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Solar Cell Circuits  

Solar Cells:   #'s - E       F - O      P - S       T - Z

Last Updated: October 25, 2017 09:14 AM

Circuits Designed by Dave Johnson, P.E. :

Fireflies_In_Jar_Solar_Light -  When I was a kid, growing up in Illinois, I remember catching fireflies and putting them into a jar.  I loved watching them flashing away at night.  Later, I would let them out to live another day. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September, 2017

Ideal Blocking Diode Circuit for Photovoltaic Solar Panels -  Most photovoltaic solar panels are used to charge a battery during the daytime.  Nearly all panels come equipped with a blocking diode.  The diode prevents DC current from flowing backwards from the battery bank into the panel at night.  The usual blocking. . . Circuit by Dave Johnson P.E.-March, 2011

Ideal Diode for PV Panels -  Solar panels usually include a diode at their outputs.  The diode prevents current from back feeding into the panel at night from the battery being charged by the panel.  But, this diode does waste some power and does reduce the available panel voltage . . . Hobby Circuit designed by David A. Johnson P.E.-March, 2011

Ideal Diode Function -  Most photovoltaic solar panels are used to charge a battery during the daytime.  Nearly all panels come equipped with a blocking diode.  The diode prevents DC current from flowing backwards from the battery bank into the panel at night.  The usual blocking . . . Hobby Circuit designed by Dave Johnson P.E.-January, 2008

Improved Solar LED Spot Light -  Nearly all the Chinese made solar powered LED lights I see being sold at Lowe's and Home Depot home improvement centers are poorly designed.  Their solar panels and battery packs are all undersized.  The light from their Chinese made LEDs fade rapidly and the devices never make it through a complete night before the light dies. . . Circuit by David A. Johnson P.E.-February, 2013

Improved Solar Path Light -  The circuit below was designed to replace the guts of an existing path light assembly with one which has a much better performance.  I suggest using a quality 10 cell solar panel with at least a 4 square inch area.  Buy a panel with solar panels that fills . . . Hobby Circuit designed by David A. Johnson P.E.-March, 2011

Insolution_Meter_Solar -  You don’t need a fancy and expensive meter to measure the sun’s intensity.  With some inexpensive parts you can build your own meter.  I used a 1ma meter movement and a single solar cell I got on eBay with an area of about one square inch.  I calibrated the meter on a very clear bright summer day when the sun was directly overhead. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July, 2017

LED_Light_8_Solar_Cell -  I have been modifying a lot of solar garden and path lights for the last several years.  I buy some units from home improvement stores, then I gut them completely.  I take out the battery, electronic control board, LED and solar panel.  I then replace those components with new units.  I increase the size of the solar panel and battery.  I use a more efficient and brighter LED . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September, 2017

LED_Light_for_Tool_Shed   -  I have a lean-to 8ft by 12ft shed next to my house.  It is full of lawn chemicals and garden supplies.  There were times when I needed to get something from inside the shed during the dead of night.  Early on I had to use a flashlight.  But later, I installed a series of five 12v LED light strips on the ceiling.  Each strip contained 15 3v white LEDs.  The strip had 5 strings of three LEDs, wired in series, with a 150 ohm current limiting resistor. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July 14, 2017

Lighthouse_Solar_Powered -  While at a discount store one day, I spotted an interesting tall lighthouse.  It had a tiny solar panel and an equally tiny LED light.  The LED was pointing downward, at the center of a rotating light reflector.  I thought it might be turned into an interesting addition to my wife’s garden. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September, 2017

Mason_Jar_Solar_Light -  I have modified several commercial solar garden lights over the years.  I switch out the LED, solar panel, battery pack and control circuit.  The result is a much better overall light.  One of my disappointments in using store-bought garden light assemblies is their construction.  They are built so cheaply that over time, water and insects get inside, killing the light operation. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September, 2017

Modified Colman Lantern3 -  While shopping at a sporting goods store one day, I spotted a compact LED lantern.  It looked like the kind of lantern I could modify. The lantern LEDs were grouped into three sections of 7 LEDs each, oriented into 120 degree angles.  The LEDs were standard T 1-3/4 epoxy types.  The lantern had a three mode switch which selected between off, full power and half power modes.  At the half power mode, only half of the 21 LEDs were illuminated.  At full power all LEDs were illuminated. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September, 2017

Modified Cheap Solar LED Path Light -  Modification of a typical solar path light with a standard 1000ma-hour NiMH
AAA cell.  I then replaced the small 4 cell solar panel with a larger 4 cell unit, which produced 150ma in the sun.  Next, I simply changed the 470uH coil on the circuit board to a 22uH coil.  The lower inductance increased the battery current to 40ma when the LED light was on, which translated to about 13ma LED current.  The light was much brighter. . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-October, 2012

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Links to electronic circuits, electronic schematics, designs for engineers, hobbyists, students & inventors:

Flashing LED-Based Solar Engine -  Voltage-Controlled Solar Engine:This design uses a flashing LED to determine the solar engine's voltage trip level.   __ Designed by Wilf Rigter

