Outdoors blog

Equipment

Can you run a trolling motor off a solar panel?

You can not run a trolling motor off a solar panel because it does not provide enough power. A panel may provide 8 amps but the motor needs 40 amps.

You can utilize solar power in the maximum sectors you can ever imagine. So, you must also have a question that if the solar energy is so reliable than will it be able to replace the batteries of your trolling motors, here let’s find out that.

Since the revolution of modern technologies and even alternate technology is at its peak this is the reason why trolling motor technology has been able to progress so effectively into solar power usage. This kind of battery chargers are replacing even the AC models. But since this technology has been recently developed so there are many questions are there in the mind of people regarding its dependability and many more.

 

But the bitter fact is that it is still not possible to get a solar-powered trolling motor because the technology has not gone that far yet. This is all because the currently available solar panels are not able to put the constant power as required by the trolling motors these days. This is why it might take a little more time to establish a fully solar panel powered trolling motor. But still, it can be differently used up with the trolling motors. 

If you ever wish to use solar power on a trolling motor solely without the use of any kind of batteries then that’s quite not possible right now because it needs several high-end panels on the boat which might be inconvenient and even expensive as well. This is why people are preferring the use of batteries.

Also because you need to expose a solar panel to the unobstructed sunlight to deliver the maximum output which might not be possible in cloudy days and will eventually fail to take up the load.

Even we can take the assistance of some examples to explain the fact. The amperage requirement of a small 39lb thrust trolling motor draws 39 also at max thrust. But even a large solar panel of 12V and 150watt outputs around 8amps an hour in direct sunlight. So, in this way, a solar panel might not be able to meet that kind of draw. Although it can work properly on a pontoon boat with big solar panels installed in it but still not considered feasible by the customers.

 

Although this process is possible but still no one considers it feasible. But still, it is possible to recharge your trolling motor battery pack with a solar panel after it is used then you can do so but considering some of the limitations.

A solar panel with higher wattage is always very large in size so typically maximum people do not find that space in their marine vehicle and when it doesn’t seem to be feasible as it is going nothing but increasing the load. But still, it can be used since the maximum customers are using the battery group size of 27 to 31 for their trolling motor this means they need an additional backup after the battery being 50% used which means the solar panel has to assist with 50-65 amps if the battery gets low. 

Although maximum people do not care about the time their battery is getting recharged the fact in the favor is that the battery should get recharged in the quickest possible time because a long duration may result in the question within the battery. This also might be the reason why people even generally avoid the use of solar power chargers.

In this time when the environmental degradation is at the peak, the use of e-energy is being adopted and even the fuel use is being minimized so that the environment can be conserved. This is why even the caring anglers are stepping forward to reduce the carbon footprint.

 

A 36V trolling motor pull 18 amps at full load. It pulls less at lower speeds.

Amperage or Amperes is the unit in which the strength of an electrical current is determined. Different from voltage, amperage is how much electricity is flowing through the electrical wires in a closed circuit.

 

For example, your basic iPhone charger uses 1 Ampere to feed your phone battery, the medium-sized MacBook charger uses 1.5 Ampere whereas lightning bolts amperage can go up to 30 000 Amperes. the amperage law is essential knowledge for any electrician or engineer. The current in a closed circuit is measured in Amps.

 

  1. Electric currents

The power formula determines the flow as well as the hardness of the electrical current, the formula that you may see in school books, or while doing personal research is (P = I x V).

By multiplying the amperes (represented by the symbol I) and the voltage (represented by the symbol V) you get the power of the flow; this power’s unit is Watts, so the result you get in measured in Watts.

For example, if a motor’s power is indicated to be 1.34 Watts and we know that it’s powered by a 9 volt battery then we can easily determine its amperage. All we have to do is use the mathematical rule of three to determine the amperage, meaning we divide the wattage of the motor by the battery voltage, which gives us 0.15 Amps.

So now we know that a motor’s amperage value is determined with its voltage and power.

 

  1. What type of trolling motor ?


trolling motor manufacturers like the company Minnkota, almost always provide a data table with their motor’s manual; in trolling boats, the motor’s torque is very important to know because it affects the boat’s speed. If a boat is fully loaded then the torque would increase causing it to be slower than if the boat was empty. The higher the torque the slower the maximum speed, the more battery is used; all of these are essential for maximum efficiency.

 

When creating an electrical current, it’s very important to be as precise as possible with the measurements of wiring, the power source, the purpose of the circuit for maximum efficiency.

  1. What speed are you running ?

The speed of a trolling motor is almost always presented in pounds of thrust. For example, small boats have smaller 12 volt motors therefore they can only do 50 Lbs. of thrust at max. The bigger the boat the bigger the power needed to be efficiently pulled, that’s why bigger bay boats need a 36 volt power source to not only push the boat on the water but also be as efficient as when the boat’s fully loaded.

Similar to force, the torque is a rotational effect that causes a turning force in the motor.

 

The formula for calculating the torque of a motor is P = T x W where P is the output power measured in watts, T is the torque measured in newton meters and W represents the angular speed measured in radians per second.

 

This formula is even easier if you know the motor’s rotational speed: W = RPM x 2 π / 60 where W represents the angular speed measured in radians per second; Let’s say that you bought a 36 volt motor that has a rotational speed of 31,100 then and a power of 330 Watts using the power formula, you know that the level of ampere needed:

 

 

The motors power is 330 Watts and the voltage is 36 Volt so you can replace these two values in the power formula (P = I x V) and we get 2.4A. meaning that a 36V and 330 Watts motor needs a 2.4 Amps