The Basic Electricity that you need to know
This is an article for beginners, who want to choose a right portable power station or solar panel in the market. The simplest concepts of electricity could help.
AC/DC, Volts, Amps and Watts
What is electricity, both familiar and mysterious? We all know what electricity is, or at least have a rough idea, based on practical experience. As you are now in BEAUDENS official site, you may roughly know current, voltage and watts are three measurement methods for electricity. Then we can start here.
An electric circuit is a closed-loop made of conductors and other electrical elements which electric current can flow. For example, a very simple electrical circuit consists of three elements: a battery, a lamp, and an electrical wire that connects the two.
Electricity flow through wire in circuit just like water flow in the middle of water pipe. Let's image the wire as water hose.
In the DC current system, current flow through wire when switching on, it goes out one side of batter to the lamp, and flows out the lamp into the other side of battery, just like water flow in water hose.
In the AC alternating system, current don't flow through wire, the electricity force it vibrating, it doesn't mean the wire in physical vibration, nothing in wire move, just the vibration carry the force, like the wave going across the ocean, the force moves but the water don't move.
Image the water hose again, voltage is the force, like the pressure of the water, it's always there no matter switch on or off, letting you know how much force ready to be used. Voltage would tell you what kind of appliance you can hook up to the battery, if you have a 12V load, then connect it to a 12V battery, if you have a 24V load, please charge it using 24V battery. So the voltage determines the battery's compatibility.
Amperage is the amount of electricity, would let you know how much electricity flow through wire, determining how big the wire you need, the wire is bigger, the more electricity could be transported. If you use a thin wire to transport large amount of electricity, the wire would get heat, the heat may cause a fire.
Watts = Voltage (V)×Current (A), would let you know the whole amount of electricity go through the circuit. According to the formula, different voltage and current can produce the same watts, for example, a solar panel with 50V and 2A, another one with 25V and 4A, they both produce 100W power.
How to choose a right portable power station or a solar panel?
As a beginner, you may be confused about what kind of solar panel compatible with your portable power station, or what kind of portable power station suitable for your appliance. After learning the voltage, amperage and watts, you can figure this out easily.
⑴ what kind of portable power station suitable for your appliance?
Check the appliance input data, like 120V 3A, then this appliance needs 360Wh input, you need to choose a portable power station over 360Wh, most of the power stations have 85% rate, which means maybe 360Wh×0.85=306Wh, 306Wh is the real capacity. So your appliance needs a power station whose capacity is 424Wh (360Wh/0.85).
So when you have a 360Wh power station, you'd better connect it to the appliance that lower than 306Wh (360Wh×0.85).
Not only pay attention to the capacity, but also current and voltage. Check your appliance input current and voltage, like 120V 3A, then using a power station can provide 120V voltage and 3A current, if the power station's output current is 5A-7A, don't buy it.
(2) what kind of solar panel compatible with your portable power station?
This is really a question for the beginner, as the question (1), pay attention to the data.
Check the solar panel's output data and power station's input data. Take BEAUDENS 166Wh UK version as an example, the solar panel input data is 13V-22V/2A Max, it means:
① Minimum input power is 26Wh, maximum input power is 44Wh, you need a solar panel over 26Wh. What happened if you choose a 100W solar panel? whatever how big your solar panel is, the power station just can absorb 44Wh.
② The Max input current of 166Wh is 22V, an output 24V 2A solar panel is not compatible, the voltage is too high for 166Wh. But the 22V 3A solar panel is ok, the 166Wh have built-in MPPT, which can adjust the input current by itself.
Above, you'll know if a power station could charge your appliance or not, and what kind of solar panels compatible with your power station. If you have any other question,