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What is Solar Energy

Solar energy is energy provided by the sun. It is energy in the form of solar
radiation that makes solar electricity production possible.
Solar power is the direct or indirect conversion of sunlight into electricity. Direct
conversions are done through the use of photovoltaics (PV) while indirect conversions
are done using concentrated solar power (CSP).
Photovoltaic, which means light and electric, (PV) cells are used to directly
produce electricity through solar energy. These are cells made from materials that
exhibit photovoltaic effect or when sunlight hits the cell, the photons of light excite the
electrons in the cell, causing them to flow thus generating electricity.
In photovoltaic system, solar cells produce direct current (DC) power which
change with the sunlights intensity. For practical use, it usually requires conversion to
certain desired voltages or alternating current (AC), through the use of inverters.
Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking system to
focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam.

Determining Power Consumption Demands


In determining the power consumption demands, you will be able to estimate the
amount of energy needed to be supplied by the solar PV system.
1.

Calculate the total Watt-hours per day for each appliance used.

Make a list of all the appliance and/or loads that you are going to run using
the PV system. To determine the wattage, most appliances have a label on the back
that indicates the wattage. Specification sheets, local appliance dealers, and the
product manufacturers can also be used as reference.

Add the Watt-hours needed for all appliances together to get the total
Watt-hours per day which must be delivered to the appliances.

2.Calculate total Watt-hours per day needed from the PV modules

After determining the total watt-hours per day, multiply it by 1.3 (the
energy lost in the system). In doing so, youll be able to get the total Watt-hours per
day that needs to be provided by the panels.

Sizing the PV modules


Sizing the PV modules will help you find out the appropriate size of PV module
that will produce an amount of power suitable for your daily consumption.
To find out the sizing of the PV module, you need the total peak watt produced
needs. The peak watt (Wp) produced depends on the size of the PV module and
climate of the site location.
1.

Calculate the Watt-peak rating needed for PV modules

To get the total Watt-peak rating needed for the PV panels needed to
operate the appliances, you will need to divide the total Watt-hours per day needed
from the PV modules by 3.43.

2.Calculate the number of PV panels for the system

After getting the Watt-peak rating needed for PV modules, divide it by the
rated output Watt-peak of the PV modules available to you. If the answer resulted to
any fractional part, just increase it to the next highest whole number. The answer
you got will be the number of PV modules required.

Battery sizing
A deep cycle battery is recommended to be used in PV systems. It is specifically
designed to be discharged to low energy level and rapid recharged or cycle charged
and discharged day after day for years. Make sure that the battery is large enough to
store enough energy to operate the appliances even at night and cloudy days.
Follow these steps to find out the size of the battery:
1.

Calculate the total Watt-hours per day used by appliances.

2.

Divide the total Watt-hours per day used by 0.85 for battery loss.

3.

Divide your answer from the previous step by 0.6 for depth of discharge.

4.

Divide your answer from the previous step by the nominal battery voltage.

5.

Multiply your answer from the previous step with days of autonomy or the
number of days that you need the system to operate when there is no power

produced by PV panels. In doing do, youll get the required Ampere-hour capacity of
the deep cycle battery.

Solar charge
controller sizing
The solar charge controller is
used to maintain the proper charging
voltage on the batteries. It is typically
rated against Amperage and Voltage
capacities. In selecting the solar charge
controller, it should match the voltage of
PV array and batteries and then identify
which type of solar charge controller is
suitable for your system. You have to
make sure that the solar charge
controller has sufficient capacity to
handle the current from the PV array.

Ohms Law
Ohms law is a very simple and practical tool in understanding electric circuits. It
simply states that in metallic conductors at a constant temperature and in a zero
magnetic field, the current flowing is proportional to the voltage across the ends of the
conductor, and is inversely proportional to the resistance of the conductor.
By using the letters V, I and R to express the relationships defined in Ohms Law
gives three simple formulae:
V = IR or I = V/R or R = V/I
Each of which shows how to find the value of any one of these quantities in a
circuit, provided the other two are known. For example, to find the voltage V (in Volts)
across a resistor, simply multiply the current I (in Amperes) through the resistor by the
value of the resistor R (in Ohms).
Using these formulae the values of V I and R written into the formula must be in
its BASIC UNIT i.e. VOLTS (not millivolts) Ohms (not kilohms) and AMPERES (not
micro Amperes )etc.

