Connect with us

Replace Photoresistor with Solar Cell

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by galantida, Apr 6, 2020.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. galantida

    galantida

    19
    0
    Oct 27, 2012
    Hello All,

    I am an electronics newbie with only a few projects under by belt. My current project it to create a target that when shot with a laser will fall over. Basically a solar cell which will trigger a transistor which will allow a 9 volt battery to power solenoid to knock the target over.

    Right now I am trying to take simple night light circuit where a light comes on when its dark and replace the photo resistor with a solar cell. Since solar cells are a lot bigger target.

    https://www.digikey.com/en/maker/blogs/2017/night-light-circuit-using-a-pnp-transistor

    I want the light to go out when the solar cell is uncovered rather then when a photoresistor is uncovered. Every solar circuit I find on the internet wants to power the entire circuit with the solar cell or charge a battery with the solar cell. Neither of which I need for my project. I actually prefer having a regular old 9V battery in it.

    I think its having a transistor connected to two different power sources that is throwing me. I have the Base of PNP hooked to the solar cell, the Emitter hooked to a 9 volt battery and the collector to the solenoid.

    Any advice, or design direction I should explore.
     
  2. galantida

    galantida

    19
    0
    Oct 27, 2012
    Actually I just found this solar circuit which is very much like the night light one I am testing with. I just ditched the extra diode since I don't need the charging capabilities. Maybe the panel I am using is not putting out enough for the transistor I am using? I'll give another try tonight.
    http://www.reuk.co.uk/wordpress/solar/use-solar-panel-as-darkness-detector/
     
  3. Hopup

    Hopup

    253
    35
    Jul 5, 2015
    But why would you want to use solar cell instead? Might be easier with simple optics layer top of photo sensor.
     
  4. BobK

    BobK

    7,680
    1,685
    Jan 5, 2010
    If you solar cell puts out more than a half a volt, it is actually multiple cells in series. In this case, all of the cells must be activated ti get an output. In other words, illuminating a small part of the solar panel with a laser dot will not work.

    Bob
     
  5. galantida

    galantida

    19
    0
    Oct 27, 2012
    Hopup, Concerning the optics layer. I was looking for something to scatter the light and couldn't figure out what to look for on Google. I know I have taken LEDs and hit them with some sand paper to scatter the light they put out and it worked well. Maybe I'll try a small piece of plexi glass buffed up on one side with sand paper and see if it glows enough to create a detectable resistance in the photo cell no matter where it is hit. If you know the name of some lens I could put on a photo resistor please share. In google "optics layer" just keeps returning results about fiber optic networking.

    Bob, yea with a volt meter hooked up to the small solar cell I did get a tiny detectable bump when I hit it with the laser but depending on the ambient light this bump range might be hard for me to detect using simple electronics. I am a programmer by trade but I am trying not to introduce an Arduino to this project. You are probably right and this route is a dead end.

    Thank you both for your replies, you gave me some stuff to think about. If you don't mind I'll do some more testing and share my results back here in this thread.
     
  6. Hopup

    Hopup

    253
    35
    Jul 5, 2015
    Yes you wont probably find anything with that term, but you got what I meant some kind of mirror or lens to direct the light would be probably easy thing to do.
     
  7. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,360
    2,755
    Jan 21, 2010
    One thing you might want to consider is modulating your laser. This will allow your receiving circuit to be much more sensitive as it will be able to distinguish the laser from other ambient sources.
     
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day

-