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Bob asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 2 months ago

Can I put a power inverter inline with solar panel before it goes into solar charge controller?

I want to increase a 100w output solar panel to 500w would a power inverter work? (Power inverter inside my van , panel on roof) then into the solar charge controller

1 Answer

  • 2 months ago

    No, that doesn't work that way Bob.  The inverter needs probably 550 watts coming in to produce 500 going out, you don't just get a boost in power output.  And all charge controllers work only on DC input, which is what comes out of all solar panels. Does the motor in your van work?  You can use the van engine at night to add power to the camping battery and let the panel keep it charged during the day.  We did that with a pickup camper years ago.  I had a switch on the dash that closed a 30 amp relay under the hood ($6.95 at auto parts store) so when the motor was running the alternator charged the starting battery and the camping battery.  When we shut off the engine we turned off the switch and the batteries seperated again.  Then even if we drained the camping battery the engine still started in the morning.  The panel will only deliver what it can generate, there are no "boosters," you can hook into the line.  If it all works but you need more power, just add another panel.  As long as the voltage for the panels is about the same, most are around 18 to 20, look for the Voc rating on the back of the panel, you can hook two or more panels in parallel and they add to the power charging the battery.  You just have to be sure the maximum amperage for all the panels added together does not exceed the maximum amperage of your charge controller.  Panel max amps is listed as Imax on the back of the panel.  Take care Bob, Rudydoo

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