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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Very Small Solar setup

    Follow up from OP...

    First thanks for all of the great input and suggestions... especially those relevant to my questions.

    A few notes...
    - I chose the 120V lights because I got a really good deal buying stringer and bulbs seperately and I can replace them individually one day when they eventually die. My understanding was that there were 120v LED bulbs and 12V LED bulbs but maybe that was just marketing. I do believe the stringers themselves are wired differently. I could not find the 12V bulbs in bulk, just individually for about $2.50 each. It probably would have been a better technical choice to go with the 12V strings. I'll check out the link provided above if I decide to change anything.

    - My battery is almost brand new. And I determined that was NOT the problem. The problem turned out to be the one unpredictable variable (yeah me). When wiring everything together I used several crimp-on quick disconnect plugs. And though I was smart enough to mark the positive and negative ends, I wasn't smart enough to pay close attention the last time I put it all back together with the charge controller. Fortunately the controller was smarter than me and noticed I had the wires crossed... and every time I connected ANY load it immediately killed it. So now I'm back in business.

    - I did find an inverter without a fan... so as not to put any unnecessary drain on the battery. I'm also going to replace the fuse with one rated for 10Amps. That should be plenty for my needs and might also save the controller one day.

    I don't think I mentioned this but the plan was never to build a major power center. I don't need to live there or operate power tools (though that day may come). I just need to see inside my shed at night occasionally for a few minutes to grab or store something, and it's usually awkward to juggle a flashlight. The LED bulbs seem to do a great job, I have the spotlight if I really need to get into the deep corners, and the 7 Amp Hour battery holds up quite a while longer than I ever need it to.

    I think that's it!
    Thanks again all.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Very Small Solar setup

    Quote Originally Posted by YukYuk View Post
    Depends on how doped the silicon is as to how many volts of potential are necessary to sweep the charge among other things in their design that effect the application of differently specified LEDs for different applications.

    Generally, LEDs are designed to operate at 20 milliamps (mA). However, operating current must be reduced relative to the amount of heat in the application. For example, 6-chip LEDs produce more heat than single-chip LEDs. 6-chip LEDs incorporate multiple wire bonds and junction points that are affected more by thermal stress than single-chip LEDs. Similarly, LEDs designed to operate at higher design voltages are subject to greater heat. LEDs are designed to provide long-life operation because of optimal design currents considering heat dissipation and other degradation factors.

    LEDs that are designed to operate at a specific voltage contain a built-in current-limiting resistor. Additional circuitry may include a protection diode for AC operation or full-bridge rectifier for bipolar operation. The operating current for a particular voltage is designed to maintain LED reliability over its operating life.

    Also, static electricity and surge damage LEDs.

    Anyway we are far afield of the main topic. Lets keep it simple and helpful to the original poster.

    P.S. No, I haven't melted a screw driver, and yes I remember how to discharge a vac tube.
    pretty much quoted from from printed or electronic source .... so ... do you understand a single word you typed?
    Last edited by canuk; 07-18-2008 at 07:48 PM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Very Small Solar setup

    Quote Originally Posted by YukYuk View Post
    Final thought on a related subject, have you seen these items (example pic below)? I've grabbed a few of these over the few years, started with one a bit fancier mostly for setting up hunting blind (in red-light night vision mode), now have them handy for late night trips across the yard, reading maps in car during night time, late evening bbq activities, poking around in dark corners, etc. I must have about eight different ones with at least three different brand names stashed around. Have found them for as little as $7 to about $25 for the nicer multiple option light level and number of lights lit ones. They come in handy, especially if you're changing a tire in the dark.

    Example of LED Headlamp
    these are ok but the ones that we picked up for our installers look like a regular baseball cap but have small lights right in the end of the bill and actually put out enough light to really help when working inside of a sink base installing an undermount sink

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Very Small Solar setup

    I have some safety glasses with LED lights on the sides . Haven't had the occasion to try them out yet .

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,808

    Default Re: Very Small Solar setup

    At my age, if you go someplace that is dark enough to use a flashlight, you fall asleep.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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