Different voltages of solar batteries are available; the most popular ones are 12V and 24V. Is there a noticeable difference between the two, which is a question that many new users ask? Consider a 12V and a 24V 200AH battery. What difference do the voltages make given that they both have the same amp hours? Which one should you employ?

A 12V 200Ah battery and a 24V 200Ah battery differ in voltage and watt-hour capacity, respectively. A 24V 200ah battery has 4800 watts, compared to a 12V 200ah battery’s capacity of 2400 watts. A 24V battery draws half as many amps as a 12V system.

What is preferable, 12V or 24V?
There is no superior type to another. Some gadgets and appliances, such as the 24V Ampere Time, which can power a range of off-grid uses, are made for 24V batteries.

Comparison of Watts, Amps, and Volts
There are three things you need to be aware of when using 200ah batteries: the amp hours, watts, and volts.
The battery’s capacity is measured in amp hours.
The amount of electricity utilised by a gadget or appliance is measured in watt hours.
Voltage ranges from 12 to 48 volts. We are contrasting 12 with 24V in this instance.
The amp hours (ah) of both batteries are 200 in this instance. The amp hours must be multiplied by the voltage to determine its watt equivalent. This is how it appears with a 12V battery:

200 ah x 12 V = 2400 watts

The watts are doubled when using a 24V battery:

24V x 200ah = 4800 watts

The 24V battery has a greater capacity when both batteries are connected to a load. Compared to 12V, you can use more appliances on it. The watt hour load capacity on the 24V is twice whether your battery is entirely depleted or only 50%.

You can also think of this in terms of drawn amps. The necessary amps decrease as the voltage increases. For instance, a 12V or 24V battery may power an Engel 40l. It will consume 3 amps if connected to a 12V system. However, the draw lowers to 1.5 amps with a 24V battery.

The battery will last longer if less amps are used. A 12V 200ah battery will last just under two hours if your load draws 100 amps per hour. The battery can last for three and a half to four hours if you use a 24V, however the drain lowers to 50 amps.

With my solar panels, which battery should I use?
The type of solar system you have and the appliances you’ll use will determine this. At all times, the battery voltage must be greater than or equal to that of the solar panel.

Your solar panels must have a minimum voltage of 24 volts if you have a 24V battery. You need also utilise a 12V solar panel when using a 12V battery. A 24V solar panel and a 12V battery are compatible, however an MPPT charge controller is required; otherwise, the extra power generated by the solar panels will be lost.

To raise the voltage to 24V and match it with your 200ah battery, you can link two or more 12V batteries together in series. The solar panels’ positive and negative terminals must be connected before use.

Only the voltage, not the amps, are increased via a series connection. If you wish to increase the amps and have 24V panels, connect them in parallel. The positive terminal of one panel should be connected to the positive terminal of another panel. Create a parallel link by doing the same with the negatives.

How Solar Panels, Charge Controllers, And Batteries Interact
Solar panels transform solar energy into direct current (DC). You can connect your device directly to the solar panel if it operates on DC. As long as there is power in the panels, the machine or appliance will function.

A battery’s function is to store the energy that the panels generate. You can use the solar energy that has been saved in the battery to power appliances after the sun has set and solar output has ceased. An inverter converts DC power into AC so that it is usable with appliances.

In order to avoid overload, a charge controller controls how the battery is charged. You can use a PWM charge controller if the battery and solar panel voltage match, for example, both are 12V or 24V. The simplest controller, it functions well with small panels and batteries.

An MPPT controller is advised if you have a 48V solar array and a 24V 200ah battery. With a PWM, the voltage of the solar panel is decreased to match the battery, squandering energy. The solar panel may produce at its highest voltage when used with an MPPT system.

Use an MPPT controller if you have a sizable solar array and numerous 24V 200ah batteries. If you utilise a PWM controller, more power will be lost the higher the voltage. You can find information about the ideal battery voltage for your solar panel kit in your solar panel kit itself.

Which Battery Lasts Longer: A 24V or a 12V Battery?
A 24V battery will last longer than a 12V since it has more capacity. Although we use a 200ah battery in this example, the following principles apply to batteries of any capacity, whether they are lithium, gel, AGM, or gel.

Consider a 200ah 12V lithium battery as an example. You may use the entire capacity thanks to its 100% depth discharge. You need to power a laptop, a fan, a small refrigerator, and some lights. Different solar appliances need different amounts of energy, but let’s go with this.

  • Laptop 200 watts
  • Fan 60 watts
  • Mini fridge 100 watts
  • Lights 100 watts

There is a 460 watt overall power consumption. These gadgets will demand 38 amps per hour when powered by a 12V 200ah battery. Before it runs out of power, the battery can operate for around 5 hours. Due to the slower discharge rate of an AGM or FLA battery, the runtime will be 2.5 hours.

The runtime for these same gadgets on a 24V battery is 10 hours. The amount of power used per hour will remain at 460 watts/38 amps. However, the battery can carry more energy / watts thanks to its higher voltage capacity.

The reduction in amps drawn per hour is the main advantage of a 24V battery. It especially helps if you have a 24V system because deep cycle batteries lose power when more amps are extracted from them.

The math is more complex than just saying that 200 ah is good for an hour, 100 ah is good for 30 minutes, etc. The battery depletes more quickly the higher the amps pulled. This is what occurs with a higher voltage system. The load on a 12V and 24V battery is the same, however the 24V battery will last longer.

Use 12V or 24V batteries when
So, do you always need to utilise a 24V battery? The price of a 24V battery is its only drawback. They cost more money. Also, several devices and appliances can only be powered by 12V batteries. If so, you should continue using a 12V.

You must either upgrade to a 24V solar panel or connect two or more 12V solar panels in line to reach 24 volts if you have a 12V solar panel and want to utilise a 24V or higher battery. Additionally, you must confirm that your charge controller and inverter are compatible with the increased voltage.

It all boils down to the equipment and gadgets you plan to use. Go for it if they can operate on a 24V battery and you are willing to pay the additional expense. Stick with it if the appliances require only 12V or if you are content with 12V systems in general.

Conclusion
By now, it should be obvious that a 24V battery is not always preferable to a 12V battery. A 24V is better suited in some situations, whereas a 12V is better in others. Your electricity needs will help you choose which is more suitable.

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