How to Choose Between a 12V and 24V Solar Panel?

It is awesome that you have decided to go solar. Your decision will not only result in savings for you but is also a good option for the environment. But there are many different parameters to screen before deciding upon your final solar panel and being a common man, it becomes difficult to decide. It becomes difficult to choose between the tons of choices available in the market today.

You first screen through hundreds of brands available in the market and then come to a final decision, based on the manufacturer’s credibility, warranty, services, etc. Then you need to decide the rating of your panel. A solar panel is available in a wide range of wattages and volts. We also receive many queries from our readers and potential buyers who are confused about the rating of the solar panel they wish to buy.

This blog is for those audience. It tries to differentiate between a 12V solar panel and a 24V solar panel. A 12V solar panel is generally suitable for small residences or projects of smaller size in contrast to a 24V solar panel. Other than this basic thumb rule, there are different technicalities to consider when deciding between the two. We have tried to differentiate between them basis five points:

  1. Compatibility with Battery
  2. Compatibility with Inverter
  3. Compatibility with Charge Controller
  4. Real Use Case (Applications)
  5. Range & Pricing

1. Compatibility with Battery

solar panel for single and double battery

 

The choice of the rating of a solar panel depends on the rating of the battery used. Generally, a 12V solar panel should be paired with a 12V battery and a 24V solar panel should be used with a 24V Battery. An important point to be noted here is that a 24V rating battery is not available in the market, but you can create one by joining two 12V batteries in a series connection.

 

  • 24V panel - 24V (2* 12V batteries in series connection)
  • 12V panel - 12V battery 
  • 6V Panel – 2/6V battery

2. Compatibility with Inverter

solar panel for 12v solar inverter

solar panel for 24v solar inverter

    Like the battery, solar panel should also be compatible with the rating of the inverter. For example, a 12V solar panel should be paired with a 12V inverter and a 24V solar panel should be used with a 24V inverter. Inverters are available in different ratings like 12V, 24V, 48V, etc. 

     

    • 12V battery - 12 V inverter - 12 V solar panel will be connected
    • 24V battery (connected in series) - 24V inverter - 24V solar panel will be connected

    3. Compatibility with Charge Controller

    solar panel for 12v and 24vsolar charge controller

    The rating of a charge controller should match with the ratings of the inverter and the battery. If a 12V battery and a 12V inverter is there, a 12V Charge controller should be used. Similarly, for 24V. One important thing to keep in mind here is that the solar panel’s rating should not be higher than that of the charge controllers. For instance, a 9 Ampere solar panel cannot be paired with a 6 Ampere charge controller.

     

    A Charge controller is available in a wide range of ratings from 6 Ampere to 53 Ampere. Solar panels are also available in different ratings e.g.

     

    • 10W Panel - 1 Amp
    • 20W Panel - 2.5 Amp
    • 180W Panel - 9 Amp
    • 350W Panel - 8-9 Amp

    4. Application

    solar panel 12v applications

       application of 24v solar panels

      A 12V solar panel can be used for different applications like street lights, tourist van, shops, small homes, home lighting, mobile charging, solar bag, science project, solar water pump, office, fishing boats, etc.

       

      A 24V solar panel can be used in big homes, hospitals, banks, offices, on grid applications like factories, apartments, parking, parks, government building, solar parks, etc. To see our case studies.

       

      engineer visit for solar panel installation

      5. Range & Pricing

      solar panel price range

      12V solar panel is available in 10W, 20W, 40W, 50W, 125W, 160W and 180W, whereas 24V is available in 330W and 350W.

       

      Price of a 12V solar panel can vary in between Rs. 2,400 and Rs. 15,000. Price of a 24V solar panel can vary in between Rs. 11,000 and Rs. 24,000.

      Solar Panel Buying Guide

      solar panel buying guide

      Customers are often confused as to how much load can be supported by solar panels. One important point to highlight here is that the function of a solar panel is to charge the battery and not to make appliances work. Let’s talk more about this in detail.

