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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:20 pm 
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I thought I would try some solar lighting for my shed.

I decided this would be for "intermittent" lighting, as in go into the shed to get something, turn light on get the something come out, and turn light off.

So first, I ordered all the parts (ebay)

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File comment: Panel and pop can to give persective
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As you can see, i opted to use an aluminium framed solar panel

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The charge controller I am going to use.


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I am going to use warm white LED tape. (5m of it)


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A 12v 2.1Ah battery

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Every thing ready


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Working (But you can't see the light switch)


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In daylight the solar panel is charging the battery


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The solar panel mounted


I mounted the solar panel on the wall (As opposed to the roof) as it was easier and no hassle with roof / tile brackets) It works well, bearing in mind its only use is intermittent.
The whole lot was only £36.60. 20w aluminum framed solar panel £17, solar controller £7.30, LED tape £2.30, battery £10, brackets and timber £0 as I already had them lying around.

The "funny" thing is, with a rigid solar panel (That seems to work better than a flexible solar panel, and is generally easier to install) the whole project is cheaper and less hassle than using a flexible solar panel.

If you are not sure about solar, I would like to mention, that this project is only for "intermittent" use, if you want it for longer you are going to need more/bigger batteries and likewise more/bigger solar panels which obviously means more/bigger cost :shock: , so if you can, have a mains supply installed its going to be cheaper, and no, this simple set up can not run your fridge, heater, drill etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:30 pm 
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So 12 volt LED light say 4 watt, and a battery say 7 Ah and you have 14 hours of light, popping in shed 10 minutes at a time that's 84 days before battery would go flat, OK issue with sulphating of battery, but it would take a long time before you know it is all working A1.

I tried a solar panel to maintain caravan battery, it seemed OK, in the main in the garage I need a 0.1 amp supply to maintain battery at 13.6 volt, so a 5 amp solar panel was over kill, zenor and normal diode to stop back current or over charging.

Returned 4 months latter battery was flat. Just as if I had nothing topping up battery.

Your controller should be better, it I think inverts the input to give best load to panel, however how do you know battery is being fully recharged, with a VRLA all you have is voltage, with a mains charger it raises to 14.4 volt, then switches off until at 12.8 volt then on again, so in real terms when you look at the battery charger 9 times out of 10 it shows 12.9 volt, as the rise to 14.4 and drop again as charger switches off is a very short duration. Other option is float at 13.5 volt. However so many times I have picked up what I think is a fully charged battery only to find some thing has gone wrong.

I have the old battery taken off the car as faulty, a 80Ah VRLA how many years do you think it would last with no charging?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:56 pm 
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Interesting to see whether it works out or not longer term.
Those sealed lead acid batteries seem to take a fair bit of abuse before failing.
If the weather there is anything like it is here at the moment it should all be charging pretty rapidly!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:24 pm 
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I wouldn't say those batteries can take a lot of abuse before they fail.
I would say, life expectancy is 3 - 5 years
Let its voltage go under 10v for too long and you may as well bin it, as they will never last as long as they did.
They are NOT "deep cycle" batteries.

If you are reading this and thinking of trying it, please do, but make sure you have a "charge controller" as it will help extend the life of the battery.

_________________
Fret not, a forum is a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link to find out more.

Working on anything electrical? have you got a multi meter? why not? Would you hit a nail with a shoe?

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here


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