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Advice Needed: Want to build a solar panel LED light setup for entire backyard.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by aztecsurf
    I have a indoor strip that requires 5V - 500mA that is only 10M. I have
    the same strip for outdoor with no output on the label so I assume it's the same.

    Since these strips are all very close to each other as far as needed power depending on the length and LED count should I just buy a few of these converters and step each strand to the proper voltage it wants?

    It looks like I am getting close. Just need to pick the correct battery and panel to match.
    That converter ought to work, if you keep it dry. If you get radio interference, you'll need
    put some shielding/filtering on it. A version without the meter is even cheaper & uses a
    little less power.

    You need to find out exactly what power your strings use, since that directly impacts batteries
    and panels. Bruce Roe

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    • #17
      Ok, after checking what I have today it is basically (4) DC 5V - 1000mA output LED string lights. 5-6 hour run time average per night.

      What kind of panel / controller - amp rating / battery would do the job? It seems like a 100w panel may be a nice fit.

      Thanks again.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by aztecsurf View Post
        Ok, after checking what I have today it is basically (4) DC 5V - 1000mA output LED string lights. 5-6 hour run time average per night.

        What kind of panel / controller - amp rating / battery would do the job? It seems like a 100w panel may be a nice fit.

        Thanks again.
        Let's run the numbers:

        1. 5V 1000mA is 5 watts.
        2. Four strings make 20 watts.
        3. 6 hours makes 120 watt-hours.
        4. From a 12V battery, with a 100% efficient converter to 5V, 120 watt-hours would be 10 amp-hours (AH).
        5. Not planning to run the battery down more than 20% (for best life using a lead-acid battery) you would need a 50AH battery.
        6. To charge a 50AH battery properly, you will need at least 50W of panel power.

        Now looking a replacement power, if you use a 100w panel meant to work with 12V batteries, you will get an actual power into the battery of about 60-70 watts.

        So to replace 120WH of power used, the 60W panel will need to collect the equivalent of two hours of full noon sunlight on the panel. Even in winter most locations in the continental US will get that much sun. The panel location would have to be totally unshaded for most of the day.

        There are still a few IFs and some places for the actual efficiency being lower than the ideal, but your proposed system could work.
        SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

        Comment


        • #19
          Well healthy sunshine here in Southern Cali is abundant. Should be no problem. Thanks so much for your advice on the project. Cant wait to get started. Time to order some parts!

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by aztecsurf View Post
            Well healthy sunshine here in Southern Cali is abundant. Should be no problem. Thanks so much for your advice on the project. Cant wait to get started. Time to order some parts!
            Please keep firmly in mind that whith 5V DC wiring (unless you put a 12V to 5V converter for each string) the voltage drop in tens or hundreds of feet of low voltage wire carrying 1-4 amps will be significant.
            18ga wire may not do the job.
            You need to draw up a plan layout and figure out just how long all of your runs of wire will be so that you can calculate the needed wire sizes in different parts of the network.
            SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by inetdog View Post
              Please keep firmly in mind that whith 5V DC wiring (unless you put a 12V to 5V converter for each string) the voltage drop in tens or hundreds of feet of low voltage wire carrying 1-4 amps will be significant.
              18ga wire may not do the job.
              Amen, the DC - DC converters need to be located at each LED feed point, to keep efficiency
              up and required wire size down. At that point they will also assure the LEDS get exactly the
              voltage they need. Bruce Roe

              Comment


              • #22
                I attached a photo of the basic schematic I made showing the components and connections.

                I am wondering if a 60W panel will do the job from the reply here. That would be a much better footprint in size for the back.

                When I look up 60w panels most show this as the power rating:

                Max Power: 60W

                Volts: 17.2

                Amps: 3.49

                So, with this panel I would need a minimum of a 10A rated charge controller to handle that load with room to spare? To be safe what gauge wire from the panel to the controller and also to the battery?
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by aztecsurf View Post
                  I attached a photo of the basic schematic I made showing the components and connections.

                  I am wondering if a 60W panel will do the job from the reply here. That would be a much better footprint in size for the back.

                  When I look up 60w panels most show this as the power rating:

                  Max Power: 60W

                  Volts: 17.2

                  Amps: 3.49

                  So, with this panel I would need a minimum of a 10A rated charge controller to handle that load with room to spare? To be safe what gauge wire from the panel to the controller and also to the battery?
                  Depending on the distance you should be able to use #12 awg wire between the panel, charge controller and battery. From the battery to your lights you might be able to use the same wire but again depends on the distance between the battery and DC controller.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Useful posts. I am looking for the LED string lighting setup for my store. If I want about 10 meters of 80 small LED lights per string, I don't know how many volts and amps I need. How do I choose a panel.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by StanleyRoark View Post
                      Useful posts. I am looking for the LED string lighting setup for my store. If I want about 10 meters of 80 small LED lights per string, I don't know how many volts and amps I need. How do I choose a panel.
                      I want to find some gorgeous outdoor lights on Amazon, but I didn't find what I wanted.
                      Last edited by SunEagle; 02-28-2019, 09:55 AM. Reason: removed advertising link

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