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Solar Cell Circuits  

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

Last Updated: December 07, 2017 02:04 PM

Circuits Designed by Dave Johnson, P.E. :
Quartz_Clock_Solar_Powered -  Connect a solar panel to a quality AA size 1One of my homes in Colorado had a large battery powered quartz clock above the fireplace.  It was powered by an AA size 1.5v alkaline cell.  The battery would run the clock for about a year or so, then I would have to break out a tall step ladder and replace the battery for another year or so of operation. That gave me a great 10:1 energy margin. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September, 2017

Salvaged Broken Solar Cells -  As illustrated below, one way to salvage a large number of broken solar cells is to wire them in parallel, not in the more conventional series connection.  Broken cells of various sizes and shapes are grouped together into panels of about one quarter to on . . . Hobby Circuit designed by David Johnson P.E.-January, 2012

Small_Solar_Panels_Using_Photodiodes  -  There are times when you would like to harvest just a little bit of energy from the sun.  Unfortunately, there are not many miniature solar panels available.  Most panels are 10 to 50 times larger than needed.   You can make your own and wire in series.  Just as in the larger panels, be sure to insert a small signal diode between the photodiode array and any battery or super capacitor being charged.  The diode will prevent current from leaking back into the array at night. . . . Dave Johnson, Lubbock TX-DC Magazine - Issue 20 Nov 2011

Solar Fireflies In Jar 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. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September, 2017

Solar Insolution Meter -  You donít need a fancy and expensive meter to measure the sunís 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. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July, 2017

Solar Mason Jar 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. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September, 2017

Solar Powered Lighthouse -  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 wifeís garden. . . . Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-September, 2017

Solar-Powered_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

Solar_Panels_Converted_from_9v__to_4.5v_Panels -  Three 1.2v NiMH cells wired in series are perfect for powering white LEDs.  The 3.6 volts from such a battery bank is a good match for a 3v white LED. Only a single resistor is needed between the battery and the LED to limit the current.  The ideal solar panel voltage when charging three 1.2v NiMH cells, is 4.5v, using 9 solar cells.  A 1N5817 Schottky diode is usually wired between the solar panel and the battery pack, to prevent battery current from leaking back into the panel at night. . . . Hobby Circuit by David Johnson P.E.-July, 2017

Capacitance Proximity Switch
Draws very low power - Ideal for battery-powered applications
6 Models Available - Call 806-368-7747




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

Salvaged Broken Solar Cells -  As illustrated below, one way to salvage a large number of broken solar cells is to wire them in parallel, not in the more conventional series connection.  Broken cells of various sizes and shapes are grouped together into panels of about one quarter to on . . . Hobby Circuit designed by David Johnson P.E.-January, 2012

SCC3 12V 20A Solar Charge Controller -  The SCC3 kit is the heart of a 12 Volt solar power system, it regulates the charging of batteries from photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.  A charge controller is an essential part of any solar power system.  A 12 Volt solar power system can provide power to a wide variety of devices such as lighting systems, Ham and CB radios, car stereos, cell phone chargers, laptop computers, televisions, recording equipment, fans, water pumps and other 12V DC loads.  With the addition of a DC to AC inverter, the DC power can be converted to 120 Volts AC for running many household electronic devices.   __ Designed by G. Forrest Cook

SCC3 20 Amp 12V Solar Charge Controller -  The SCC3 is a solar charge controller, its function is to regulate the power flowing from a photovoltaic panel into a rechargeable battery.  it features easy setup with one potentiometer for the float voltage adjustment and an equalize function for periodic overcharging.  Automatic temperature compensation optimizes battery charging over a wide range of temperatures.  The SCC3 is robust, it can handle reverse polarity connection of both the battery and photovoltaic panel.   __ Designed by G. Forrest Cook

SCC3-12 Volt 20 Amp Solar Charge Controller -  The SCC3 is a solar charge controller, its function is to regulate the power flowing from a photovoltaic panel into a rechargeable battery. it is easy to setup, using one control for setting the battery float voltage and an equalize switch for occasional overcharging. Automatic temperature compensation optimizes battery charging over a wide range of temperatures. The SCC3 is a robust design, it can handle reverse polarity connection of both the battery and photovoltaic panel. __ Designed by G. Forrest Cook

Self Powered Solar Box Furnace -  This project involves the construction of a self contained solar box furnace (Photo 1).  I assembled the prototype with materials that I had laying around my workshop.  it is suitable for heating up a small room or a detached shed.  I use the furnace to warm up my garage, it takes the chill out of a fairly large space when the weather is cold, but sunny.  it is possible to scale this project up to any size, a larger version, or a set of them, could be used to add a lot of supplemental heat a house __ Designed by G. Forrest Cook

Self-Powered Solar Data Logger -  My project is a self-powered solar data logger.  Put out in the sunlight, it will measure the light level and log this to memory to be later downloaded to a computer.  The system is powered by a small solar panel and battery__ 

Sensor Electronic Tracker with H-Bridge Drive -  I decided to make a commercial surface mount PC board using the LED2 sensor concept.  it is quite sensitive and can track to a few degrees of accuracy in bright sunlight.  if a blocking shadowis used the accuracy is better than 1/4 degree, that's about as good as you can get with an active feedback sensor.  The board is a tiny.7"x1.4" __ Contact Duane C. Johnson

Sensor Electronic Tracker with Simple Circuit Solar Charge Controller -  The design philosophy for this tracker was to make it more robust and self contained. I included a charge controller for rechargeable batteries intending them to be NIC ds to run the actuators. Since the charger is there it might as well be capable of running a large PV panel with lead acid batteries. __ Contact Duane C. Johnson

