My solar panel arrived. It took about 1/2 hour to wire up some connectors to hook it to the battery unit (I was moving slow).
I have lots of great things to say about the Wago connectors. They made hooking up a piece of cake. Also, when the panel is not in use, I stick a connector on the end to prevent an accidental short.
After hooking up the panel to the battery through the charge controller, the battery was reading 13 volts, up from the 12.8 volts earlier (I have used the battery a little bit just to test things). So there is no doubt that the battery can charge via sunlight.
The panel is rated an a nominal 22 volts at 1.55 amps I thought that this was perfect for charging a battery and the panel is only about 12”x18” so it is not obtrusive. More interesting, I tested the panel on our floor in a bright sunny patch. The light passed through glass in the window made of e-glass, so some light was knowingly blocked. But not too much as the panel read about 21.5 volts just laying on the floor. I even took a blanket and tossed it, all crumpled up to intentionally shade, and the volt meter still read about 14 volts, so it looks like I should be able to charge on a cloudy day.
I had planned on making a little ac charger but I am wondering if this is still necessary or even desirable. I should be able to change in daylight at pretty much anytime.
It’s been a while since I last posted, but I thought I would comment on a couple of points. First, much as in the previous post, I have to say that the solar panel is very handy to have. Basically, as long as I have daylight (even through cloudy skies) I can get electricity and charge the unit. Just make certain that when the solar panel is not in use that the power leads remain electrically separated and insulated from each other. The panel can generate a surprising amount of electricity even without trying. I will try to get some pictures of the attached solar panel soon.
The second point relates to a separate section of Permies. If you are reading this and find it interesting, consider the PEP section HERE:
There are a number of projects detailed here that could be interesting to read, but especially might be interesting to try. The list of projects is growing and it would be nice if we could get more people to document their projects and especially get the associated BB. I linked this post to the electrical section but there are a number of other PEP areas as well.
Thanks to everyone who has followed this project and made commentary, it is sincerely appreciated.