Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

remote site installation...

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • remote site installation...

    hi,

    i've got what seems to be a simple little project i'm taking on. i have no experience with this stuff, and my internet research has only served to confuse me more. i can't seem to find the answer to my question in threads around here, so i'll simple lay it all out and see if anyone can advise.

    i'm setting up some l.e.d. lights in a tree that will run all night and will be battery powered. not sure where to start so i'll just start explaining...



    so i ordered 4 of these (green, 100 degree flood angle - check out the “specifications” tab towards the bottom) today to put in some of these. i've already built weather-proof housings to put the sockets and bulbs in and mounting brackets.

    tech support at superbrightleds told me that the bulbs would use 1.2 watts each, or 100 milliamps. not sure if that's per hour, but i assume it is. there's 4 lights, so multiply that times 4.

    i was gonna use a deep-cycle marine battery (~$100+) to power them, hooked thru a dust-dawn photocell, charged by a 20 watt solar panel (~$100+) connected to a charging control unit (~$30) to prevent the battery from over-charging… from what i understand a 20 watt panel will charge a car/marine battery sufficiently.

    it would be great if i could simply power it with a 12v deer feeder battery (~$30 "Universal Battery" brand) and a 12 watt solar panel (~$30) from my local feed store. i’m just not sure if that is going to be enough to run the lights all night then charge the battery back to capacity the next day. i have no doubt the battery will power the lights through the night, what concerns me is the battery not charging all the way back up the next day and the lights slowly de-charging the battery over time, then all i gots is dark...

    what i don’t want to do is buy a $30 battery and $30 solar panel only to find out a month later that i have to buy a $100 battery and a $100 solar panel.

    also, i'd like input on what to put this stuff in if anyone has ideas. a galvanized box with a lip-over lid would be perfect. an ammo can with a sealed lid might work too, if it’s big enough. just has to be metal (squirrels) and rain-proof. i plan on just lag-bolting it to the tree the lights will be mounted in. i’m also gonna run the 18 gauge (is that sufficient?) wiring through flexible metal conduit so the tree rats can’t chew it up.

    i'd appreciate any and all help.

    thanks.

  • #2
    So, for ease of understanding and a margin to grow the system a little bit, let's say that your bulbs draw 10 Amps per night from the battery (120W). You have to design for the month of the year with the least number of sun hours, so let's say you get 3 hours. You also need some reserve in your battery to account for the cloudy or snow days etc. Let's go with 3 days of reserve, so that means 30Ah could be drawn from the battery before there was enough sun to put a charge back into it. So, to get back to 100% in one day, you need a panel that could put 30Ah back into the battery in a single 3 hour sun day.

    So, a 120W panel and a deep cycle 100Ah battery should get you close.
    A 10A charge controller would be fine, but a 20A probably isn't but a few bucks more than the 10A.
    1150W, Midnite Classic 200, Cotek PSW, 8 T-605s

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by free man View Post
      so i ordered 4 of these (green, 100 degree flood angle - check out the “specifications” tab towards the bottom) today to put in some of these. i've already built weather-proof housings to put the sockets and bulbs in and mounting brackets.

      tech support at superbrightleds told me that the bulbs would use 1.2 watts each, or 100 milliamps. not sure if that's per hour, but i assume it is. there's 4 lights, so multiply that times 4.
      You have not specified how many hours yet. 1.2 watts is the rate at which you are using power, there is no time element. If it is on it uses 1.2 watts round the clock. So you have 4 of them which will consume 4.8 watts. How many hours are you going have them on each night? For example 12 hours. Then 4.8 watts x 12 hours = 57.6 watt hours, round up to 60 watt hours per night is how much energy they use and you have to replace.

      Originally posted by free man View Post
      i was gonna use a deep-cycle marine battery (~$100+) to power them, hooked thru a dust-dawn photocell, charged by a 20 watt solar panel (~$100+) connected to a charging control unit (~$30) to prevent the battery from over-charging… from what i understand a 20 watt panel will charge a car/marine battery sufficiently.
      Don't do anything yet because you do not know what you are doing or understand the physics. Your winter months of December and January dictate everything Running on a photo-cell means in winter the lights will be on 15 to 16 hours. That means you will use 4.8 watts x 16 hours = 76.8 watt hours round up to 80 watt hours.

      Easy part to figure out is battery. (80 wh x 5) / 12 volts = 33 Amp Hours . Round that up to 35 to 40 AH.

      What we do not know is your location to find Sun Hours in your location and if the panel will be in direct sun light from Dawn to Dusk. I can tell at a minimum will require 70 watts. You are looking at least an 80 watt panel and 10 amp PWM controller. Got shade problems? Lot more panel wattage.
      MSEE, PE

      Comment


      • #4
        I suggest getting a Morningstar SunLight controller. It will act as a charge controller, lighting controller, and low voltage disconnect to turn off the lights when the battery is low. The model is determined by the size of the panel, so once you answer SunKing's questions, the exact model can be suggested. http://www.morningstarcorp.com/products/sunlight/
        Solar Queen
        altE Store

        Comment


        • #5
          thank you for the input/feedback and helping to identify what questions stiil need to be asked/addressed.

          yaw not gonna do anything till i know what's right...


          in the winter (january) here the sun sets at roughly 6p and rises at around 7:30a. that's ~ 13.5 hours in winter and in the summer (july) we get ~10 hours of darkness (sunset ~8:30p, rise at 6:30a). so we need to figure for ~13.5 hours... however, the dusk-dawn sensor won't kick the lights on till at least 1/2 after sunset and will switch them off at least a half hour before sunrise. should we figure on worse case ~12 hours run time? and keep in mind even throughout the winter we have pretty intense sunlight.

