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JB

Linking solar panels together

I have just acquired a couple of tiny solar panels both 12V, one nominally 5W and one nominally 2.5W. I was thinking of using them to trickle charge a battery and then using that to run some 12V led lights. Essentially an ultra small off grid lighting system.

The question is how to link the panels and battery to do that. Obviously they will need to be in parallel but I'm assuming that I'll need a little more than just that and some wire. For example I guess I'll need some diodes in there to protect and current going back into the panels but what else might I need to consider?
bulworthy project

Just get the cheapest regulator you can find. It will do the work of the diodes and tell you if the battery is charged. That and some wire and you're fine.
JB

A regulator would be useful but wouldn't I need a diode on each panel? Otherwise the panels in sunlight will try to drive current in reverse through the panels not in sunlight.
RichardW

Its just 7.5 watts (prob much less cos that 7.5 watts wont be at the battery voltage but a higher one).

So I would just fit them & for get any form of control if fitted to a typical lead acid battery. In fact for most of the time the panels will only produce enough energy to stop the self discharge of the battery never mind run any lights.

If the panels dont have diodes fitted already I would use two to stop overnight discharge.
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