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Device to control current going into individual electronics

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  • Device to control current going into individual electronics

    Greetings from infernally hot, yet conveniently sunny, Puerto Rico!

    Is there a single device I can connect to the wires coming from panels and specify, like dial in, set, the current I can supply to other devices?
    For example, panel --> "device" --> phone charging, 12v mini water pump, and other small devices.

    My goal is to not have to use battery storage yet not wire panels directly to electronic devices, keeping the current within a manageable range, nothing big in terms of output.
    I understand I am limited by sun hours, that's fine for my needs.

    So far from the little I know about this tech I suspect a charge controller might be used as that "device". Or is such a thing done using several components?

  • #2
    This can work well with devices that contain their own battery, or are tolerant of varying power such
    as a DC motor. Bruce Roe

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bcroe View Post
      This can work well with devices that contain their own battery, or are tolerant of varying power such
      as a DC motor. Bruce Roe
      Thanks, Bruce

      I just don't want to fry a motor because it's attached to a too big of a panel on a sunny day.

      That's another thing I should mention. I don't want to limit myself to smaller panels, I want to buy a 100w panel that I can later incorporate into a bigger set up.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Soleadus View Post
        Is there a single device I can connect to the wires coming from panels and specify, like dial in, set, the current I can supply to other devices?
        For example, panel --> "device" --> phone charging, 12v mini water pump, and other small devices.
        12V pumps - you can regulate current taken by reducing voltage. You need a variable DC-DC for this.
        Phones - most phones will reduce charge rates based on voltage drop at the input. Again, you need a variable DC-DC for this.

        In all cases you will need a regulator so 12V devices don't see the 18V from the panel. Most 12V devices cannot handle more than about 15 volts.

        In many cases you can get by with a large capacitor acting like a battery. Devices that cannot be regulated can be turned on and off to keep the voltage within (for example) 11-16 volts. Laptops, for example, cannot easily be regulated - their chargers are either on or off. By turning on at 16V and off at 11V you can do a pseudo-regulation of power. Choose a capacitor so that you get a reasonable time (say 30 seconds) of charging during this sort of operation.

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