FLED Solar Engine -  if you can't find the 1381 voltage detector in your area try this SE.  it uses a much more common FLED.   __ Contact Nervous nets © and patented Mark Tilden. Content originally developed Ian Bernstein

Garden Lighting Using Solar Cells -  Completely ‘self-supporting’ garden lamps using solar cells as their energy source are gradually becoming more and more common.  How do they actually work? We took one apart to find out.  From environmental and technical considerations, buying such a solar-cell garden lamp has a lot to recommend it.  it’s a great thing that the energy necessary__ 

Gate Boost Solar Engine -  Voltage-Controlled Solar Engine: The "Gate Boost Solar Engine" is a new (6/2002) Wilf Rigter 1381-based design.  This uses an internal voltage doubler to turn on a FET more efficiently.   __ Designed by Wilf Rigter

Gordons Cap Mod -  Adding capacitors to a wind turbine alternator can improve the output power curve to better match the wind speed.  Read how Gordon has used capacitors to increase the power of a F&P and a axial flux wind turbine.  __ 

Happy Birthday Singer solar engine -  Time-Controlled Solar Engine: The original Type 2 Solar Engine was based around the "Happy Birthday Singer" (HBS) chip that was pulled from the original Hallmark singing greeting cards.   __ Designed by Wilf Rigter

Hybrid Solar Charger -  Efficiency of a solar charging system depends on the weather conditions.  Usually the solar panel gets four to five hours of bright sunlight in a day.  if the weather is cloudy...__ Electronics Projects for You

Ideal Blocking Diode Circuit for Photovoltaic Solar Panels -  Most photovoltaic solar panels are used to charge a battery during the daytime.  Nearly all panels come equipped with a blocking diode.  The diode prevents DC current from flowing backwards from the battery bank into the panel at night.  The usual blocking. . . Circuit by Dave Johnson P.E.-March, 2011

Ideal Diode for PV Panels -  Solar panels usually include a diode at their outputs.  The diode prevents current from back feeding into the panel at night from the battery being charged by the panel.  But, this diode does waste some power and does reduce the available panel voltage . . . Hobby Circuit designed by David A. Johnson P.E.-March, 2011

Ideal Diode Function -  Most photovoltaic solar panels are used to charge a battery during the daytime.  Nearly all panels come equipped with a blocking diode.  The diode prevents DC current from flowing backwards from the battery bank into the panel at night.  The usual blocking . . . Hobby Circuit designed by Dave Johnson P.E.-January, 2008

Implement Photovoltaic-Module Simulator -  04/07/11  EDN Design Ideas:  Use combinations of diodes to simulate photovoltaic cells.  Electronics engineers often use photovoltaic-module simulators to test dc/dc-power converters, inverters, or MPPT (maximum-power-point-tracking) -control techniques.  The use of these simulators lets you work in the laboratory with predefined photovoltaic conditions, thus avoiding the drawbacks of real photovoltaic modules.  Various commercial simulators are available, but they are often expensive.   __ Circuit Design by José M Blanes and Ausiàs Garrigós, University Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain

Improved Solar LED Spot Light -  Nearly all the Chinese made solar powered LED lights I see being sold at Lowe's and Home Depot home improvement centers are poorly designed.  Their solar panels and battery packs are all undersized.  The light from their Chinese made LEDs fade rapidly and the devices never make it through a complete night before the light dies. . . Circuit by David A. Johnson P.E.-February, 2013

Improved Solar Path Light -  The circuit below was designed to replace the guts of an existing path light assembly with one which has a much better performance.  I suggest using a quality 10 cell solar panel with at least a 4 square inch area.  Buy a panel with solar panels that fills . . . Hobby Circuit designed by David A. Johnson P.E.-March, 2011

Induction Motor Conversion -  This was a little project to convert a small induction motor to a permanent magnet windmill.  __ 

Inspect Solar Cells Without a Microscope -  26-Nov-09 EDN Design Ideas:  Use a short-wave infrared camera to capture the image of an entire wafer __ Circuit Design by Chun-Fu Lin and Tai-Shan Liao, National Applied Research Laboratories, Hsinchu, Taiwan

LCD Panel Meter -  How to make a volt and amp meter for your battery bank.  Click Here__ 

LED_Light_for_Tool_Shed   -  I have a lean-to 8ft by 12ft shed next to my house.  It is full of lawn chemicals and garden supplies.  There were times when I needed to get something from inside the shed during the dead of night.  Early on I had to use a flashlight.  But later, I installed a series of five 12v LED light strips on the ceiling.  Each strip contained 15 3v white LEDs.  The strip had 5 strings of three LEDs, wired in series, with a 150 ohm current limiting resistor. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July 14, 2017

LED Sensor Relay Tracker Schematic -  I have been looking for truly low cost and yet accurate conventional solar trackers.  The CdS tracker is pretty good but lacks accuracy and sensitivity.  I was thinking about using PV cells as the sensor.  I was experimenting with LEDs and noticed they generate voltage in sunlight.  Bingo! This got me to thinking __ Contact Duane C. Johnson

