Solar Power Capacities

I have two solar panel setups that I can use for the portable station. I have used both successfully on QRP only with the FT-817N running 5W. One setup up uses two 15W panels for a total of 30W. The other is a roll-up 60W panel. I looked up the worst case available daylight hours for this area of South Texas and found it was 4.42 hours. This works out to 7.25Ah for the 30W and 17.7Ah for the 60W panel. Two 7Ah 12V gel cell batteries provide my storage. full discharge would be at 50% of the total or 7 Ah.

In an emergency situation needing to handle traffic, I estimated needing to run 12 hours a day such that 90% is receive time (10.8 hours) and 10% (1.2 hours) is transmit time. Now using the current draw values I measured previously with the FT-817ND and the MX-P50M amplifier I have the following power needs:

QRP (5W): 7.78 Ah

20W xmit: 12.96Ah

37W xmit: 17.2Ah

From this info one can see that the QRP station will run with the 30W panels but there is no headroom in the power budget. The 60W panel has ample energy to keep the batteries topped off. This has pretty much been confirm by my portable operations as well.

With 20W and no solar charging I would have about 1/2 hours of talk time.


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