Solar panels are quickly becoming the go-to choice for many homeowners and businesses because of the cost-efficiency they offer and their overall value for money. Many install systems on their rooftops or lawns to power their homes, while others rely on solar panels for powering fans and lights, charging batteries, etc.
The extensive systems, such as 1.5 KVA to 6KVA solar panels, are perfect for home use, but they tend to cost quite a lot. Although expensive, the system pays for itself in the long run. What about the smaller system? What can a 1.5watt solar panel run? Let’s take a closer look to find out!
Taking a Closer Look atthe 1.5-Watt Solar Panel
Whenever we look at how much power a solar panel generates, we look at its wattage. 1.5 watts of energy isn’t that much. However, that doesn’t mean that a 1.5-watt solar panel isn’t useful at all. If you are wondering what a 1.5-watt solar panel runs, you will have quite a list of things that you can do.
Usually, these solar panels are small and have only a handful of solar cells in them. They are lightweight and generate 1.5 watts or 1.5 joules of energy per second. Now, this won’t let you run a light bulb – or even an energy saver – on it, but you can run an LED light on it. These cost-effective solution panels are said to be the perfect companion for you on the road or when going hiking.
A 1-watt LED bulb is 90 lumens bright (a lumen is a unit measuring brightness, with a cellphone light being 40 to 50 lumens). If, however, you try to run a light bulb with the same luminosity, it would require a 9-watt energy source.
The 1.5-watt solar panel is designed for everyday use and as a portable solution to your electrical needs, such as going on a trip, hiking, and more. Generally, 1.5-watt solar panels are 5 inches wide and 15 inches long, but different manufacturers have different specifications and designs. 4
In most cases, these panels will be rectangular, but there are some square options available as well. Just like shape differences, you will most likely find differently sized solar panels as well, including ones as small as your hand (5 x 5 inches).
It is important to remember, though, that the smaller versions are usually costlier. We recommend that you buy solar panels that have more cells for better efficiency and life.
What Can A 1.5Watt Solar Panel Run?
1.5-watt solar panels are designed specifically to run LED lights on your hiking trip or run battery-powered devices that use 12-volt batteries. In many cases, these solar panels will come with a range of chargers and clips instead of having you buy them separately.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do with a 1.5-watt solar panel.
Charge Car Batteries
Many 1.5 watt solar panels are advertised as 12V panels being dedicated to charging car batteries, which is why the most useful clip you can get is the alligator clip and connect it with your car’s battery. For best results, park your car in the sun, attach the panel to your windshield with the rubber suction cups at both ends and connect the alligator clips to your battery terminals.
This is particularly useful for the monsoon season or lockdowns when you know you won’t be driving your car that often. It can charge your battery without you having to turn the engine on.
Power Banks, Smart Phones, or Other Gadgets
Next up, your gadgets. If you didn’t get a micro-A, micro-B, or USB C connector with your battery, you might want to purchase one and connect it to the USB port within the solar panel. Then connect your power bank, cellphone, camera, watch, or other gadgets with the solar panel and watch it charge!
At 1.5 watts, you won’t get wireless charging, but it’s still better than nothing, especially if there is a power outage.
The solar panel comes especially in handy if you are going on a long drive with your children, a picnic, or a week-long hiking trip and want something to charge your gadgets with. You can even light up fires with the sparks it creates, but be very careful. You may run the risk of shorting your solar panel if you aren’t careful.
To light, a fire, pull out the solar panel and let it sit for a minute or two under the sun while you collect some dry leaves for the fire. Plugin your alligator clips and hold the two connectors firmly. A millisecond of connection is all it takes to create a spark. The sunny your day is, the bigger spark it will create.
This isn’t a recommended approach, though.
As mentioned above, you can power 1-watt LED lights with the panel to light up your tent, but we recommend investing in a battery for this. Your solar panel won’t work at night, but you can charge those small emergency batteries with the panel to keep the light running.
We have tried to paint a clear picture with the information provided above to answer “what can a 1.5watt solar panel run?”allowing you to set your expectations from it accordingly. You can run most gadgets with a 12-volt battery, charge your vehicle, and use a 1-watt light.
These solar panels can help you keep your phones charged or top up your power banks as well. Combined with the fact that they have a very small footprint and can be taken with you anywhere you like, make the 1.5-watt solar panel a very convenient buy indeed.
It might not be the best solar panel for those looking for a more high-powered solution or looking to reduce their electricity bill. If you would like something a bit more robust, we suggest you check out some of our other articles as well.