I have a mini solar panel 5.5 V 1 W 180 mA and I want to connect it to my DC motor 3-6 V. I tried directly but it didn't work. After some research I found that I needed a inverter. My question is: do I really need a inverter? if I do what inverter should I get?

I'm new to this so sorry if i didn't make any sense.

Solar panel: https://www.banggood.com/pt/5_5V-1W-180mA-95mm-x-95mm-Mini-Solar-Panel-Photovoltaic-Panel-p-999056.html?rmmds=myorder&cur_warehouse=CN

DC motor: https://www.banggood.com/pt/5Pcs-DC-3V-Mini-Motor-For-Arduino-DIY-Smart-Car-p-999094.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=CN

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    \$\begingroup\$ No, you don't need an inverter. But you probably need a weaker motor or a larger panel or direct noon day sun. Overall your project may just not be practical - solar powered things need to be designed with the constraints carefully considered every step of the way. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 15, 2018 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ and if i use this motor? banggood.com/pt/… \$\endgroup\$ Dec 15, 2018 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Generally speaking powering a motor from a small solar panel does not work. It is only carefully considered exceptional cases where it can. A quadcopter motor is very current hungry and would likely fall in the usual category of unworkable. Likely little beyond having a no-thrust fan spin for visual effect on a very weak motor in very bright direct sun is going to work. It's not clear what you are trying to do, but most likely your goal will not be achievable and you should pick a different project. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 15, 2018 at 16:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisStratton "unworkable" you say. It works, but it's damn near impossible. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 15, 2018 at 19:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Banggood motors have no electrical spec's. The first one has no current spec and the second motor has no voltage and no current spec. \$\endgroup\$
    – Audioguru
    Feb 27, 2021 at 1:25

1 Answer 1


After some research I found that I needed a inverter. My question is: do I really need a inverter? if I do what inverter should I get?

You actually need an MPPT tracker also called a solar charge controller. This helps match the voltage and current (that act like a diode) to the load of the motor. The solar panel needs to produce more power than the motor uses. So if you have a 10W panel, it could run a motor using less power than 10W. The controller takes some power (usually 80% to 90% efficient) so that means you could run an 8W motor with a 10W panel. The 10W also assumes that your at the equator (1000W/m^2 of sunlight) and that the panel is pointed directly perpendicular to the sun on a sunny day. At higher latitudes you would get about 600W/m^2. So a good rule of thumb would be 3 to 6 times higher panel than your load.

enter image description here Source: http://www.solarjourneyusa.com/learn-buy-equipment.php


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