Sunday, March 10, 2013

Solyndra Art Project Part 4

Now Even Shinier!

Well, I screwed up, forgot about daylight freaking savings time and blew my appointment to get more tubes. So I decided to do what I had already planned to do, namely, build a rack for em.

Voila, The Rack
I took an old piece of wood left over from the 'trashed organ debacle'.
I drilled 1 1/4" holes down the center and then sawed it in half with my skill saw..this would of been a much better job for a table saw...
Screwed the sides together with some fancy pocket screws and voila, my home made Solyndra tube rack.

Collecting More Sunlight
Since the tubes can collect sunlight from 360 deg through the cylindrical axis I decided to staple up some Aluminum foil to the underside (shiny side up).

Benchmark Measurements
Measurements taken with the orig set up.
I had charged up the battery with a charger the day before so it was completely charged.

With the SCC in float mode the numbers looked like this.
That's a whopping 6.4W

Then with the SCC switched on powering the EL wire load.
That's a slightly better 8.98W.

New Experimental Set Up
See, SHINY! I tilted the array towards due South by like 10 deg.

As you can see there is more light hitting the tubes now.

Repeating the same measurements as above we have;

SCC In Float Mode
That's 6.84W.

EL Wire Load
That's 9.1W.

What Do These Numbers Mean
I have no idea.....
I guess I could say that I increased the arrays ability to supply power. The voltage dropped less under load than the previous setup.
I was expecting 'more' though, I mean, I've definitely increased the amount of sunlight hitting the tubes...

Big Load Test
Just for fun I hooked up a reel of LED's. This represents a 36W load.
The array output drops to 55V with .229A for a power of  12.6W.
That's actually a big improvement over the previous numbers of 52V and .152A for a power of 7.9W.

I think that this means that I have increased the arrays ability to supply power with the new set up.
It's still not enough though...I will hopefully be acquiring more tubes this week.
My plan is to add pairs of tubes until I can get the PS output to at least 14V under load.

I'm going to leave the big load on and set the SCC to power it for two hours every night and then see what happens.

Update:
Well, after running the 36W load for two hrs last night and having a very overcast morning the battery was fully charged by 2pm. I think that's a good sign. I think it means that I don't have to add any more tubes to make this work with that ridiculously large load.
Of course, that's with the tubes in the 'perfect' position...which is completely not the point of this exercise. I want the tubes to be an integral part of the art piece.....
Though with the LED's I'm planning on using I'd have to use 900 of them to get the same load as above....that's probably not going to happen.
I also realized that if I were to use a 6V battery instead of the 12V that all of these charging issues would go away...unfortunately I can not find a 6V SCC....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool project! I have no knowledgeable input on your calculations, but have an idea to replace the tinfoil--how about glue-on mirror squares. Cheap and more reflective, plus harder to damage.

-Heather