The SOL project

A place for discussing diverse methods of powering locomotives, such as Internal Combustion, Wind, etc...
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tom_tom_go
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Re: The SOL project

Post by tom_tom_go » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:37 am

The prototype body looks fairly simple to replicate so it should work well to house everything you need.

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Paulus » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:23 pm

Thanks for your reply. Yes I suppose it will fit al under the passenger bench hopefully. :)

Some progress on the chassis. I used an other plywood part leftover and and a sheet of balsa on top.
Also made an axle mount out of styrene sheets. Again all very basic and light.

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Temporary set up without the solar panel:

Image

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Paulus » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:25 pm

And a successful testrun!


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Re: The SOL project

Post by Paulus » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:04 pm

Best to use a schottky diode as they have less voltage drop. Any normal diode will work though provided the solar cell voltage is high enough.
Can a LED also be used for blocking diode to prevent discharge? It is a Light Emitting Diode so I suggest it could?
That would be practical as I can use it as light :scratch: :idea:
Or would that LED only be working when charging?

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Busted Bricks » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:19 pm

The forward voltage of a LED is a lot higher than that of a normal diode so probably not a good idea. You would also need a current limiting resistor in the circuit so you don't fry the LED.

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Paulus » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:54 pm

Oke clear. Thanks again for your help! :thumbleft:

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Paulus » Tue May 21, 2019 9:45 pm

It has been a few weeks, so time for an update!

After building the chassis I started to build a coach from balsa sheets and cardboard (the backsides of paper notebooks). The coach will be attached to the chassis with small screws from underneath. The type of Billard draisine is changed a bit, something more like this because it is a bit easier to build. The model will get sliding doors like some of these Billard draisines had. I left out the engine grille because, well... it will be solar powered after all ;-)

The pictures below shows the work the last weeks. I am still not sure what to do best with the wiring and I still need to figure out a removable roof (for access) that also holds the solar panel. More pictures and info on my blog.

Image

Image

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Paulus » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:30 am

I switched the cell for a 2500 mAh. Hopefully it won't take too long to charge in the sun ;)
During construction of the roof one of the wires broke of from the panel. I had to solder it back on. I hope I did not damage the panel by doing that. I placed a diode as advised.

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Charging up in the first sun of June. No glass in the windows yet. It is also still waiting for stepping planks at the sides.
Image

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Re: The SOL project

Post by idlemarvel » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:02 pm

Ingenious, and unlike many of these technology try-outs you're going to the trouble to add proper coachworks to it. Good job! :thumbright: :sunny:
Dave Miller
currently building the 5" gauge Circle Line

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Paulus » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:29 pm

idlemarvel wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:02 pm
Ingenious, and unlike many of these technology try-outs you're going to the trouble to add proper coachworks to it. Good job! :thumbright: :sunny:
Thank you :D
Yes I thought when it worked it would be a pity if it only had a milk box as coach so I put some effort in it after a successful test drive.
At the moment it is in the garden (very sunny again) loading up for the second day. But still there is not much happening... :scratch:

If the battery that came with the solar LED kit was 600 mAh and took a full day to load I now guess the 2500 mAh would take four days to load, right?... :silent:
But it would have been partly charged by now and giving at least a little bit of power I assumed. But that is hardly the case. It runs a few centimeters and than stops.
I will give it a few days and that try another battery cell if it still does not run.

Perhaps using this battery was not such a good idea even when it is fully charged after 4 days... Charging time of four days is pretty long... :P
Than again, I probably don't run is more than half an hour so when fully charged it is just a question of ' topping up' the cell, not fully load it again.
And I guess I don't really need 2500 mAh as it is very light. It will only give it a longer running time.

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Busted Bricks » Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:03 pm

What diode did you use? It should be a Schottky diode with a low drop in forward voltage. A standard diode has a drop of 0.7volts. Adding one more solar panel would improve things as well - it is a very small one you have. Having an multi-meter and knowing how to use it is useful when you are playing around with these things. It lets you know what is going on in terms of voltage and charge current.

It doesn't really matter if the cell is 600mAh or 2600mAh as long as you can't charge it fully in a matter of hours anyway. Better quality cells tend to have lower internal resistance so will charge faster.

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Paulus » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:19 pm

Busted Bricks wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:03 pm
What diode did you use? It should be a Schottky diode with a low drop in forward voltage. A standard diode has a drop of 0.7volts. Adding one more solar panel would improve things as well - it is a very small one you have. Having an multi-meter and knowing how to use it is useful when you are playing around with these things. It lets you know what is going on in terms of voltage and charge current.

It doesn't really matter if the cell is 600mAh or 2600mAh as long as you can't charge it fully in a matter of hours anyway. Better quality cells tend to have lower internal resistance so will charge faster.
Thanks again for your answer.
I think it is indeed not a Schottky diode. It is marked BY227. The cell is charged the original way, so through the little PCB that came with the kit, not directly from the panel but I have placed the diode between the cell and the motor. I even am not sure if that will make any sense at all actually :scratch:
A 0,7 volts drop will indeed reduce the voltage from 1,5 (or 1,2) to 0,8 or 0,5 and that would explain the slow running. I will see what it does when I bypass it with a bit of wire. Forgive me if I make foolish mistakes :shock: and thanks for your patience explaining me :thumbright:

I will go look for a multi-meter. I think I have an old one lying around in my garage... somewhere.

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Busted Bricks » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:28 pm

The diode should go between the cell and the solar panel but if you are still using the board that might not be necessary. I'd probably get rid of the board and just wire the cell to the panel and diode, then use a DPDT switch for the motor so it just runs off the cell.

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Re: The SOL project

Post by Paulus » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:41 pm

Busted Bricks wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:28 pm
The diode should go between the cell and the solar panel but if you are still using the board that might not be necessary. I'd probably get rid of the board and just wire the cell to the panel and diode, then use a DPDT switch for the motor so it just runs off the cell.
That would have been more simple indeed :silent:
Perhaps a next attempt with an other model. More panels and more cells.
I just consider this one the Mk.I :)

But it was in fact indeed the diode causing the problem! After bypassing it the model runs better. So I removed it (as it was installed useless anyway...) and did some successful test runs last night.

On the first video you can see it run. Wheels in front were a bit to wide and needed adjustment as they blocked in the curves. Also the light was flickering due to a loose contact at the switch I believe. And you can see how it looses one of its sliding doors... test runs are not without danger... :bom:
Sorry for the horrible sound...




But after some adjustment of the front wheels and fixing the lights it runs better as the next video shows. It runs reasonable good considering the 1,5 volts power source. Again sorry for the horrible sound...


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Re: The SOL project

Post by philipy » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:49 pm

I particularly like the night run, very impressive, and personally I thought the sound was quite realistic.
Well done

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