Solar Charger circuits

Posted on Oct 30, 2012

This is another kit in our self-sufficiency range. We also have a 12v fluoro inverter kit for those who need to operate 20watt to 40watt fluorescent lamps from a 12v supply. We will be introducing a number of kits for those who have opted to live with 12v energy. With nearly everything electronic capable of operating from a 12v supply, there is no reason why anyone opting to live with a low voltage supply cannot enjoy all the electronic pleasures of those who live in the city. Some products are not yet available for 12v operation but inverters are available from 100watts to 4kw.

Solar Charger circuits
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Solar Charger circuits - image 1
Click here to download the full size of the above Image.

he problem with charging a battery from a solar panel is the SUN! It doesn't shine all the time and clouds get in the way! Our eyes adjust to the variations in the strength of the sun but a solar panel behaves differently. As soon as the sun loses its intensity, the output from a solar panel drops enormously. No only does the output current fall, but the output voltage also decreases. Many of the solar panels drop to below the 13.6v needed to charge a 12v battery and as soon as this occurs, the charging current drops to ZERO. This means they become useless as soon as the brightness of the sun goes away. Our project cannot work miracles but it will convert voltages as low as 3.5v into 13.6v and keep delivering a current to the battery. Obviously the current will be much lower than the maximum, when the sun "half-shines" but the inverter will take advantage of all those hours of half-sun. At least you know it will be doing its best ALL THE TIME. The other advantage of the inverter is the cost of the panel. You don't have to buy a 12v panel. Almost any panel or set of solar cells will be suitable. You can even use a faulty 12v panel. Sometimes a 12v panel becomes damaged or cracked due to sun, rail, heat or shock. If one or two of the cells do not output a voltage (see below on how to fix faulty panels) the cells can be removed (or unwired) and the gap closed up. This will lower the output voltage (in fact it may...

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