Power Law
The Power Law states that the power dispersed in a device is inversely
proportional to the squared value of the voltage across it:
P = V2 / R [2]
It can also be stated as the power dispersed in a device is directly proportional to
the squared value of the current going through it:
P = I2 x R [2]
Power law can be simply stated as:
P = V x I [2]

LED Lamp

For the solar night light, you will be using a lamp that is a single high power 1W
LED with an operating voltage of 3.2 V to 3.6V and a maximum current rating of 350mA.
A 10 ohms resistor as the current limiter is used in the prototype to reduce the
current draw to 100mA when drawing power from the 3.7V lithium battery. The LED heat
sink temperature is observed to remain stable at 30 degree Celsius at this current.

Lithium-ion Battery
You will be using a 3.7V 220mA rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is
commonly used as cells for laptops and camera battery packs. It was chosen due to its
longer service life and higher power density.
The high cell voltage makes it possible to power the LED using a single cell thus
making the light simple, easy and cost effective to build. At 100mA current, the battery
will have storage of 20 hours for the LED lamp at full charge. At 12 hours of operation,
the daily depth of the discharge is 60%.
An overcharging controller will not be used since the solar module to be used is
too small to overcharge the battery under daily use. Since the lithium battery can
tolerate deep discharge, no over-discharge controller is needed. Elimination of the
overcharge and over-discharge controllers simplifies the design of the lamp.

Solar / Photovoltiac Module


The solar module delivers a daily
energy requirement for 12 hours of LED
light consuming 100mA will require
1.2AH. At a voltage of 3.7 with 80%
charging efficiency an average of 3.28
effective sun hours per day (Philippine
setting), the required solar module is
1.7Wp.
The locally available solar module
used is 1W module with 10 poly
crystalline cells that is ideal for charging
the 3.7V lithium-ion battery.

Master Switch

To disconnect the battery from the


circuit, a separate manual 3P slide switch is
added. The addition of the switch will prevent
the lamp from turning on in its dark container
during storage and transport. It is also a
safety requirement when shipping the
equipment.

Resistors
Resistors are one of the most
commonly used electronic components that create specified values of current and
voltage in a circuit. Basically the function of a resistor is always to be against the flow of
current through it and the strength of this opposition is called as its resistance. There
are different kinds of resistors that vary in size and color depending on the power that
they carry.
For the solar night limp, you will be using three types of resistors in varying
power:
1.
2.
3.

2 pieces of 1 k ohm W resistor


1 piece of 10 k ohm W resistor
1 piece of 2W 10 ohm resistor

Diodes
A diode is an electronic component
that is used to direct flow of electricity into
one direction and blocks the flow in the
opposite direction. They can also be
considered as one-way valves used in
various circuits as a form of protection. For
the solar night lamp you will be using
the 1N5819 Schottky barrier diode.
The Schottky barrier diode is
commonly used in electronics. Its unique
properties enable it to be used in a
number of ways. Schottky diodes are used
in many applications where other types of
diode will not perform as well. It has a low turn on voltage, a fast recovery time because
of the small amount of stored charged which means it can be used in high speed
switching function and a low junction capacitance.

Transistors
Transistors can be considered as
a type of switch or gate for electronic
signals and also regulates the current or
voltage flow. They can be used as
amplifiers or switching devices. As
amplifiers, they are used in high and low
frequency stages, oscillators,
modulators, detectors and in any circuit
needing to perform a function. In digital
circuits they are used as switches. For
the solar night lamp, you will be using:
1.
2.

IRF510 transistor
General purpose transistor 9014.

