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Solar Energy Circuits
Last Updated on: Thursday, April 07, 2016 12:59 PM
 


Circuits Designed by Dave Johnson, P.E. :
  • Solar Insulation Monitor:  An inexpensive PIN photo diode and a 1ma meter movement form a simple sunlight intensity monitor.  The sensor should be placed inside a lightly frosted glass hemisphere to minimize the influence of the sun’s angle on the sensor.  An adjustment resistor calibrates the meter for a full scale reading under a one sun condition.  An unshielded two conductor cable links the sensor to the meter movement.  The sensor and meter can be separated by up to 200 feet.

  • Solar-Powered Pump Motor Controller -  A Discover Circuits visitor had a problem.  He needed a simple on/off controller for his solar powered water pump.  His system used two 12v 50 watt solar panels wired in series.  The power from the solar panels drove a submerged water pump.  However, during overcast skies the pump motor did not operate properly due to the lack of power from the panel....

Links to electronic circuits, electronic schematics, designs for engineers, hobbyists, students & inventors:
Solar Insulation Monitor - An inexpensive PIN photo diode and a 1ma meter movement form a simple sunlight intensity monitor.  The sensor should be placed inside a lightly frosted glass hemisphere to minimize the influence of the sun’s angle on the sensor.  An adjustment resistor calibrates the meter for a full scale reading under a one sun condition.  An unshielded two conductor cable links the sensor to the meter movement.  The sensor and meter can be separated by up to 200 feet. Posted ….[designed by David A. Johnson]

Solar Panel Charge Controller/Low Voltage Disconnect Circuit - Lead acid charger, with battery voltage monitor, power comes from solar panels
Solar Panel Current Meter - ….
Solar-Powered Pump Motor Controller -  A Discover Circuits visitor had a problem.  He needed a simple on/off controller for his solar powered water pump.  His system used two 12v 50 watt solar panels wired in series.  The power from the solar panels drove a submerged water pump.  However, during overcast skies the pump motor did not operate properly due to the lack of power from the panel.  He wanted a circuit which would turn off power to the motor during low sun conditions.  The circuit below performs this function.  A small 0.1” x 0.1” photodiode monitors the sunlight intensity.  The current from the diode is proportional to sunlight intensity.  An adjustable load resistor across the diode converts the current into a voltage and feeds the to a voltage comparator circuit.  The output of the comparator drives a small n-channel MOSFET, which in turn drives a high current p-channel MOSFET, controlling power to the pump motor.  When the sunlight is less than one fourth of full intensity, power to the motor is turned off....[Designed by Dave Johnson, P.E.]
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Solar Energy Circuits


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