I like to keep myself busy with projects during my weekends. I also like to use junk that might be useful. This post is about my second experiment with solar panels, but this time I used it with lighting.
Why I decided to work on this project.
I recently installed a home shade n my front yard so that I can park my car in a cool shady place. Away from the sun. However, this shade blocked the sun rays, and even during the night, it was dark. So i decided to install 4 lights to light up the area under the shade that I installed.
I had two solar panels laying around, each with 100 watts. I decided to connect the panels in series to generate 24v. I decided to go this route because I did my calculations and found out that I would need much less Amr/Hour per battery than a 12V system. With 24v system, a load 60 watts that needs to run for 8 hours would require 46 AH. But for a 12v system with the same requirement would require almost the double ~94. Source
How is the system wired?
I placed the panels just above the shade, so that I gets exposed to the sun most of the day. Then I salvaged two used car batteries that I had laying around being unused for few years. Surprisingly working fine. As long as they are being pushed half of their capacity, they would be fine. I keep the timer and the rest of parts inside a solar box. A sturdy box that is made of plastic. It is able to withstand heat, and would protect the system component from dust or rain.
All is lift was to connect panels to the charge controller, and then the controller to the batteries. The batteries to the timer and the timer to the lights. Light were connected in parallel to avoid interrupting the circuit in case one of the lights got burned.
How did it go?
Very well. The system worked great for 3 weeks before one of the batteries went bad. It might got over drained. But I was satisfied with what I learned from this project. The fact that I used junk batteries to build this system was cool.
There few videos on YouTube on how to fix dry car batteries. I already looked at them and understood what I need to do in order for me to revive the batteries. I will do that next and update this post with a photo of working lights.
Until then, farewell.