How do you use a solar panel to light a 10w light bulb at night? And what kind of a solar panel would I need? Answered
I want to make my own solar panel (a small one) for a school project, but I also want it to be useful for after the project as well. I need a small light to light something outside, but at night (because, obviously, I can see during the day). So apparently you need a battery to store the energy during the day, and a charge controller is really important. I've found a lot of useful sites and videos (and instructables) that show how to make solar panels, and a few that show how to connect the solar panel directly to a light bulb, but I can't seem to find anything that clearly explains the battery and charge controller part.
Please note that I know nothing about the technology of solar panels, watts, volts, etc., and have never taken apart or made even a simple electronic device of any sort. The most experience I had with this stuff was when I made a small circuit with a light bulb, battery, and alligator clips sometime around the sixth grade, but I have no idea how all that works and all the numbers that you need to keep in mind (I did learn the basics a couple years back, but I've forgotten everything), so when I find brief explanations online that say you need a battery, charge controller, and you need to somehow calculate the correct capacity and voltage, I'm totally lost.
Can someone please help me out and explain? Or at least provide a useful link or something? I've scoured the Internet, trust me. Unfortunately, I was unable to find anything clear or something in a "How-to" format.
Also, I'm flexible on the 10w thing. A 10w light bulb was just the lowest I could find and I thought the lower the better.
So what kind of a battery and solar panel (how many watts/volts, etc) would I need? Low cost is ideal.