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Solar power storage

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by nats0128, May 31, 2013.

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  1. nats0128


    May 31, 2013
    Hello, im a total newbie to the world of circuits and electronics but have started to build a solar powered USB charger and emergency toolkit from an altoids tin, i have the main circuit for the emergency SOS and USB charger set up and running but need help with connecting the solar panels.

    I have 4 small solar panels from a pound shop no details on the back just a - +, all panels connected give out a total of 8.5 - 9 volts if i connected a 1.5 ohm resistor on the + side of the panels would the total amp output be ~600 mAh ?

    Also with connecting solar panels to rechargeable batteries is it just a matter of + from battery to + on solar panel etc...??

    One more - i have been reading up on capacitors and how they function and would like to know if its possible to store the electric from the solar panels in a capacitor then drain the capacitor slowly to trickle charge the batteries ? if so how would i work out what size capacitor/s i need to do this

    Thank you
  2. woodchips


    Feb 8, 2013

    To me, solar panels seem to be the greatest con trick of the last decade. In the UK, about 57 degrees north, you will get, on a bright sunny day, only about 50W per m^2 of panel area (this is from memory). This is rather less than the 1kW m^2 that everyone talks about. This is the upper atmosphere figure and there are losses in the atmosphere and in the panels that make the difference.

    Normally use panels with an open circuit voltage twice the battery voltage and just use a blocking diode as a starting point. Make sure that the maximum output current is less than the continuous battery charge current.

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