Your Questions About Solar Panel Calculator

Chris asks…

Why doesn't the LED light work when i connect it to a solar panel from a calculator.?

ssadmin answers:

Two likely reasons.

1) A calculator solar cell generally only delivers about 1 to 1.5 volts. The LED needs 2-3 volts.

2) The calculator cell delivers less than 1 mA most likely. The LED probably needs 10 – 20 mA, at least.

If you have TWO of the calculator cells, you could wire them in series, and try connecting them to the LED. The LED might glow very dimly – you may have to put it in a dark box to see it.

Helen asks…

How many batteries should I get for my 145watt solar panels?

Hopefully you can point me to an online calculator of some sort. I have two 145 watt panels and 1 deep cycle marine battery (purchased from autozone). It's 85ah rated. If the battery is full, how much power can I draw from it? My panels look like they're getting 8-9 hrs of sun. Should I have more batteries? Is there a formula some place that I can use to make sure I'm being efficient with my setup?

ssadmin answers:

You'll get a number of different answers for this, and it depends on your battery also, but you typically want a current of at least 5% of the AH rating of the battery at the charge voltage. So you'll want a peak charge current of at least 5 amps at perhaps 14 volts. You have 230 watts of panels, so you could charge quite a bit more battery. You almost could use two T105 golf cart batteries in series, but certainly you could use one more marine battery in parallel.

It's important you use a charge controller, and if possible, an MPPT one (Google is your friend). It needs to be rated for the current your panels can deliver (about 20 amps at 12 volts – Morningstar makes a 30 amp MPPT controller). If you get an MPPT controller, you'll want to wire your panels in series (unless they're 24 volt panels) to make sure the maximum power point doesn't fall below the battery voltage on hot days. Without a charge controller, you can overcharge your batteries and damage them.

The nice thing about T105 batteries is they are a true deep cycle battery, with heavy plates, while marine batteries often don't last nearly as long. If you seldom use more than 30% of the capacity of T105's (about 0.8 KWH/day) they will last you several times as long as a marine battery will.

You can cycle lead acid batteries to 50% of their capacity without damaging them, so you could get 42 AH X 12 volts or about 0.5 KWH each day. With a second battery, you could get about 1 KWH/day, which is a bit less than your panels will give you at 5 hours of peak sun/day (a typical figure for North America). You'll want to discharge your batteries less than this for best life, however.

DK

Sharon asks…

why aren't there solar powered phones yet on mass market?

Lets face it, we all have had our phones die at crucial times, so why not put solar charging panels in phones? Calculators do it. Obviously you wouldnt rely only on the solar power, but its for convenience and emergencies. You would still have the standard charging cable.
On the front like calculators, you wouldnt need much

ssadmin answers:

They have solar charges and they work well. Adding it to the phone would be inefficient.

Mandy asks…

How can I add (and what size) capacitor to this circuit to make this glow?

I just don't understand caps well. I have the solar panel from a calculator, and a high intensity LED. As it stands, if there's enough light around to light it, you have to look very close to see that it's lit. Is there a way I can add a capacitor to this circuit to keep a small glow when the lights are out?

I'm not expecting a flashlight quality CP. I'm shooting for something more along the lines of a glow-in-the-dark sticker glow. It would sit under a lamp, and when the light is shut off, I want it to glow a little for…15 seconds…ish?

ssadmin answers:

Before making glow for this circuit,add a capacitor is necessary,yet the solar panel from a calculator and high intensity LED is not so advisable,besides,it will not last longer.
DIY application is interesting,I tried some together with my friend before,and followed some instructions updated on some useful pages such as http://www.led-solar-light.net/products/SS-LS1801-Solar-Lawn-Light.htm
WIsh it is helpful to you also.

Lizzie asks…

Can You Help Me Extend This Paper?

Ok just to let you know im in 6th grade, not to fancy please. I need another page of information on my ways solar power is used paper. I wont directly copy it either.

So far I Have:

Ways Solar Power Is Used
There are many ways that solar power is used today; solar power has helped make the world a better place to live. One of the ways that solar power is used is on houses. It can be used on houses to heat the air inside the house. Also it can be used to heat water inside the house if needed. The suns rays are captured by the solar panel and then they are converted into energy that can be used to heat a house or water. To sum it all up, some people choose solar panels for their house because it is better in the long run.
Have you ever noticed the little grayish-black squares on a calculator? Well those are tiny solar cells. Most US calculators these days use solar cells because they are more efficient. They are more efficient because they don’t need batteries so they last lon

ssadmin answers:

Ways Solar Power Is Used
There are many ways that solar power is used today; solar power is helping to make the world a better place to live. The main type of solar panels you would find is electric; they produce power that gets stored into a battery for later use. A major use for solar panels is used is on houses. It can be used on houses to heat the air inside the house, heat water for showers or any type of hot water use, or electric. Electric panels are getting more popular and cheaper every day. It works like this: the suns rays are captured by the solar panel and then they are converted into energy which can be used numerous ways. To sum it all up, some people choose solar panels for their house because it is better in the long run.
Have you ever noticed the little grayish-black squares on a calculator? Well those are tiny solar cells. Most calculators these days use solar cells because they are more efficient. They are more efficient because they don’t need batteries (but sometimes have them as well) so they can last a long time; all you need is the sun.
But solar panels are used everywhere, sometimes you just don’t notice them. They can be used on billboards to light them up at night time by charging a battery; people have even invented cars with the roof being a solar panel!

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