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Solar lights to DC

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by chur_bro, Dec 12, 2015.

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  1. chur_bro

    chur_bro

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    0
    Dec 12, 2015
    Hi all,

    I'm after a little help:
    I have 3 sets of solar lights, each set have 6 lights that connect together with plugs/sockets and have a seperate solar panel that plugs in that charges 3x 1.2V 600mAh batteries. On 2 of the sets the solar panel modules have ended up with moisture inside and the components have rusted making them useless.

    I noticed that I can add two extra lights to the working chain without affecting the performance but anymore and the batteries drain rather quickly.

    What I would like to do is connect all 18 lights together and run them off a low voltage transformer but I'm just not sure what I need.
    Do I use a 3.6V (3x 1.2V) transformer or do I need to increase the voltage per set?
    How do I calculate how many amps I need?

    Cheers
     
  2. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    3,554
    966
    May 12, 2015
    Hi chur_bro,
    That should be a fairly simple conversion.
    Are the batteries in series? so you get 3.6v.?
    I doubt they are parallel to get 1.2v and 1.8A..
    I would also imagine the 600mAh is for longer run times rather than required amperage..

    First you need to find out how they all connect together. If they connect in a series configuration, then you will need to calculate that in your power supply. 3x3.6v .
    600mA will probably be plenty for all of them..LED dependent...

    If they are parallel connected, the voltage will be the same but the amperage will be x3..

    Martin
     
    chur_bro likes this.
  3. duke37

    duke37

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    Jan 9, 2011
    You should not use just a transformer, that will give you AC which is not be desired.
    You should use a power supply which gives DC regulated at the battery voltage., Make sure the polarity is correct.
     
    chur_bro and Martaine2005 like this.
  4. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

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    May 12, 2015
    Good point Trevor,
    I assumed when the OP said low voltage, he meant a DC brick or "wall wart" kind..

    Martin
     
  5. chur_bro

    chur_bro

    2
    0
    Dec 12, 2015
    Sorry for the late reply, things are crazy busy leading up to Christmas.

    Hi Trevor, yes I did mean a power supply 240V to ?V DC type thing depending on what is required. Sometimes the term transformer (incorrectly) is used here.

    Martin, So just to double check, I am just looking to see if the batteries are connected in series or parallel? Or am I also looking at how the lights are connected? I can check and get back to you (and post a picture if I can't work it out).

    Thanks for your responses guys, I really appreciate it.

    Cheers
    T.
     
  6. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid

    2,515
    718
    Jun 10, 2015
    All information is useful. Yes, the connectivity of both the batteries and the LEDs are needed to reverse engineer a power system. part of the problem is that solar panels are inherently self-limiting - as you draw more and more current, the output voltage goes down. A small AC/DC power supply might behave that way, or you might have to add a small circuit.

    But if we get a good enough idea of how your stuff is connected, whatever it takes to make the new system safe for the batteries becomes more clear. Another piece of the puzzle - battery chemistry. Are yours NiCad, NMH, or lithium?

    ak
     
  7. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

    3,554
    966
    May 12, 2015
    I was under the impression the batteries were being discarded?
    And supplied by a AC/DC power supply only?

    Maybe I misread.

    Martin
     
    davenn likes this.
  8. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    13,865
    1,956
    Sep 5, 2009
    yes agreed ... that's the way I see it too
    The battery talk is just about determining how they are wired so we can determine what voltage plug pack is needed


    D
     
    Martaine2005 likes this.
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