Forums Power and Sound Power and Sound
  • Topic: Solar power instead of battery ?

    Back To Topics
    (0 rates)
    • March 28, 2018 9:41 AM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
      • Posts
        3,692
      • Thanks
        759
      • Thanked
        201

      Solar power instead of battery ?

      I was wondering if you could run a train on solar power?

      What if you had a 40' container and the top was a solar panel could you run an engine just from the panel and no battery?

      Image result for usa gunderson well cars

      I thought of this question, when I past a flashing stop sign and it did not look that big to have batteries and there were small solar panels .

      This post was edited by Sean McGillicuddy at March 28, 2018 9:42 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

       My u-tube

      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

    • March 28, 2018 10:10 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
      • Posts
        3,996
      • Thanks
        418
      • Thanked
        446

      I doubt that you could get a train to draw as little as an LED... your flashing light wouldn't work with incandescents, heat breaks the balance.

      Does the light shut off at dusk? If not, I'll bet on batteries unseen.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • March 28, 2018 2:08 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
      • Posts
        1,464
      • Thanks
        1
      • Thanked
        80

      The motors that I use to power my Rigi duo are 6 volt and came with solar cells for power, though I run them regulated from track power.  These are high torque, low speed motors.

      http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G15642

       

       

      This post was edited by Todd Brody at March 28, 2018 2:11 PM EDT
    • March 28, 2018 2:31 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
      • Posts
        9,864
      • Thanks
        73
      • Thanked
        548

      At 12 volts, and half an amp, you would need a 6 watt solar cell. At 12 volts and one amp, you would need 12 watts. Considering what a 40 watt panel looks like (size wise) I think you would need a few cars worth of panels. Then it would be a sunshine only train.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 28, 2018 8:39 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
      • Posts
        9,864
      • Thanks
        73
      • Thanked
        548

      Pete Thornton said:

      I use these to keep my boat batteries charged.  They produce 3W.  If you left them charging a small battery all the time, you would probably get enough power to run a train for an hour or so.

      Semi-Flexible 3W Monocrystalline Solar Panel

      https://www.westmarine.com/buy/nature-power--semi-flexible-3w-monocrystalline-solar-panel--14996284?recordNum=1

      From the OP, in part;

      solar panel could you run an engine just from the panel and no battery?

      I have thought of setting up a solar battery charger, and then running my trains from that battery. But, the expense of assembling such an installation, and the upkeep needed for it, I will stick with my 100 foot extension cord.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 29, 2018 12:04 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
      • Posts
        7,415
      • Thanks
        104
      • Thanked
        480

      The picture is gone, but you might read this when Izzard was offering a solar car:

      http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/14629/solar-powered-battery-car?page=1

       

      Greg

       

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • April 1, 2018 8:12 AM EDT
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
      • Posts
        935
      • Thanks
        6
      • Thanked
        55

      You could use solar and battery at the same time to increase the battery run time during the day.

    • April 1, 2018 1:35 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
      • Posts
        7,415
      • Thanks
        104
      • Thanked
        480

      The issue, as Rick found out, is that you need a lot of solar to make enough energy to make a difference. I think he had a 5 car train, with something similar to what Pete posted, arched like a tunnel on a flat car or in a gondola.

       

      By the time you dedicate those cars, you could have added a single battery car to give all day running.

       

      But it would be fun to have a solar only train just for the novelty.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • April 17, 2018 8:26 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
      • Posts
        9,864
      • Thanks
        73
      • Thanked
        548

      Rick, so does it fulfill the OP's question/requirement?

      I was wondering if you could run a train on solar power?

      What if you had a 40' container and the top was a solar panel could you run an engine just from the panel and no battery?

      Since I see something labeled "charge controller", I suspect that there are batteries, and so it doesn't fulfill the OPs question "...could you run an engine just from the panel and no battery?"

