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  • Garage Lighting Project

    Hi, I am building a solar powered system for my garage so that I can see in the garage mainly for the winter when I come back from work late and it is late already..

    I would only have the light on for five minutes or less a day. I already have a 7.2ah battery (a smallish lead acid) and a 11w 12v energy savinging light bulb, wire and switch.

    My question is which size solar panel should i get? I was thinking 5-10w? And would I need a charge controller?

    Thanks in advance..!

  • #2
    Hi, welcome.

    Your 7.2 AH battery can only deliver 3.6 A (50% of capacity) without seriously shortening the life of the battery. 3.6A @ 12v = 43.2w so that leaves plenty of 10 min light cycles.
    However, CFL's are not good at on-off cycles, 10 minutes, it will be just warmed up, and at full output. Perhaps a 10W halagon bulb, in an appropriate fixture, would work at all temperatures, give good light, and last a decent amount of time.

    What will switch the light off and on?

    I would go with a 10W panel, and you have to use a charge controller (that has a setting for your style of battery (GEL, AGM, or flooded) ) to prevent cooking the battery with overcharge.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
      Hi, welcome.

      Your 7.2 AH battery can only deliver 3.6 A (50% of capacity) without seriously shortening the life of the battery. 3.6A @ 12v = 43.2w so that leaves plenty of 10 min light cycles.
      However, CFL's are not good at on-off cycles, 10 minutes, it will be just warmed up, and at full output. Perhaps a 10W halagon bulb, in an appropriate fixture, would work at all temperatures, give good light, and last a decent amount of time.

      What will switch the light off and on?

      I would go with a 10W panel, and you have to use a charge controller (that has a setting for your style of battery (GEL, AGM, or flooded) ) to prevent cooking the battery with overcharge.
      Thanks for replying!

      I will look into buying a 10w halogen if you think this would suit my needs better..

      I will probably just use a normal light switch to turn the light on/off.

      Ok 10w panel - no problem, sorry you've lost me with the GEL, AGM, or flooded battery question..(??) All I know is that its lead acid and it looks like it was from a remote control car or something like that..? Would something like this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWAX:IT be okay?

      Comment


      • #4
        If you need a 10 watt solar panel I may be able to help you?

        Just let me know....

        Comment


        • #5
          20w/12v solar panel is better, UK winter irradiation is very weak, 2hrs is enough
          and it can last for hours for your energy saving lamp

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
            Hi, welcome.

            Your 7.2 AH battery can only deliver 3.6 A (50% of capacity) without seriously shortening the life of the battery. 3.6A @ 12v = 43.2w so that leaves plenty of 10 min light cycles.
            However, CFL's are not good at on-off cycles, 10 minutes, it will be just warmed up, and at full output. Perhaps a 10W halagon bulb, in an appropriate fixture, would work at all temperatures, give good light, and last a decent amount of time.

            What will switch the light off and on?

            I would go with a 10W panel, and you have to use a charge controller (that has a setting for your style of battery (GEL, AGM, or flooded) ) to prevent cooking the battery with overcharge.
            I learn so much from reading Mike's posts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Garage Lighting project

              Hi,

              I have a small set up using an old motorcycle battey, a camping style flourecent tube light (designed to clip to your car battery) and a small solar panel (again designed to top up your car battery). Works very well or the short times you need a light during the winter months. My solar panel sits in a window so is protected from the weather.

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