       

      Home load depends on inverter load capacity and back up power and time depends on the battery’s range. A panel’s range should be double that of the battery.

       

      Must read this example, a small home needs a minimum of 300 W to run a fridge, fan, and light which can be easily supported by a 1 kVa inverter. Let’s calculate and see what is the load of the house in use in case of a Power failure. Now, the time for which appliances will work on back up depends on the battery’s capacity. Typically a 150Ah battery with 12V rating can store upto 1800 W of power.

       

      Simple Calculation is 150 AH battery * 12V = 1800 W 

       

      Taking a lead acid battery with 70% efficiency only 1400 W load should be available and will work for 4-5 hours. Considering a small home needs a minimum of 300 W.

      Thumb Rule:

      solar panel calculation

      **Now let’s calculate in how much time will a battery be charged and how many solar panels are required to be installed, which are other common questions in the minds of the buyers.

       

      This depends on the sunlight’s availability. On an average, sunlight is there for 10 hours. So a battery will take:

       

      150/15 = 10 hrs 

       

      Assuming 150 Ah battery and 15 Amp of power, i.e. if the battery receives 15 Amp it will take 10 hours to charge.

       

      A Solar panel is typically 9 Amp, so typically 2-3 solar panels will be required.

      Watch Video

       

      Know how to charge battery from solar panel and how to know battery backup time

      Summary 

      This blog is dedicated for readers to decide as to how many solar panels they should buy to support the normal functioning of their house, in case of a power cut, what voltage of solar panel - 12V or 24V is suitable for you, and for how many hours my fan and lights will work on solar in case of a load shedding. A lot of this depends upon the ratings of the battery, inverter and charge controller. We hope we were able to help you to some extent. You can keep writing to us for more such queries in comment section.

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      10 comments

      Ramesh

      Ramesh

      I have three solar panels of 335 watt 12 volts and two battery 150 ah 12 volts each and inverter 24 volt 2200 va. My batteries are not charging properly sir i wants to know what is the reason behind it weather the connection of panels are wrong pl answer me

      Rob

      Rob

      How come nobody gives the dimensions of their products.
      I’m working on a solar project and I need small 16×16 inches 12vdc output. The wattage doesn’t matter too much but more is better. My project has very tight space constraints and actual physical dimensions is rather critical.

      Balwinder chand

      Balwinder chand

      I have 600 VA Luminous inverter with 150AH Exide battery. I want to install solar system to charge the 12 V/ 150 AH. Pl educate who can do it.

      Zulu Geoffrey

      Zulu Geoffrey

      Thanks so much, I have really benefited from your Information.

      Silan Solar

      Silan Solar

      Thank you for the information,
      This is Silan Solar, I’m here to tell you about our product i.e. Lithium-Ion battery Thet is very much useful in solar panels also. We manufacture Solar street lights, Solar Charge Controllers, Back up LED Street lights, Lithium Battery & Solar DC Brushless Pumps.

      Charlotte

      Charlotte

      Hi i am using a 350w panel and 24v batteries and the problem is it doesn’t last longer i don’t know why cause i am only using it at night to watch tv and connect the lights what mybe can be the problem cause it last only for 4hours only or mybe the settings on the solar charger controller are not right pls help

      Poloycarp habiari

      Poloycarp habiari

      08131202036

      Ron Dodds

      Ron Dodds

      I have a 24 volt 300 watt solar panel and want to use it to power a caravan aqnd start travelling. what controllers and batteries do I use ? nd how do I wire them up?
      Thanks Ron

      Rosalinda Escobedo

      Rosalinda Escobedo

      what solar panel is recommend for Solar Power Station, Xihababe 155Wh Solar Generator, 110V/100W Modified Sina Wave AC Outlet, Lithium Battery Outdoor Generators? The recommend a battery generators support solar panel(15V~24V) but I don’t know what that means? Help

      Akhil Raj

      Akhil Raj

      I am using 165Ah, 12V C 10 battery, which panel is recommended?

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