Uninterruptible Solar Power Supply

Introduction: Uninterruptible Solar Power Supply

About: I am work in a high voltage laboratory, the largest laboratory owned by a university. I am in love with electricity. I have been fortunate enough to work with a variety of green technology including fuel cel...

Imagine having constant power from the sun, even with the obstruction of clouds. You may ask "How can I do that?". Well I am here to show you , on a small scale of course.

 What you will need:
Solar Panel ( I have a 5W monocrystalline )
Dual-Layer Capacitors (Super Caps) I am using 1 6.3V .47mF and 1 6.3V  .047mF
Load ( I am using a Blue LED)
Resistor ( I am using a 1K OHM)
Jumper wires
Male and female power connectors(This is optional, I already had a male connector on my solar panel)

 This may be elementary to some , but i feel that it is a good demonstration of how we can use a "true" green power source.

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Step 1: Building the Circuit

Let's start off by inserting the capacitors . ** Quick QUIZ** What happens when you hook up super caps in series? 
**Answer** If you answered " The voltage will double but the capacitance will be lower than any one of the capacitors in the circuit. The you are correct!  I know what your saying, "won't the voltage be 12.6v?" and "That will fry that LED". The solar panel is only outputting 6.5V so we have nothing to worry about . For this reason I am not concerned about balancing the capacitors. If I were to apply a charge voltage 12.6V or higher then I would add balancing.

  Once you have your capacitors, or capacitor hooked up let's move on.

Step 2: Connecting the LED

The LED circuit is fairly simple, Determine the positive and negative leads (the positive is longer). connect the resistor in series with the positive side of the LED(not that we really have to worry about current in this setup but it is good practice if you work with LEDs).
Hook your jumpers the positive to the other side of the resistor and and the negative to the negative side of the LED. 

  Once the solar panel is hooked up the LED should light up. Now the test place a piece of paper over the panel, the LED should stay just as bright and not dim. You can unhook the panel totally and the LED should not dim. This is a small scale simulation  imagine have a bank of high farad super caps and large solar panels you could replace a generator easily. Of course you would still need to through batteries in the equation for use when the sun goes down. This application is only useful help get the most out of a solar setup.

   I hope that this was both enjoyable and informative. As I said it may be a bit elementary for some.  

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    4 Discussions

    Robert Powell

    I already knew how to do this, as a matter of fact, i used this concept on my mini solar flashlight but with one .33 farad 5.5 volt super capacitor and a 4.0 volt solar panel, so it charges and used a 480 ohm resistor in line with the led lights (8 warm white led's in parallel) so it charges the super capacitor. But I was thinking and thought if I used a buck converter and a 5 volt to 4.15 volt lipo battery charger board that it could charge the lipo battery and run off of it. What do you think would work the best?


    6 years ago on Step 2

    would they balance if i hooked up 2 x 1F super caps to keep voltage at 5.5v to and two 100k resistors on data lines of a usb to charge my iphone 2F i figure is good to charge with but dont know if they would balance right