LED Solar Lantern Lights -  Circuit of the LED solar lantern lights presented here is built around one 6V/1W Solar Panel (PhotoVoltaic Panel) and a 4V/800mAh Lead-Acid Battery.  Here, commonly available 5mm White Straw Hat LEDs are used as the light source.  how does the solar lantern circuit works DC 6V supply from the solar panel is fed to the __ Designed by T.K. Hareendran

LED2 Sensor Relay Tracker Schematic -  Circuit 1 tends to chatter the relays under certain lighting conditions as there is no built in hysteresis.  This version uses a Schmitt trigger hex inverter circuit to eliminate the chatter.  it works better but is more complex __ Contact Duane C. Johnson

Linear & Switching Voltage Regulator Fundamentals -  Great article, thanks to Bryan for finding this one.  PDF format.  __ 

Low Power LED Voltmeter -  This is a low power voltmeter circuit that can be used with alternative energy systems that run on 12 and 24 volt batteries.  The voltmeter is an expanded scale type that indicates small voltage steps over the 10 to 16 volt range for 12 volt batteries and over the 22 to 32 volt __ Designed by G. Forrest Cook

Low-loss powers solar lantern -  1-Apr-04 EDN Design Ideas:  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 __ Circuit Design by Ramsesh Kumar, Bangalore, India

LVD1 12V 15A Low Voltage Disconnect -  The LVD1 kit is used for automatically controlling the power to 12V solar-powered battery-operated electronic devices.  it shuts down power when the battery voltage drops to a selected voltage, protecting the battery from damaging excessive discharge conditions.  Power is either automatically or manually reconnected at a selected voltage when the battery is recharged.  An adjustable low-voltage indicator warns of the impending power outage.  The low-voltage signal is externally available, allowing computers to monitor the condition and perform a graceful shutdown.  The low-voltage signal can also be used for triggering a variety of low-voltage warning systems. 
 __ Designed by Solar Orbit Kit

Maximizing Solar Panel Efficiency & Output Power -  improve Solar PV Panel Efficiency and Output Power There are a number of means available to increase solar panel output and efficiency — some of which may be utilized by the serious experimenter.  These are listed as follows: Solar Cell Technology There are a number of technologies being researched and there are continual __ Designed by Jim Keith

MicroPower Solar Engine -  A 'micro power solar engine' has been a goal since my introduction to BEAM Robotics.  I believe that if there wasn't one before, I there is one now.  What i'm presenting to you looks very similar to one of the circuits found in Steven Bolt's web pages.  As you will see, I made only minor changes to that design and not without help.   __ Designed by Ken Huntington

Miller solar engine -  The Miller solar engine uses a 1381* voltage detector (a.  k.  a.  , a voltage supervisor) IC to drive a voltage-based (type 1) solar engine.  The 1381 is normally used to reset CPUs and Micros when the power supply drops too low for reliable operation.  So 1381s detect and switch when the input voltage crosses the rated upper and lower threshold voltages.  The upper- and lower-switching voltages are slightly overlapped so that the turn-on voltage is a few hundred mV above the turn-off voltage.  This hysteresis keeps input noise (around the switching threshold) from resulting in multiple output cycles as the transition occurs.   __ Contact Eric Seale

Modified Cheap Solar LED Path Light -  Modification of a typical solar path light with a standard 1000ma-hour NiMH
AAA cell.  I then replaced the small 4 cell solar panel with a larger 4 cell unit, which produced 150ma in the sun.  Next, I simply changed the 470uH coil on the circuit board to a 22uH coil.  The lower inductance increased the battery current to 40ma when the LED light was on, which translated to about 13ma LED current.  The light was much brighter. . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-October, 2012

Nocturnal--solar engine -  Nocturnal -- These solar engines charge up when it's light, and discharge (i.  e.  , power a load) when it's dark.  Nocturnal solar engine designs are built for just one thing -- to provide power to a nighttime load.  This means that unlike other SE designs, they charge continuously when there's light, then only release their power when it's dark -- essential behavior for BEAMbots that you only want to be active at night -- "crickets", night-lights, "pummers", and other such ornaments.   __ Contact Eric Seale

Oatley DC Motor Windmill -  Based on a 300watt 24v DC scoota motor, this little windmill would work well if I could boost the output voltage.  __ 

Outdoor Garden Solar Lights -  This Outdoor LED Solar Garden Lights project is a hobby circuit of an automatic garden light using a LDR and 6V/5W solar panel.  During day time, the internal rechargeable 6 Volt SLA battery receives charging current from the connected solar panel through polariy protection diode D9 and current limiting resistor R10.  if ambient __ Designed by D Mohankumar

Got Designs?
Please eMail
if you want me to link to and/or post your original design.  Thanks.


Solar Cells:   #'s - E       F - O      P - S       T - Z

 


Imagineering Ezine    Discover Solar Energy Dave Johnson & Associates Faraday Touch Switches



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