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 Solar power 
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:39 am
Posts: 5
Post Solar power
Hi!. We have a external enclosures for long Timelapse purposes (months or years continously), and want to power the whole system (Canon SLR camera, Fit PC2i and cooler/heater) with a solar panel.

We don´t know what solutions can fit in our needs. I have searching and see that there is solar chargers with accumulators for Laptops, for example:

http://www.tucargadorsolar.com/epages/e ... s/PO-002-N

This one can power and maintain 24/7 the system that we want to make?

Thanks!


Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:00 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:23 pm
Posts: 43
Post Re: Solar power
since the panel only gives 4W maximum and the fitpc already takes 6W, there is no way this panel can supply your system 24/7.


Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:26 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:39 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Solar power
I don´t understand...if this panel can POWER a Laptop, and maintain it, why cannot power the tiny fit pc2?.

What can you suggest?

Thanks!


Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:44 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:11 pm
Posts: 2344
Post Re: Solar power
This may work if you cycle the fit-PC2 - waking it up when needed to take a shot and putting it back to sleep.

BTW, I suggest you take the power ratings of solar panel with a grain of salt. You may better run it for a few weeks and measure performance before installing. Factoring actual performance in varying temperature, latitude, dust, clouds, hour of the day (to name a few) is not trivial.

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Irad Stavi
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Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:28 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:23 pm
Posts: 43
Post Re: Solar power
solar panels mostly rated for maximum power, which is only reached at a certain level of light. this is mostly defined for a bright sunny day during lunchtime.

at night, you amost never have sun (poles of earth neglected), so the panel dont supply power at all, the same on rainy days.

however, as irad pointed out, you can switch of your system. eg. if you system uses 10 Watt, and you use it only 6 min each hour, your average powerconsumption is only 1 Watt. The panel makes 4 Watt at sunny daytime, you use 1 Watt, so you have left 3 Watt to charge the battery. The battery supplys you system during night, when the panel doesnt deliver energy at all, so make sure, its enough charged to sustain the night.

hopes that helps


Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:23 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:39 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Solar power
Hi!. Is impossible at all to sleep the FitPC2i, because it runs the Canon Remote Software and it needs to stay on 24/7 (shooting a photo every hour).

What I think is to store the power of the solar panel in a rechargable battery, that power the system when the solar panel cannot make it. Simply as that :-)


Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:25 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:11 pm
Posts: 2344
Post Re: Solar power
Battery is a must for any solar power system (think night), but you should also compare the worst case solar power (eg on a rainy week) to the average power consumption of the system. If the latter is greater your system will not last.

What is usually done to minimize average power consumption is to program the computer to sleep most of the time, wake up periodically, do the task and go back to sleep.
fit-PC2 can be programmed to do that. See http://fit-pc2.com/wiki/index.php?title=Wake_on_timer

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Irad Stavi
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Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:28 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:39 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Solar power
I understand...the problem with sleep is that we need the computer always on, because it runs the Remote Camera control and have his own intervalometer, to shoot the images every hour. So this program cannot be closed :-(


Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:20 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:11 pm
Posts: 2344
Post Re: Solar power
In that case I would plan for about 30W solar power source and about 100Ah
(2 car batteries) that would support the system in a cloudy week.

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Irad Stavi
fit-PC forum admin

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Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:36 am
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:39 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Solar power
Thanks for the advice!


Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:15 am
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