’s sum up all the above points


Power store in 12V, 200Ah Battery: 2400VA

Power Generated by 1 Watt of solar panels

  • in 5 Hours: 4 VA

  • in 8 Hours: 6 VA

The efficiency of MPPT-based solar charge controller: 95%


To take the most viable decision, while calculating the number of solar panels to charge batteries. I highly recommend you consider 5 hours of sunshine only so that the performance of your solar panels remains satisfactory.



The number of solar panels required to charge 12V, 200Ah battery for 5 hours of sunshine will be equal to 2400Ah/4/0.95 = 632 Watt of Solar panels


632 Watts of solar panels are not the standard size of solar panels, hence you will require two numbers of 325 Watts of solar panels

 
 

Conclusion:


How many solar panels are needed to charge 12V, 200Ah batteries in 5 Hours?

To charge a 12V, 200Ah battery in 5 hours of sunshine you will require a minimum of 2 numbers of 325 Watt solar panels with MPPT-based charge controller and seasonal structure.


The solar charge controller will protect the battery from high voltage and overcharging, whereas a seasonal structure will help to increase the power generation from solar panels for different seasons.


Similarly, if you have multiple numbers of 12V, 200 Ah batteries you can easily calculate the number of panels required to charge your batteries. Let's take another example

 
 

How many solar panels are needed to charge 8 numbers of 12V, 200Ah batteries?

To charge 8 numbers of 12V, 200Ah battery in 5 hours of sunshine you will require a minimum of 16 numbers of 325 Watt solar panels with MPPT-based charge controller and seasonal structure.



How many solar panels are needed to charge 4 numbers of 12V, 200Ah batteries?

To charge 4 numbers of 12V, 200Ah battery in 5 hours of sunshine you will require a minimum of 8 numbers of 325 Watt solar panels with MPPT-based charge controller and seasonal structure.


Refer to the below table, which shows the numbers of different ratings of solar panels needed to charge different quantities and the Voltage of 200Ah batteries in 5 hours of sunshine.



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