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charge batteries with daylight?

 
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gr3nade
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Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject: charge batteries with daylight? Reply with quote

Hey guys,


I wanted to buy a couple of electronic candles for my gf:
http://www.velleman.be/be/en/product/view/?id=361258#


The only problem is, the batteries are expensive (like $2 each). If you have like 20 candles, that will become expensive since the battery only lasts for 15 days.

I'm a newb when it comes to electronics. Is there a way to have a light sensor (or something like that) charge up a battery? This way the candles could charge at daytime and burn at night...


Please, any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Nginuity
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Joined: 13 Nov 2006
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on what kind of batteries they are. Offhand, I don't know that the CR2032 is rechargeable at all, but you could most certainly find a way to power those with 2 AA batteries that are rechargeable.
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gr3nade
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Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Nginuity. Two AAs would be nice, but they won't fit a small candle holder.


I once had a tiny r/c car, simular to this one:


You had to "connect" the car to the transmitter, and it would take 5 mins to "charge". After that, the car would ride for 10 minutes.

I remember opening the car (because I needed some parts) and I saw 2 small "tubes", that looked like batteries.. They were like 1/3 the size of an AA battery.

Not sure what they were.. But just saying, it must be possible to get something smaller...
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Nginuity
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if the lamps are going to be in the same place all of the time, I would hack all of the circuit boards in them and run them off of a 3 volt power supply. Connect them in parallel with hook up wire. They won't draw near enough current to approach the max on the power supply rating, since they are used to running off of the watch batteries.
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gr3nade
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Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well you see, that's what it's all aboot. :p

I must be possible.. Do you know of any existing gadgets that charge by light?
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Nginuity
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sure don't.....aside from wiring a small solar panel up to it....
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gr3nade
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

but those "solar panels" would be big right?

these are the smallest ones:
http://www.velleman.be/be/en/product/list/?id=342141


the small ones from calculators are useless?
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Nginuity
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They would draw a miniscule amount of electricity, but it might be enough to charge that small battery, assuming you can find a rechargeable type....the CR2032 is not rechargeable by default.
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gr3nade
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Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nginuity wrote:
They would draw a miniscule amount of electricity, but it might be enough to charge that small battery, assuming you can find a rechargeable type....the CR2032 is not rechargeable by default.




i guess you're not talking about the small calculator solar panels?
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LiesOfXIII
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Joined: 13 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure you could just make some minor modifications to some of those common solar charged lawn lights.. can't remember the names to those little buggers
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gr3nade
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Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LiesOfXIII wrote:
I'm sure you could just make some minor modifications to some of those common solar charged lawn lights.. can't remember the names to those little buggers


perhaps... but i'm guessing those would be too big... prolly cant fit the electronics into a small candle holder/cup..


perhaps im just being stupid.. some things cant be done.
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Alan
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Location: Winnipeg, MB

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gr3nade wrote:
Thanks for the reply Nginuity. Two AAs would be nice, but they won't fit a small candle holder.


I once had a tiny r/c car, simular to this one:


You had to "connect" the car to the transmitter, and it would take 5 mins to "charge". After that, the car would ride for 10 minutes.

I remember opening the car (because I needed some parts) and I saw 2 small "tubes", that looked like batteries.. They were like 1/3 the size of an AA battery.

Not sure what they were.. But just saying, it must be possible to get something smaller...


I think those cars just have a cap that charges from the battery in the controller.

If it needs to be portable, I would say mount two AA batteries to the bottom of the unit and plug them in when they die. It will be larger than it is now but they are operating in a large cup (or something similar) right?

Since it is operating an LED I don't think even a super cap would give you enough power
http://handhelds.hackaday.com/2005/12/06/supercap-9v-battery/1

The VERY small solar cells vive so little power that it would not be suitable.

Of course an easy solution would be to buy a few hundred of those batteries at a time bringing your cost down to a reasonable amount per battery. Smile

http://cgi.ebay.com/100-xNew-1-5v-LR44-44-AG13-13-Alkaline-Coin-Batteries_W0QQitemZ130084186695QQihZ003QQcategoryZ43445QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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gr3nade
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Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm confused.. The 9V battery with a cap (what's a cap anyway?) can last up to 3 hours and is charged in 20 seconds. Sounds like that's perfect. And it's much smaller than 2 AAs..


How much volt/amps do I need to charge such a "cap"?


I'm gonna look into those solar charged lawn lights. Perhaps I can modify those...


Thanks for all the replies guys.
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gr3nade
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm thinking to modify one of these...

http://www.glowbug.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=229


$12 is a lot, but will last longer than 6 batteries...
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Nginuity
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Joined: 13 Nov 2006
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gr3nade wrote:
(what's a cap anyway?)

A cap is a capacitor. Take a look at this page to see what it looks like: http://www.electronics-lab.com/articles/basics/components/identify.htm

The more capacitance a capacitor has, the longer you will be able to charge the device for use. Conversely, the morse capacitance it has, the longer it will need to charge, so the volts and amps you need would vary per your application.
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