loading

Step 7: Applications for small solar panels

The solar panels I made and pictured generate around 1 or 2 watts generally.

These are the applications I use them for:

Charging batteries.
In the blackout of 2003, those batteries ran our blackout party,
which included black lights, fans (it was a hot day), radio, small TV, and low voltage lights.
And an AC inverter.
(I go to the rechargeable battery recycle bins with a meter and if they are not really dead
then I borrow them until they are. I didn't buy any of these batteries.)

Solar night lights - nowadays a very common thing where I live.

Solar powered fans - although my solar panels run computer fans directly when it's hot,
(The sun makes it hot, and the sun runs the fans!)
I notice that solar charged battery powered fans are MUCH MORE POWERFUL.

Solar Flashlights

Solar powered radios - including my ham radio shack.

ABOUT SOLAR POWERED COMPUTERS
I guess people don't leave their laptops in the sun...
My approach to designing a solar powered computer,
(and my definition of computer is a processor with memory
and a keyboard and a screen that runs not-necessarily-an-operating-system)
is to use very high resistance CMOS chips which use very little electricity,
just like watches and calculators... a computer is also a calculator with lots
of memory, and CMOS memory is a common thing!
At night time, the computer has not used up all it's solar power so it uses
what is stored in the rechargeable battery.
There is simply no demand for the solar powered computers,
nor any obstacle to solar powering a PDA or a laptop with similarly sized panels.

DUTY CYCLES:
In simple theory, if you get eight hours of sun and need one hour of power,
you can get by with one eighth the solar power by saving it up in batteries.
Also, if LED lights should run all night, it's easy to collect more than enough
solar power during the day in batteries with the right sized panel.
<p>Thanks . I made it with Inplix</p>
<p>There are so many interesting posts regarding this topic, people share information and experience. But unfortunately it seems do easy when you ready the instruction though when you try to create something it turns into&hellip; sorry, cannot find decent words. So, we also spent quite much money but as the result got nothing and applied to solarpanelscompany.com to have solar PV installed. In such a way I can calculate the costs and efficiency as well as invite specialists in case I have some problems.</p>
What is it with these people and emails? Are those spammers? I mean you are giving very detailed instructions on this and they want you to email them with detailed instructions? LOL. I put you in my favs this is great! Most just have instructions but I need pictures too so yours is easy to follow.
Interesting &amp; informative post. Please can some one clear how many panels required to generate 1000 Volts?
at least 1,587 high efficiency cells. If each cell is producing a minimum of 0.63 V.
what are the sources of those cells?
Ebay, broken cells<br>
Thanks, good instructable! <br><br>What's with all the people asking you to email them how to's ? Didn't they bother to read this ?
Nice informative instructable. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you very much!!!!
you are such a lier thier is so much soler power you could eat it
Have you tried solar water heating, low flow shower heads, geyser-timers etc etc. I have and its been quite good but I also want to get some PV panels and build up a battery bank, it seem expensive still in SA and there is conflicting information, I went to an Eskom conference last week and advised them that their video and info on turning down geysers was incorrect, the thermo. needs to be zero'd (click) before turning to the desired temp. They said they know.?
would like to know about &quot;ICL7660&quot;<br> <br> When I check my local Electronics store<br> they list 3 different versions<br> <br> ICL7660CPA<br> ICL7660CSA<br> ICL7660SCP<br> <br> dose it make a difference which one I pick ?<br>
It shouldn't make too much difference. The different letters at the end are often just differences in max levels, whether of efficiency or of other small details. For a small project like this, any of the three should work fine. If you'd like more info on the chips, the datasheets can be found on alldatasheets.com, ti.com, or most other electronics providers sites.
Very nice article and illustrations. You gave step by step instructions that were easy to understand. I've seen a few more of these on other sites, but got a little lost. Keep up the good work.
Pretty Darn cool, I've got a little different angle on this. Let me explain. I live in the Midwest U.S. It's gets pretty darn cold/expensive in the winter. With the price of Corn sky rocketing it's no longer cost effective to heat my house with my corn burner. So I started playing with electrolysis to make Hydrogen to burn in my Natural gas Furnace. The problem is if I do this with the grid I'm burning coal not to mention it would be more efficient to forgo the electrolysis step. So here's what I want to do. I'd like to keep a battery charged from a solar panel. My output to the electrolyzer from the battery will be about 12 volts at 20 amps. Keep in mind it will only run for about 10 minutes every 20-30 minutes . That's it, if I can get it to work it will save me about $2000 a year in heating expenses.
Be very careful - hydrogen is a dangerous gas. One little bit of air in there and you have a bomb. I will explain a little more. Hydrogen is the smallest gas molecule you can get. So it leaks through almost any sealing material. Also because of its low molecular weight it reacts with oxygen very quickly which means its &quot;burn rate&quot; is very fast. A lot of the reason you are not already driving a hydrogen powered vehicle has to do with these properties - many millions of dollars have been spent trying to make hydrogen safe to store and make it burn slowly enough not to destroy the engine.
i have pondered hydrogen heating myself, someone needs to make a instructable on hydrogen fuell cell heatingsystems powered by solar energy
i've been interested in wind energy as well as solar energy for a while, I want to build my own wnd generator but there are many versions and ideas, can someone point me in the right direction and just tell me how to do it. what type of motor especially, the design portion I have down but getting the motor to produce energy is the confusing part, i.e. what kind of motor is the most effective.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Chispito-Wind-Generator/step2/MATERIALS/<br /> This instructable mentions electric treadmill motors. <br />
I have heard that a DC Motor made by Ametek is what you need. These motors will produce DC current when they turn backwards. You attach your blades per your design and it should turn the motor backwards. You will want a 30VDC Motor with a low RPM rating, under 400RPM @ 30V is the best bet. I hope this is helpful in some way.

About This Instructable

488,484views

344favorites

License:

Bio: I'm a figment of my own imagination. ---- To Win the war on Terra Means to END the WORLD. How about a nice game of ... More »
More by VIRON:How to Make more game memory / cards for the Hydra Game Console How to MAKE PV Solar Panels Make a Brass Soldering Iron Tip (, How I ...) 
Add instructable to: