Solar power 120v lighting in a shed

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  #1  
Old 08-03-14, 12:09 AM
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Question Solar power 120v lighting in a shed

I'm building a shed, and due problems in it's location and the wiring of the house, I cannot easily obtain power from the house.

I plan on powering it using a generator. Provides more then enough energy.

However, the lighting is a different issue. A 3000-4000w generator isn't needed for a few light bulbs. So I was thinking a solar panel and a battery is enough.

However, both the panels and batteries pretty much only come in 12v DC. Not the same as the 120v AC I'm looking for to power the lighting. I plan on using low-power LED lights, so power isn't the problem, but how the power gets from the panel to the bulb is, because they use different power.

How should I go about converting it to the type of power I need? What's the best solution for a shed?
 
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  #2  
Old 08-03-14, 01:57 AM
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Wire the lighting as any other just remember that the source is the battery. Lots of LED fixtures available on Ebay for low cost. Use a deep cycle battery and a charge controller for the solar panels.
 
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Old 08-03-14, 03:28 AM
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Hi Unspoken and welcome to the forum.
You said "I plan on using low-power LED lights, so power isn't the problem, but how the power gets from the panel to the bulb is, because they use different power."

Not a pro on electrical, but if you are installing a panel in this garage you should not connect the resulting output from your solar panel to that electrical panel. There will probably be other devices wired in and if left on they will exhaust the battery very quickly. My guess is some sort of selector switch to point the lights towards the solar or towards the panel powered by the generator.

Of course the output from the solar panel will be going through a converter to create the 120v.

Bud
 
  #4  
Old 08-03-14, 04:14 AM
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Hi Bud9051.

I was planning on connection the solar battery directly into it's own circuit connection the lights (possibly an outlet for low-powered devices) and most likely something to allow the generator to power the circuit instead, in the event the solar power fails for some reason or runs out of electricity. The generator was going to connect to it's own circuit, which powers the outlets for tools and such.

The problem is how I'm going to use the solar power. The circuit it will be going to should be a regular 120v circuit just like the generator, just through the solar battery.

You mentioned a converter? What would be an appropriate converter for a 12v deep cycle battery (powered by a 12v solar panel) to a 120v circuit inside of a structure?
 
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Old 08-03-14, 04:22 AM
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Use RV lighting at 12 volts. Just as bright, and no converter needed. Let the panels keep your batteries charged. You won't derive a good 120 volt source without a bank of 10 batteries, and other expensive equipment. No matter, do NOT wire this to your panel.
 
  #6  
Old 08-03-14, 04:41 AM
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How much time will you be using the solar batteries in the shed and have you started pricing out what the components will cost? You'll be over several hundred dollars very quickly and even more if you want to have a 120VAC outlet. Then add in wiring the shed separately for 120 and a generator. Just be ready for the expense.
 
  #7  
Old 08-04-14, 03:19 AM
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Using 12 volt lighting is the ONLY way this makes sense. LED light to use as low a current as possible and 12 volts so you only need one battery. The solar panels will be wired to a charge controller which in turn is wired to the battery. Run all the lighting system wiring and connect to the battery. You can also add a 12 volt charger to the battery to be energized by the AC when you have the generator running. All the 120 volt AC receptacles would be wired completely separate from the lighting and to a generator inlet connection. You might want to add supplemental fuse or circuit breaker protection IF your generator has a high output current.
 
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