Low-loss circuit powers solar lantern

Posted on Apr 7, 2012

The solar-lantern circuit in Figure 1 is a low-loss configuration that uses a 7W, four-pin CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) and a 12V, 7-Ahr, sealed, maintenance-free battery. The inverter features greater-than-85% efficiency, less-than-2-mA quiescent current, and a shunt-charge controller with deep-discharge and overcharge protection for the battery. The low quiescent current and the deep-discharge and overcharge protection ensure long life for the battery.

The preheating feature in the inverter avoids the blackening of the end of the CFL, thereby ensuring long life. The circuit finds application in rural areas as a reliable, compact, portable light source and in urban areas as an emergency-lighting system.

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