Multitester

Multitester or also called as a multimeter is


a device that can be used to gather data about
electrical circuits. It combines several
measurement functions in one unit. It may include
several features like the ability to measure voltage,
current, and resistance.
Multitesters can use analog or digital
circuits. They are usually used in basic fault finding
and basic field service work. They can also be
used to troubleshoot electrical problems in
assortment of industrial and household devices.
The most basic measurement provided by a
multitester is continuity that determines whether a
circuit is complete or not. For this type of test, the
device is set to ohms and AC or DC depending
on the current to be measured, before the probes
on the device are inserted into the circuit. It will read out 0 and 0.05 ohms if the circuit is
complete. If a measure of infinity is revealed, it indicates that the circuit is open and can
be considered a problem.

Basic Soldering Procedure


1.

Clean the surface of the PCB

A clean surface is very important for a strong, low resistance solder joint.

2 Component Placement

In general it is best to start with the smallest and flattest components


(resistors, ICs, signal diodes) and then work up to the larger components
(capacitors, power transistors, transformers) after the small parts are done.

3 Apply Heat

Apply a very small amount of solder to the tip of the iron. This helps
conduct the heat to the component and board, but it is not the solder that will
make up the joint.

4 Apply Solder To The Joint

Once the component lead and solder pad have heated up, you are ready
to apply solder.

Touch the tip of the strand of solder to the component lead and solder pad,
but not the tip of the iron. If everything is hot enough, the solder should flow freely
around the lead and pad. You will see the flux melt liquify as well, bubble around
the joint (this is part of its cleaning action), flow out and release smoke.

Continue to add solder to the joint until the pad is completely coated and
the solder forms a small mound with slightly concave sides. If it starts to ball up,
you have used too much solder or the pad on the board is not hot enough.

5 Inspect The Joint and Cleanup

Once the joint is made, you should inspect it. Check for shorts with
adjacent pads or poor flow. If the joint checks out, move on to the next.

Safety in Preparing the Etching Solution


Etching Solution or ferric chloride is a very dangerous solution and should be
handled properly. Make sure that in preparing the etching solution, you are wearing the
proper personal protective equipment such as gloves and a face mask.
The etching solution should be placed in a plastic container rather that metallic
so that no chemical reactions will take place.
It would be recommended if you do the etching process in a well ventilated place
so that possible suffocation from the odour of the solution will be avoided.

Printed Circuit Board Preparation (Part 1)


Printing
Printing is the technique used in transferring the design to be followed to the
actual PCB wherein the other electronic components will be assembled.
1.
2.

Cut printed circuit board (PCB) based to the required size of 1 inch by 3 inches.
Cover the copper side of the board with a layer of masking tape.

3.

With a printed copy of the PCB layout, copy the black lines on the diagram representing
the non conductive line onto side of the board covered in masking tape using a marker and
ruler.
4.
Using a cutter and ruler, cut out the lines drawn with a marker that will later serve as the
non conductive lines in the design.

Etching
By etching, youll be removing the unnecessary copper particles from the PCB
thus permanently transferring the design on the board. Youll be using a dangerous
etching solution or ferric chloride so it is important to follow the proper personal
protective equipment. After using the etching solutions (ferric chloride) please dispose
the used solution and empty bottles properly and wash your hands thoroughly.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Use gloves before using the etching solution (ferric chloride).


Using tape, attached the PCB at the bottom of the plastic container copper side up.
Pour the required quantity of the etching solution in a plastic container.
Soak the designed PCB into the etching solution for about 10 to 20 minutes.
Through visual inspection, check if the etching is completed. The exposed copper parts
of the board should be matte in color signifying that the copper is removed from the board
and the plastic part is exposed.

Printed Circuit Board Preparation (Part 2)


Cleaning
Cleaning is very important in completing the etching process and making sure
that it is successful. Proper cleaning of the PCB ensures you that no etching solution is
left on the board that could damage the followed design.
1.
2.

Fill another plastic container with clean water.


In the container, soak the etched PCB in the water for a minute. It is recommended that
you clean the board under running water for better results but cleaning it as mentioned can
also be done.
3.
Using the tweezers, remove the soaked PCB and dry it with a clean dry cloth or tissue.
4.
Remove the remaining masking tape on the board.
5.
If there are still some parts of copper bridging to the other sides, you might have to redo
or re-etch that part.

