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Solar Lighting System

Solar Lighting System

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Published by professinoal

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Published by: professinoal on Dec 17, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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APRIL 2006
he world cannot continue to relyfor long on fossil fuels for itsenergy requirements. Fossil fuelreserves are limited. In addition, when burnt, these add to global warming,air pollution and acid rain.So solar photovoltaic systems areideal for providing independent elec-trical power and lighting in isolatedrural areas that are far away from thepower grid. These systems are non-polluting, don’t deplete the natural re-sources and are cheap in the long run.The aim of this circuit is to demon-strate how we can utilise solar light toelectrify the remote areas, i.e., how wecan store the solar energy and then useit for small-scale lighting applications.Solar cells generate direct current,so make sure that DPDT switch S1 istowards the solar panel side. The DCvoltage from the solar panel is used tocharge the battery and control the re-lay.Capacitor C1 connected in parallelwith a 12V relay coil remains chargedin daytime until the relay is activated.Capacitor C1 is used to increase theresponse time of the relay, so switch-
ing occurs moments after the voltageacross it falls below 12V. Capacitor C1also filters the rectified output if the battery is charged through AC power.The higher the value of the capacitor,the more the delay in switching. Theswitching time is to be properly ad- justed because the charging wouldpractically stop in the early eveningwhile we want the light to be ‘on’ dur-ing late evening.During daytime, relay RL1energises, provided DPDT switch S1is towards the solar panel side. Due toenergisation of relay RL1, the positiveterminal of the battery is connected tothe output of regulator IC 7808 (a 3-terminal, 1A, 8V regulator) via diodeD1 and normally-open (N/O) contactsof relay RL1. Here we have used a 6V,4.5Ah maintenance-free, lead-acid re-chargeable battery. It requires a con-stant voltage of approx. 7.3 volts forits proper charging.Even though the output of the so-lar panel keeps varying with the lightintensity, IC 7808 (IC1) is used to givea constant output of 8V. Diode D1causes a drop of 0.7V, so we getapprox. 7.3V to charge the battery.LED1 indicates that the circuit is work-ing and the battery is in the chargingmode.At night, there will be no genera-tion of electricity. The relay will notenergise and charging will not takeplace. The solar energy stored in the battery can then be used to light upthe lamp. A 3W lamp glows continu-ously for around 6 hours if the batteryis fully charged. Instead of a 3W lamp,you can also use a parallel array ofserially connected white LEDs and lim-iting resistors to provide sufficientlight for even longer duration.In case the battery is connected inreverse polarity while charging, IC7808 will get damaged. The circuit in-dicates this damage by lighting upLED2, which is connected in reversewith resistor R2. However, the circuitprovides only the indication of reversepolarity and no measure to protect theIC. A diode can be connected in re-verse to the common terminal of theIC but this would reduce the voltageavailable to the battery for charging by another 0.7 volt.There is also a provision for esti-mating the approximate voltage in the battery. This has been done by connect-ing ten 1N4007 diodes (D2 through D11)

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