Intro: Uninterruptible Solar Power Supply
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)
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.
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.