Testing
You may use tools such as voltmeters with continuity testers to ensure that the
etching and boundaries are properly done.
1.

A reading should not register to the tester to make sure that the etching process is
properly done. If a reading is registered in the tester, it means that the islands are connected.
2.
As an alternative, you may position the PCB in front of ample light to see if the etching is
done correctly.

Occupational Health and Safety


It is important to follow necessary steps that ensure your safety while
constructing the solar night lamp. For each step, make sure that you are wearing the
required protective equipment and following the proper usage of the tools.
In the process of mounting and soldering, you must wear a face mask to avoid
inhaling the fumes that is produced by the soldering iron. It is also suggested that you
wear protective gloves during the soldering process but it may make it a bit difficult for
you to have a feel on the soldering and harder to handle the different components due
to their small sizes.

Soldering Resistors
Resistors are one of the most commonly used electronic components that create
specified values of current and voltage in a circuit. There are different kinds of resistors
that vary in size and color depending on the power that they carry.
Materials Needed:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Soldering iron
Soldering lead
Long nose plier
Wire cutter
Etched PCB board

6.
7.
8.

1 pc. 2W 10 ohm resistor


1 pc. 1/4W 10k ohm resistor
2 pcs. 1/4W 1k ohm resistor

Procedure:
1.

Cut the terminals of resistors to required size (refer to sample). Make sure that you cut
enough of the resistor for it to have a feet-like structure.
2.
Each resistor has designated islands to connect on the PCB. Refer to the diagram for
the proper positioning of each resistor.
3.
Solder the 2W10 ohm resistor (brown) followed by the 2 1kohm resistors (red) and lastly
the 10k ohm resistor (red).
4.
The resistors should be slightly elevated from the PCB having at least 1-2mm space
between the body of the resistor and the board.

Soldering Diode
A diode is an electronic component that is used to direct flow of electricity into
one direction and blocks the flow in the opposite direction. They can also be considered
as one-way valves used in various circuits as a form of protection.
Materials Needed:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Soldering iron
Soldering lead
Long nose plier
Wire cutter
1 pc. 1N5819 diode

Procedure:
1.

Cut terminals of diode into size enough for it to have a feet-like structure.
Refer to the diagram for the proper position of the diode on the PCB.
When soldering, make sure that the white strip/line on the body of the diode is following
the proper body orientation (refer to diagram).
4.
Solder the terminals of the diode.
5.
Check if the diode is properly attached on the PCB by gently pushing it side to side.
2.
3.

Soldering Transistors

Transistors can be considered as a type of switch or gate for electronic signals


and also regulates the current or voltage flow.
Materials Needed:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Soldering iron
Soldering lead
Long nose plier
Wire cutter
1 pc. S9014 transistor
1 pc. IRF510 transistor

Procedure:
1.

Solder general purpose 9014 transistor (Bipolar Junction Transistor) upright onto the
board. The flat side of the transistor should be facing the IRF510 transistor and will be facing
the board when bended.
2.
Solder IRF510 transistor (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor). Refer to
the diagram for the proper orientation of the transistor. Make sure that you follow the proper
soldering technique to properly attach the transistor.

Soldering the Switch


Materials Needed:
1.
2.
3.

Soldering iron
Soldering lead
1 pc. 3 pin switch

Procedure:
1.
2.

Refer to the diagram for the proper position of the switch on the PCB.
Solder the switch to the PCB taking note of the place of the terminals.

Mounting the Battery


Materials Needed:
1.
2.

Soldering iron
Soldering lead

3.
4.
5.

Wire cutter
1 pc. lithium-ion 3.7v 2200mAH battery
2 inches of black and red stranded wire

Procedure:
1.

Place the battery on top of the plastic side of the PCB.


2.
Using the glue gun, attach the battery to the board by applying glue to the sides of the
battery.
3.
Solder a black stranded wire to the negative end of the battery and red stranded wire to
the positive end.
4.
Solder the other ends of the wire to the designated island on the PCB.

