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Solar Powered LED Lights

Thread starter #1
For the past couple of years I have been working on solar powered LED lights for my house. I have 24 LED lights installed in the house and am now starting to install them in a detached garage. The LEDs provide all of the lighting in the house and are 100% solar powered. The LEDs are controlled by touch switches and motion sensors and turn off and in some cases on automatically. The control logic is implemented by networked circuit boards I call PDACs (Power Distribution and Control). The LEDs and control electronics are powered by distributed 12V from the battery pack.

Here is a dropbox link with some pictures of the system.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nbbknt02xigtuus/tVPVzQys9T
 
Thread starter #2
As I mentioned in my first post, I use a circuit I call a PDAC to power and control my LED lights. I distribute DC power from the battery pack using a 10GA wire pair to each PDAC in the system and network the PDACs together with half duplex RS485 using selected wire pairs from Cat5 cable. One PDAC is programmed as the master and the rest as slaves. The master reads the status of touch switches and motion controllers connected to the slaves and then executes whatever logic and timing is needed for each light and then sends the light on/off commands to the slaves. This allows any touch switch or motion controller anywhere in the system to control any LED in the system and for all of the programming updates to be done just at the master.

Here is the PDAC schematic as a PDF
LED Power Distribution and Control_Rev B.pdf

 

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#7
This is probably a really stupid question but I needed help for something I'm constructing. I have 3 x 12v computer fans. I was wanting to connect a solar panel/s (e.g from outdoor garden lamps) to a rechargeable battery, so then I could connect this charged battery to the 3 fans and they would run.... the only issue is I'm not sure about the specifics.... eg.. voltage required of the battery/batteries if they are to run 3 fans.....
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
#8
This is probably a really stupid question but I needed help for something I'm constructing. I have 3 x 12v computer fans. I was wanting to connect a solar panel/s (e.g from outdoor garden lamps) to a rechargeable battery, so then I could connect this charged battery to the 3 fans and they would run.... the only issue is I'm not sure about the specifics.... eg.. voltage required of the battery/batteries if they are to run 3 fans.....
Fairly obviously for 12V fans you're going to need 12V batteries if you want them to run at full speed.

You're also likely to need a LOT more than solar garden light sized panels.
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#9
My cheap solar garden lights have a solar panel that produces about 1.5V at 40mA to charge a AAA Ni-MH rechargeable battery cell in 8 hours of full sunlight. Then the circuit boosts the 1.0V to 1.4V battery voltage to about 3.5V at 15mA to light the colors-changing LED.

Solar panels for trickle-charging a car battery are about 38cm long by 12cm wide and cost about $10.00US when on sale. They produce 12V at 233mA.
You must find out how much current your three fans use. Then select a 12V rechargeable battery that can provide that current for the duration you want.
 
#11
I recently installed the third LED light in my detached garage. I will be using the garage lighting system to test a new fitterless light design and improved network software. Just need to get my calculations on point. Here is a link to a youtube video playlist with nine short videos relating to the installation of the third garage LED light install.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS7TkGyrcPvprB_qVtlVY38CHSxJfq2nE
Curios to know . . . wouldn't LED lights be too bright for a garage. Fluorescent do the job just fine and are easy on the eyes as well.
 
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