I am trying to set up a PV system that is as cheap as possible.
Eventually, my goal is to build IoT functionalities on top of it, using micro controllers. This way I will be able to monitor the PV, battery and control loads from a web app. I can do a few things in IoT, but I am a complete beginner in PV systems.
For the moment, the cheapest parts I found are the following:
- 18v, 85 watts solar panel
- 12v GEL battery (https://global.rakuten.com/en/store/bike-parts/item/12-09/)
- PWM charge controller (https://www.amazon.com/ALLPOWERS-Charger-Controller-Intelligent-Regulator/dp/B01MU0WMGT)
I suspect that the system will be pretty inefficient. I also know that the battery is insufficient to store all the electricity i can get from the solar panel. It is ok, my goal is to get a first experience and and the focus is on implementing IoT.
But I have the following question:
Is it safe to use the GEL battery to charge home appliances (using a 12v-5v DC converter) ?
I read that the GEL batteries are safe because they do not reject Hydrogen. But the battery manual says that the battery may reject hydrogen, and advises not to use it for any other purpose than engine starting.
Please tell me about any potential risks of using such a battery to store the PV generated electricity and charge small appliances (I will connect it to a 12 to 5V DC converter). Also, I have a lot to learn about PV systems, so I'm interested in any other remark you have.