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6 Volt Solar Battery Charger

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Default 6 Volt Solar Battery Charger

    I'm trying to fing the best way to use a solar panel to drive a receiver for automatic gates that runs on 6 volts (4 x 1.5 volt batteries).
    The plan is to install re-chargeable batteries that will be kept charged by the panel, however it is proving a bit tricky to find the best combination of panel, regulator, step-down transformer, etc.
    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Resigned SilentButDeadly's Avatar
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    assuming you are using a 12V panel and regulator then you'd be best off using a 12v battery with a step down transformer (often found in solid state for application in old cars).

    Alternatively, you can get 6V solar panels but I've not seen a 6V panel regulator as yet!
    Joined RF in 2006...Resigned in 2020.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I assume you are a bit handy with electronics, use a 6 volt regulator. Something from Jaycar (cat. no. ZV1508. $1.65ea).

    12V in, 6V out at 1A should do the job.
    Remember the 7 p's.
    Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

  4. #4
    rrobor
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    Yup agree with Murray all except his typo its ZV1506. If you did need more power out you could use a 2N3055 with a 5V 3 pin in its base. My problems though with this and I have never researched it so am not sure is, do cells like to be on a constant charge like say all day on a sunny day. For me though I must admit to confusion as to exactly what this is. If you tell us the 4 batteries open the gates then is it a toy? If you have power to the gates whats the thing with the panel?

  5. #5
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    A small 6V panel, 6V regulator and a 6V SLA battery would do the job nicely. All available from places such as Battery World, Jaycar etc.

    It's easy to set this up for anyone with modest electrical abilities if you're using a six terminal regulator. Just connect the panel to the regulator + and - as labelled. Same with the battery. And connect the load to the other two terminals marked for that. All very straightforward and easy to DIY.

    Just be careful not to short any wires when connecting it. It's only 6 volts but these batteries will deliver a LOT of current that can cause burns etc due to heat produced. Connect the wires to the battery last.

    Assuming we are talking about only a very small amount of power being used (how long do the batteries last at the moment?) a 5 Watt panel and a 5AH 6V battery would do the job nicely as long as the panel is pointing north and in direct sun.

    Angle the panel so that it points directly at the sun during winter in order to get stable year-round performance (the longer days during Summer will offset it not pointing directly at the sun). You want stable performance year round, maximising output when there's least sun (Winter). This does come at the expense of lower total annual output but that's not going to be an issue here (you'd align a grid-connected system very differently to a stand alone battery charger).

  6. #6
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Assuming its just a receiver (as in unlocks the gate, not a powered gate) why not just use solar panels from solar garden lights - they usually have 2x1.5 v batteries. A couple of those in series would probably do the job...
    -r

  7. #7
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Default 6 Volt Solar Battery Charger

    Thanks for all the advice.
    Just to clarify, the gates are operated via mains power.
    The 6 Volt system is a relay point/antenna halfway between house and gate to operate via remote control.


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