• ## Solar Pendulum for lower light conditions?

(3)
• NextPrevious
• Let me start with I am a new member to this group and to robotics itself. I have been reading this groups post for a few weeks but this is my first post. I
Message 1 of 3 , Oct 18, 2008
View Source
• 0 Attachment
Let me start with "I am a new member to this group and to robotics
itself." I have been reading this groups post for a few weeks but this
is my first post.

I bought both "junkbots,bugbots and bots on wheels" and "Absolute
Beginners Guide to Building Robots" and love the books. What they do
leave out is where to go from there...or better explanation how to
proceed with the learning before your imagination can really do
anything. (Hope you understand what I mean) Understanding a data sheet
for a chip/component is near impossible for the beginner.

Which leads me to the question.

The solar pendulum.
The solar panels are to be a combined 2v and 200ma. If I were to use a
larger solar panel, say a 6-10v, would this make the pendulum be able
to be used in lower light conditions with the help of some sort of
voltage regulator? I understand how the pendulum engine works so I
would need something that will only allow a certain voltage to pass. I
could probably manually adjust with a variable resistor but is there a
way to only allow a max of 2 volts with out throwing off something
else with the engine?

m3lt
• I don t think you will have to regulate the voltage. The solar cell will be loaded by the circuit, and will not reach its unloaded open circuit voltage. You
Message 2 of 3 , Oct 21, 2008
View Source
• 0 Attachment
I don't think you will have to regulate the voltage.

The solar cell will be loaded by the circuit, and will
not reach its unloaded open circuit voltage.

You may have to limit the current, however. Too high a current
will latch the circuit on.

That said, a solar cell with a higher than necessary open circuit
voltage should ensure that it will still produce the necessary
2V under dimmer lights.

Jo

--- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "m3lt79" <amcnulty79@...> wrote:
>
> Let me start with "I am a new member to this group and to robotics
> itself." I have been reading this groups post for a few weeks but this
> is my first post.
>
> I bought both "junkbots,bugbots and bots on wheels" and "Absolute
> Beginners Guide to Building Robots" and love the books. What they do
> leave out is where to go from there...or better explanation how to
> proceed with the learning before your imagination can really do
> anything. (Hope you understand what I mean) Understanding a data sheet
> for a chip/component is near impossible for the beginner.
>
> Which leads me to the question.
>
> The solar pendulum.
> The solar panels are to be a combined 2v and 200ma. If I were to use a
> larger solar panel, say a 6-10v, would this make the pendulum be able
> to be used in lower light conditions with the help of some sort of
> voltage regulator? I understand how the pendulum engine works so I
> would need something that will only allow a certain voltage to pass. I
> could probably manually adjust with a variable resistor but is there a
> way to only allow a max of 2 volts with out throwing off something
> else with the engine?
>
>
>
>
> m3lt
>
• m3lt79 wrote: The solar pendulum. The solar panels are to be a combined 2v and 200ma. If I were to use a larger solar panel, say a 6-10v, would this make the
Message 3 of 3 , Jan 5, 2009
View Source
• 0 Attachment
m3lt79 wrote:
```The solar pendulum.
The solar panels are to be a combined 2v and 200ma. If I were to use a
larger solar panel, say a 6-10v, would this make the pendulum be able
to be used in lower light conditions with the help of some sort of
voltage regulator? I understand how the pendulum engine works so I
would need something that will only allow a certain voltage to pass. I
could probably manually adjust with a variable resistor but is there a
way to only allow a max of 2 volts with out throwing off something
else with the engine?
```

It's a dandy circuit. You won't have to limit the voltage going in to anything above the lowest voltage value of any of the capacitors (so if you're using 16V caps, don't exceed 16V).

The neat thing about the circuit is that with too much power, it powers on the coil by default which is always attracting the magnet. As soon as it swings past middle, the reverse EM kick temporarily forces the coil off, letting the coil coast away from the coil before it re-energizes.

Having too much power becomes a concern only when it's backed by a seriously large current source (don't connect it to a car battery). In short, a small 6~12V solar cell array will power it fine in lower light levels.

Regards,
Dave
Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.