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • April 18, 2018 12:35 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
      • Posts
        7,415
      • Thanks
        104
      • Thanked
        480

      I think the last time we worked this out, my estimate was about 5 cars with panels on a bright day.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • April 18, 2018 6:17 PM EDT
      • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
         
      • Posts
        229
      • Thanks
        0
      • Thanked
        8

      David, Yes there are 2  - 14.4V battery-packs underneath the solar panel.  This panel is 19.6V peak voltage and 300 milliamps max current, and the only way to increase the current output is to increase the number of solar cars in parallel.  I don't know of any way to operate a locomotive directly from a solar panel, because all the panels ( like the ones I had installed above my koi shed ) have go directly into a converter then that power gets transferred into battery storage.  But, I've been out of the game for the past 14 months (health issues) so I may not be up-to-date on all the new technology out there.

      ____________________________________

      Rick Isard

      Cordless Renovations, LLC

      RCS America

      www.cordlessrenovations.com

      www.remotecontrolsystems.com

    • April 18, 2018 10:58 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
      • Posts
        7,415
      • Thanks
        104
      • Thanked
        480

      So, the way Rick arched the panel was quite clever, gives it exposure in varying positions.

       

      But clearly, it reduces the maximum power, a good approximation would be under half, and probably even 1/3 capacity even in optimal conditions.

       

      So now you have 100 ma at 19.6 best case so under 2 watts. So maybe in perfect conditions you could run an LGB loco with no cars on that, but now you have to pull 3 cars for 1/2 motor unloaded... basically you will probably agree that loading the loco down, and sunlight not always being the best, 5 cars would be a good estimate, 500 ma tops at 19.6 and need to factor in the conversion loss (using a DC to DC  converter, which are easy to procure.

       

      So a train that runs only in full and bright sunlight, go into the shadow and the train stops.

       

      If I was determined to build one, I would double the power to compensate for issues, and now you are at 10 cars....

       

      Anyway, it's fun to think about, but as I said before, just one car with a battery would be enough.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • April 19, 2018 4:35 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
      • Posts
        3,996
      • Thanks
        418
      • Thanked
        446

      If he had used a high side gon, he could have cupped the array (down inside) and taken advantage of reflected light, instead he created shadows ... not so clever after all...

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • April 19, 2018 9:21 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
      • Posts
        7,415
      • Thanks
        104
      • Thanked
        480

      not quite understanding your point, cupping it down would make it so only with the sun directly overhead would be exposed. as soon as you get any angle, one side is completely in shade, and the other side going into it.

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • April 19, 2018 9:37 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
      • Posts
        3,996
      • Thanks
        418
      • Thanked
        446

      Concave from edge of opening. His way you loose the horizon too, but any light entering into the concave part has a chance of reflecting onto another part... where as his bounce is always away...

       

      Not that steep to create darkness...

       

       

      This post was edited by John Caughey at April 19, 2018 9:39 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • April 19, 2018 10:29 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
      • Posts
        7,415
      • Thanks
        104
      • Thanked
        480

      The panels are highly designed to absorb light, any amount reflected from a panel is negligible.

       

      And at low sun angles you get nothing at least 2/3's in shadow, the rest at bad angle, while Rick's layout gets probably 1/3 exposure.

       

      Still don't see it.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • April 20, 2018 12:09 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
      • Posts
        3,996
      • Thanks
        418
      • Thanked
        446

      Too bad, but not real important... I'm thinking along the line of telescope reflecting mirrors that gather light. Never seen one convex.

      If the angles are similar; convex and concave, then so should the shade. Any secondary light is limited, but possible.

       

      Carry on, John out.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

Forums Power and Sound Power and Sound

    Icon Legend

  • Topic has replies
    Hot topic
    Topic unread
    Topic doesn't have any replies
    Closed topic
    BBCode  is enabled
    HTML  is enabled

Add Reputation

Do you want to add reputation for this user by this post?

or cancel

Ads by Google