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Solar Panel School Project

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Dave Benemerito, Mar 16, 2018.

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  1. Dave Benemerito

    Dave Benemerito

    Sep 26, 2015
    Hi, electronics newbie here, we currently have a project in school about creating a miniature city with generating electricity. I chose Solar energy. I bought a small one with max output of 2-3V. I hooked it up with a MT3608 Step Up module and wired parallel with my 5mm LED lights hoping that it will shine bright. However, some LED's are dull and some are brighter no matter how i adjust the built-in potentiometer . I didn't use any battery based on the requirements. What do I need to do to make it light brighter?
  2. AnalogKid


    Jun 10, 2015
    The only way for us to discuss your circuit in detail is for us to have all of the information you have.

    First, post a schematic or wiring diagram showing all of your components and their connections. A circuit is almost impossible to discuss in detail using only text. Next, post datasheets for your components or links to the websites where you bought them.

    You don't state the current or wattage of the solar panel. The 3608 can draw over 2 mA of quiescent current, so it might be overloading a very small panel.

  3. Dave Benemerito

    Dave Benemerito

    Sep 26, 2015
    I bought the solar panel at the local electronics store and the only detail I have for my solar panel is that the vendor said it is 3V and the size is about the size of a 5" phone. There were no any mark printed but when i checked on my multimeter, it produces 2-2.5V.

    Attached Files:

  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Use your meter on the current range to measure the current supplied by the panel.

    You will then have 2 measurements, the short circuit current and the open circuit voltage.

    The maximum power is typically achieved at about 80% to 90% of the short circuit current when the voltage will be between 70% and 80% of the open circuit voltage.(see here)

    The problem with most boost converters is that they will draw more and more current to try to drive a load, eventually drawing more than the panel can supply resulting in very low power output.

    An mppt (maximum power point) regulator is designed differently to maintain the load at the maximum power point. However these are far more complex.

    For you, the simplest answer might be too either buy one or more additional panels and place them in series, look at "joule thief" circuits, or beam circuits.

    Another thing to look at is how solar lanterns work. The solar panel charges a battery and the LED turns on at night.
    hevans1944 likes this.
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