Solar Charge Controller and LED lighting

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hobergenix
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Solar Charge Controller and LED lighting

Post by hobergenix » Wed May 07, 2014 12:24 pm

I read the in NV March 2014 about the solar charge controller and it got me thinking
about setting up a system to replace the old 12v lamps in the garden with LED's and
a solar panel. I have seen a few charge controller advertised for this purpose. They will
charge a 12V battery and control LED lighting automatically. I Plan on useing cheap solar
lighting fixtures with some LED's and a current limiting resistor for each one. I want to build
up a solar panel and enclose the controller and battery in a weather sealed box. I was wondering
if it might be cheaper to go with a 6V system. A cheaper battery and solar panel size as well.
But I have not seen a 6V charge controller for this purpose. I think I am looking at about
12 to 20 lamp fixture conversions and maybe a few home made led spot lights.

Mike

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dacflyer
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Re: Solar Charge Controller and LED lighting

Post by dacflyer » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:33 am

it is going to be hard to find a 6 volt panel..most on the market are either 12 / 24v or higher.
plus i doubt you will find any charge controllers for less than 12v.

hobergenix
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Re: Solar Charge Controller and LED lighting

Post by hobergenix » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:11 pm

I was maybe going to build a 6V panel from scratch. I think that in the end I will probably
use a 12V panel and battery. I could then put current limiting resistors in the lamp fixtures
that will house the led's.

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dacflyer
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Re: Solar Charge Controller and LED lighting

Post by dacflyer » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:34 am

typically you will need dropping resistors unless you have enough leds in series that you really don't need resistors, but in most cases you will need them..
again if you use a panel of any size you will still need a controller so you do not over charge the battery.

davidk
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Re: Solar Charge Controller and LED lighting

Post by davidk » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:21 pm

Check out Jameco or Parallax they sell Solar Panel 6 Volt DC @ 167mA 1 Watt 4.9x2.5x0.13 Inch

Also Harbor Freight & Salvage sells 12 VDC panels that plug into a cigarette lighter, quite reasonable also.

As far as LED's, checkout the White Piranha LED at www.lighthouseLEDs.com. Great light output and surprisingly you can take the current way down and still get quite a bit of light from them. I am running 30 of them each with a 2200 ohm resisters at 5 VDC.

lastly, at http://www.freechargecontroller.org/ they have a design for a charge controller with MPPT for charging a 12V battery with an 60 Watt (or less) solar panel with an Arduino controller.
David

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