          12 x 4.8 = ~58 watt hours...???

          the panel will be facing the sky largely unimpeded, save a tree branch or two ~25' away, but i'm down for going a little bigger to err on the side of caution.

          what do you all think?

          again thank you in advance for all your help.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by free man View Post
            thank you for the input/feedback and helping to identify what questions stiil need to be asked/addressed.

            yaw not gonna do anything till i know what's right...


            in the winter (january) here the sun sets at roughly 6p and rises at around 7:30a. that's ~ 13.5 hours in winter and in the summer (july) we get ~10 hours of darkness (sunset ~8:30p, rise at 6:30a). so we need to figure for ~13.5 hours... however, the dusk-dawn sensor won't kick the lights on till at least 1/2 after sunset and will switch them off at least a half hour before sunrise. should we figure on worse case ~12 hours run time? and keep in mind even throughout the winter we have pretty intense sunlight.

            12 x 4.8 = ~58 watt hours...???

            the panel will be facing the sky largely unimpeded, save a tree branch or two ~25' away, but i'm down for going a little bigger to err on the side of caution.

            what do you all think?

            again thank you in advance for all your help.
            Just because the sun is bright in the winter and you "see" it for about 10.5 hours does not mean it will provide enough sunlight to charge your battery. In Winter you will probably get 3 hours (10:30 am to 1:30 pm) of charge time.

            So as you and Sunking estimated, 58watt hours will require you to go with a minimum of a 35Ah 12volt battery and 80 watt panel because those LED may use more wattage and there are losses in the system to overcome.

            Comment


            • #7
              The Morningstar SL-10L-12V will do the trick with an 80W panel.
              Solar Queen
              altE Store

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by free man View Post
                in the winter (january) here the sun sets at roughly 6p and rises at around 7:30a. that's ~ 13.5 hours in winter and in the summer (july) we get ~10 hours of darkness (sunset ~8:30p, rise at 6:30a). so we need to figure for ~13.5 hours... however, the dusk-dawn sensor won't kick the lights on till at least 1/2 after sunset and will switch them off at least a half hour before sunrise. should we figure on worse case ~12 hours run time? and keep in mind even throughout the winter we have pretty intense sunlight.
                That has nothing to do with sun hours. What is the location?

                80 watt minimum panel until you give location. Based on that 80 watts might work or you might need a larger panel.
                MSEE, PE

                Comment


                • #9
                  location is south texas.



                  Originally posted by Amy@altE View Post
                  The Morningstar SL-10L-12V will do the trick with an 80W panel.
                  could you help me understand the advantages this $80+ system would have over an $18 dusk-dawn photocell and a ~$30 charge controller?



                  also, poly or mono, or does it matter? any brands preferable or any i should steer clear of?

                  thanks for your insight.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by free man View Post
                    location is south texas.





                    could you help me understand the advantages this $80+ system would have over an $18 dusk-dawn photocell and a ~$30 charge controller?



                    also, poly or mono, or does it matter? any brands preferable or any i should steer clear of?

                    thanks for your insight.
                    The Morningstar SunLight also has low voltage disconnect, which will turn off the light if the batteries get low. It will prevent the batteries needing replacement from a premature death.

                    Poly/mono really doesn't matter for you.
                    Solar Queen
                    altE Store

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      gotcha, thanks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In San Antonio, with the panels installed at 45 degree tilt, you can get about 3.95 sun hours in Dec.

                        4.8W for lights x 12 hours / 3.95 sun hours / .5 system losses (w/ PWM charge controller) = You can probably do a 30W panel. I'd still go higher, maybe 40 or 50W, but 80W may be more than you need now that we know your location. SunKing?
                        Solar Queen
                        altE Store

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          good info. i'm out in the country, but not too far from San A. so that's probably a good baseline.


                          what size battery you think?

                          i've done some asking around and there's a biz down here that sells 108 LED light panel's (not sure of the draw) powered by a 20 watt panel charging a, get this, 12v 8Ah battery....and they claim it runs all night and recharges with no problem. i found that a little hard to believe and pressed him on it and he told me that if we get a week of bad weather in the winter sometimes the lights will cut off early at ~4am.

                          i agree with you guys that i'm gonna want more than that, but i was thinking that a 80-100 watt panel might be more than i need.

                          i was kinda of thinking about going halfway between....maybe a 40 watt panel (or (2) 20s paralleled) like you said. when i spoke to the people at batteries plus yesterday and explained what I was gonna do, they calculated and thought i'd be able to get by with a 12-18Ah battery.



                          given all that, i was thinking ~40 watt panel and a 14-18Ah 12v....but again i value y'alls input. i'm trying to keep this as low cost as possible, otherwise i'd have ordered the 100w panel and a 50+Ah battery.

                          will i need a 35+Ah battery as suneagle mentioned?

                          thanks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            and what about brand of panels? anything i should steer clear of?


                            ***edit - now that i look at the pricing on amazon, the 40-50 watt panels don't seem to be significantly less than the 80-100 watt panels. if y'all have brand recommendations and the price difference is like what i'm seeing, then it just makes sense to spend a bit more for double the capacity. no?

                            and what about wiring? 18 gauge do the trick?

                            please and thank you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Amy@altE View Post
                              In San Antonio, with the panels installed at 45 degree tilt, you can get about 3.95 sun hours in Dec.

                              4.8W for lights x 12 hours / 3.95 sun hours / .5 system losses (w/ PWM charge controller) = You can probably do a 30W panel. I'd still go higher, maybe 40 or 50W, but 80W may be more than you need now that we know your location. SunKing?
                              Yes SA is very good location and seing how the system is LVDC and long runs would go with 50 watt panel.
                              MSEE, PE

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X