Series Commutated Scr Sss Solar Charge Control -  A series commutated SCR makes a very unusual Solid State Switch in this solar charge regulator control.  Advantages include simplicity and robustness.  The SCR performs (3) functions: switch, latch and reverse polarity diode (reverse blocking thyristor).  The SCR conducts the charging current from the solar panel to the battery while a series MOSFET performs the__ 

Seven Component Regulated LED Lamp -  This is a minimal parts lamp made with four white LEDs.  it features regulated light output from 10V to around 20V and works well as a flashlight.   __ Designed by G. Forrest Cook

Shunt battery charger provides 1A continuous current -  11/20/97 EDN Design Ideas:    A shunt method is Preferable than series regulation in Solar Powered Systems.    __ Circuit Design by Mitchell Lee, Linear Technology Corp, Milpitas, CA

Shunt-mode Solar/Wind Charge Controller -  When connecting a solar panel to a rechargeable battery, it is usually necessary to use a charge controller circuit to prevent the battery from overcharging.  Charge __ Designed by G. Forrest Cook September 26, 2006 Last modifiedFebruary 18, 2008

Shunt-mode Solar/Wind Charge Controller -  This circuit is for a switching shunt-mode charge controller.  in a shunt-mode circuit, the solar panel is permanently connected to the battery via a series diode.  When the solar panel charges the battery up to the desired full voltage, the shunt circuit connects a resistive load across the battery to absorb the excess power from the solar panel __ Designed by G. Forrest Cook

SIMD1 V0 -  Nocturnal-Controlled Solar Engine: The original SiMD1, the V0 does its magic with just a resistor and a Germanium diode.   __ Designed by Wilf Rigter

SIMD1 V1 -  Nocturnal-Controlled Solar Engine: The V1 is just like the V0, but with polarities reversed.   __ Designed by Wilf Rigter

SIMD1 V2 -  Nocturnal-Controlled Solar Engine: The V2 has two flavors, essentially modifications of the V0 and V1, but with a transistor and resistor replacing the diode.  This variant turns on earlier (i.  e.  , before it's so dark) and "cleaner" than the V0 and V1.   __ Designed by Wilf Rigter

SIMD1 V3 -  Nocturnal-Controlled Solar Engine: The V3 is very similar to the NPN flavor of the V2, but with the addition of a FET on the output line.  This makes life easier for its attached load.   __ Designed by Wilf Rigter

Simple Circuit MPPT-Based (maximum power point tracker) Lead Acid Charger using bq2031 (pdf) -  This application report is intended for users designing an MPPT-based lead acid battery charger with the BQ2031 battery charger. This report contains a design for charging a 12-A-hr lead acid battery using MPPT (maximum power point tracking) for maximizing charging efficiency for solar applications.
 __ Designed by Texas Instruments SLVA378ĖDecember 2009

Simple Circuit Photovoltaic Charger -  The LTC4071 allows simple charging of Li-ion/Polymer batteries from very low current, intermittent or continuous charging sources.  A near-zero current low battery latching disconnect function protects even the lowest capacity batteries from deep discharge and potentially irreparable damage.  The 550nA to 50mA operating current__ Linear Technology/Analog Devices App Note, Oct 26th 2010

Simple Circuit Solar Tracker Concept -  Make a very simple sun tracker to maximise electricity generation from a PV solar panel.   __ Designed by REUK-Renewable Energy UK website

Simple Circuit train Detector using Ambient light & a photocell -  This photocell is best mounted at tie level between the rails.  The variable resistor adjusts the sensitivity of the circuit.  This circuit can be powered by either 6 or 12 volts - BE SURE to use the proper relay; note that some relays are rated for 5 volts, these should be okay with 6 volts.
 __ Designed by ML Rollins

Simple Circuit Windmill/Solar controller -  Based on a TL084 op amp, this is a easy to build controller suitable for wind and solar applications.  __ 

Simple Solar Regulator -  Solar panel regulators come in many flavors. The plainest flavor is the simple on-off type shunt regulator. it has the advantage of simplicity, extremely small power dissipation, low cost, high reliability, but in exchange for these advantages one has to accept that the voltage on the battery is always going slightly up and down, that the battery is switched between full charging current and no charging current, and that disconnection of the battery will result in high voltage output pulses from the regulator. __ Designed by Manfred Mornhinweg

Simulating Solar Sprint with Spice -  Simulation programs running on digital computers allow computer designers to predict the operation of new chips, aerospace engineers to predict the characteristics of new airframes, and architects to predict the thermal characteristics of new buildings, all without building anything.   __ Designed by Chuck Wright

Small_Solar_Panels_Using_Photodiodes  -  There are times when you would like to harvest just a little bit of energy from the sun.  Unfortunately, there are not many miniature solar panels available.  Most panels are 10 to 50 times larger than needed.   You can make your own and wire in series.  Just as in the larger panels, be sure to insert a small signal diode between the photodiode array and any battery or super capacitor being charged.  The diode will prevent current from leaking back into the array at night. . . . Dave Johnson, Lubbock TX-DC Magazine - Issue 20 Nov 2011

Smart Solar Charger -  Solar-powered lighting systems are now used in rural as well as urban areas.  These systems include solar lanterns, solar home lighting systems, solar streetlights, solar garden lights, solar water heaters and...__ Electronics Projects for You

SmartCap solar engine -  Bob Shannon originally designed the SmartCap solar engine for a specific purpose -to provide a "burst" of energy to a 'bot right after its source of light goes away.  The idea was to introduce a specific behavior -when things got dark for the 'bot, it would have the energy to notice and scurry toward the next spot of bright light.   __ Designed by Wilf Rigter

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


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