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diy solar

Welding? Anyone tried arc welding with PV?

Gold Country Russ

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Joined
Jun 28, 2023
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156
Location
Sierra Mountains, Ca.
I know people do arc weld with a couple of old car batteries. That said, has anyone tried to weld anything with 10 or 12 panels in parallel? Small arc welders usually have about 25V secondary volts and 70-140 amps. Just adding or subtracting panels should work for control.
 
You can, but you don't have precise control or anything (just like with car batteries). If you don't have anything else and you absolutely have to weld something, sure, it will work:


But keep in mind that solar panels are not voltage sources (they're current sources), and you'll have issues because your weld won't be at maximum power point and voltage will collapse.
 
I tried it once just for fun a few years ago. I can't really remember the exact setup but I think I used eight 250w panels in 2s4p configuration. I think I was able to light up a 3.2mm (1/8") rod but not well, and it ran a 2.5mm rod quite well. I think putting all 8 panels in parallel would have been better but I didn't want to use up a lot of MC4 connectors and cable to do it.
Its not really practical, for me anyway, its just too easy to plug my normal welders in and weld anything anywhere within reach of a 40m extension lead.
But I can imagine in some sort of post apocalyptic Mad Max scenario you could set up a solar powered welding shop. It should be possible to control the current quite well just by adjusting how many panels you have in parallel.
 
Charge the ESS from PV
power inverters to a load centre
plug in the welding machine and pick appropriate settings
prepare your work pieces properly
light it up.
Works perfectly everyday!
 
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