So I just wandered through Harbor Freight the other day, and noticed they have a new (to me at least!) solar panel
set up that's made into a little briefcase-like carrying case, maybe about the size around of a standard computer monitor screen. The box says that it puts out 18-24 volts, and you can see in the picture various cable connectors to hook it up to various devices, or straight to a battery
for charging. The packaging advertises the panel setup as being good for charging cordless drills among other things. I think it was around $80. Looked VERY interesting to me, since while I'm very interested to set up SOMETHING as far as a solar
system for my rig, I'm very apprehensive about making holes in my trailer's shell, mounting permanent panels, etc. So something portable like this, that I could subtly set up, to just charge up when I'm boondocking
or something, would be great, and if nothing else a great way to start out with solar
. But, I have some questions/thoughts...
1. Would just hooking this sort of set up to my house battery
directly allow it to just free flow whatever amt of electricity the panels create into my battery
? Would that hurt it? I'm thinking there might need to be some kind of charge controller between the panel and the battery (seems like that's how most of the built-in systems people have made work).
2. The panel's packaging says it puts out 18-24 volts, while our house batteries are 12 volts, so again, would I be cooking my battery, or what?
Anyway, hoping that some of you guys who are WAY more engineering/creative/analytical than me have already seen this, have it all debugged, or at least have some good ideas/suggestions/etc?
Lets see how this thread goes!