Soldering the LED


Materials Needed:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Soldering iron
Soldering lead
Small glass fuse
Glue gun
Glue stick
1 pc. 1W HD LED
1 pc. 1 inch x 1 inch PVC Coupling
12 inches black and red stranded wires
6 inches of inch transparent hose
Platic bottle cap

Procedure:
1.

Hold the LED face down and solder a drop lead on the back metal part.
2.
Solder a drop of lead on the fuse.
3.
Position the fuse with the lead side close to the back of the LED. Heat both to melt the
lead and quickly but safely attach the fuse to the LED. Hold the fuse in place for about 8
seconds to ensure that the fuse has completely attached itself to the back of the LED.
4.
Cut 12 inches of black and red stranded wires.

5.

Attach the red stranded wire to the positive end of the LED and the black to the negative
end.

6.
7.

Cut 6 inches of inch transparent hose.


Prepare a bottle cap where the lamp will be mounted. Bore a hole on the cap to let the
wire pass through.
8.
Insert the stranded wire from the LED lamp into the plastic hose.
9.
Glue the plastic hose to the bottle cap.
10.
Insert a 1 x 1 PVC coupling without thread on top of the cap and let the wire through
the coupling. Apply glue on the cap and the coupling to hold them in place.

Mounting the Solar Module


Materials Needed:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Soldering iron
Soldering lead
Small glass fuse
Glue gun
Glue stick
Epoxy glue
1 pc. 5V 1W solar module
1 pc. 1 inch x 5 inches PVC Blue Pipe
3 inches black and red stranded wires

Procedure:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Prepare the solar module and lay it on the table with the solar cell facing down to expose
the connectors at the back.
Cut 3 length of stranded wires.
Strip the ends of the stranded wire and solder on the positive and the negative terminals
of the solar module.
Heat up the glue gun and drop glue on the soldered terminal connection of the solar
module to hold the wire in place.
Run the wires through the PVC pipe and mount the pipe on the back of the solar module
on the slanted end of the pipe.
Apply epoxy on the edge of the pipe where it meets with the solar module surface. Hold
the pipe in place until the epoxy can hold it in position.

Wirings

Wiring the LED Module to the PCB


1.

Solder the positive terminal of the LED to the PCB where the 10ohm resistor is
connected.
2.
Solder the negative terminal of the LED to the designated island on the PCB.

Wiring the Solar Module to the PCB


1.

Solder the positive terminal of the solar module to the anode of the diode and the
negative wire to the negative foil of the board.
2.
Slowly insert the board into the pipe leaving the switch and lamp terminals exposed

Assembly of Solar Night Light


1.
2.

Snug fit the solar module PVC pipe into the PVC coupling.
Attach the solar module assembly to the soda bottle to put together the whole
lamp.
3.
Cover the solar module or bring the lamp into a dark room to test if the solar night
light is properly working. Refer to the testing module for the proper pocedure.

Testing
Test the solar night lamp if it works to make sure that you properly assembled the
components together.
Procedure:
1.

Make sure that the solar night light is switched on


2.
Cover the solar module or bring the lamp into a dark room. The LED should light up
when the solar module is covered or is in a dark room
3.
Uncover the solar module in a well lit/lighted room or outdoor during daylight. The lamp
should automatically turn off in doing so.

Troubleshooting
The light does not turn ON when the solar module is covered or the lamp is in the
dark.

Check if the switch is ON. Check if the switch has poor connection or soldered points.
Check the voltage on the terminals of the LED, it should register at least 3 volts. Check
the connection if there is a very low voltage. Fix possible open or shorted connections and
solder points.

If there is 3V or more at the LED terminal, it is possible that the LED lamp is busted.
Replace the LED.
Check if the battery voltage is still above 3V. Allow the battery to charge of the voltage is
low.

The light turns on but does not turn off when the solar module is exposed to light

Check the PCB of possible short circuits of open connections.


Check if the voltage between the solar module connection points increases if the solar
module is exposed to strong light and decreases if the solar module is covered from light. If
not, the solar module may be defective. Replace the solar module.
The voltage between the negative and Collector of the transistor should be zero when
the solar module is exposed to light and goes low when the solar module is covered. If not,
transistor may be defective. Replace the transistor.