Just getting my LED garden lights out of winter hibernation - giving the
batteries a charge to kick start them.
I note they are only 600MAh.
Is there any benefit in having larger capacity batteries or is the
limitation the ability to crate enough charging time / current?
yip, the solar pannels in those lights are barely large enough to keep a
600mah battery pack topped up in british weather,
going larger will just mean half of the capacity is never used,
a lot of people don't realise how large solar panels need to be to produce
'useable' current, lots of people ask me how many garden lights they need to
buy to take the cells out of to charge the batteries in their motorhome,
some have even tried it, even after i tell them it's cheaper to buy a 125
watt 12 volt panel for about 300 quid (or 600 if your stupid enough to buy
from a motorhome dealer)
one person covered the entire roof of his van in cheap individual cells he
bought, sandwiched in toughened glass, cost him way more than proper panels,
He ended up with about a 3 amp charge rate in full sun, the slightest shadow
on a panel cut the whole lot out, and his van was so top heavy he had to
take roundabouts at 10mph or risk toppeling over.
i spent 1200 quid on my motorhomes panels, giving me a 375 watt array, this
produces upto 27 amps per hour in full sun (so i can put back half my
battery bank capacity in a day), which is more than my mains charger puts
out, i just bought a panel when i had saved enough, then another a few
months later, and another a year later when i had fitted a 12 volt fridge
freezer that pulls 80 amp hours in 24 hours to run,
Anyway, i've gone off topic again,
I find charging them fully with a 'proper' charger at the start of
spring gives me a full summer's worth of light as the sun keeps them
topped up enough. Only the solar lights that are shaded have a tendency
to flicker and then only late at night.
Certainly some of them did last year. Even the ones that didn't would
last until well after midnight before starting to flicker.
I've not charged them yet this year but three out of the 7 or 8 (can't
remember how many fell victim to the lawnmower) are already running 'til
at least 1AM just on charge from the sun.
next door neigbour has one on the top of a fence post for some reason, so i
can see it easily from the living room window.
last summer it would be lit untill about 3am, to TBH i dont recall even
looking out the window after 3am, so it could have stayed on longer,
as the nights got longer, it'd be off by 3, then 2, then 1 etc, end of
december it was lucky if it was still on at 9pm,
Probably both battery and panels wil be marginal, but more so the
panels. You should get more out of the panel by putting a diffusing
rear reflector on them during the winter only, so times of direct sun
produce more power out.
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