Saturday, March 16, 2013

Solyndra Art Project Part 5

The one where I say, 'How many dang parts are there going to be in this series?'

FINALLY bought some more Solyndra tubes! As it turns out, the guy I'm buying them from also bought a ton of spare tubes. He is in fact, not taking apart panels to sell the tubes...Which means I'm going to have to figure out how to safely and weatherproof-ly mechanically and electrically connect to these fragile things....

But first, another exciting shot of my home made Solyndra tube array now with 4 more tubes!
Scintillating isn't it? What is exciting is that the battery was so discharged after several overcast days that the SCC would not turn on the load at night. But today, a bright sunny day, by 1pm the SCC was reading the battery as fully charged! Yahoo!!!

Here's what the outputs from the array and Power Supply(PS) were showing.
That 13.71V output from the PS is sure better than the previous best of 12.6V.
Yet the array is still being pulled down to 58V?

Lets check the current
.335A not bad the array is outputting (.335A)(58V)=19.43W that's an increase from the previous reading of 12.6W.

But what's the Power Supply output?
Wow, 1.36A and 14.99V, that's a power of 20.34W!!!
So, apparently I've discovered a 'over-unity' device....Because somehow the output of the PS is more than the output of the array, even though the PS is only ~78% efficient...

Gotta be measurement error. The black DVM is a super cheapo model.

What's It Mean?
I think it means that 14 tubes is the magic number to keep a 12V 7.5AH battery charged even with a ridiculously large load....of course this is in this 'most ideal' setting.....
If these tubes get used in an art piece they will be a part of the sculpture...not sitting off to the side in a rack...that means much less output from the array.

Of course, I will not be having such a ridiculously large night time load on the sculpture....So, maybe I can get away with 14 tubes..but I think I'll up it to 16 and call it good.

Up Next
Sketches of ideas for what I'm going to do with all this stuff.


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