The scope of solar power application is enormous and a new portable solution has caught our attention. The product of the imagination and ingenuity of an engineer called Mark Turczynski from Western Illinois, Powershed is a portable shed with solar panels fixed to the top so that it can be used in the yard, in a soccer field, on site, etc. Powershed offers three product models: the Powershed, which is an 8’ x 8’ shed with a steel-reinforced frame.
I think the portability is a very attractive feature and also siting your system on the shed means you have greqter flexibility in locating it properly into th sun, which sometimes is difficult with house rooftops, depending on the way the house is sited on the block.
Add light to the interior of your storage shed, Garage, or Cabin were you are unable to run electric power.
3ea Ni-Cd batteries (rechargeable) conveniently mounted and located behind the light assembly. John Butterworth ‘sheds light’ on a simple DIY solar-powered system for illuminating your hen-house or running an electric fence. Well, this is for you then: a (fairly) cheap method of using solar power to bring light into your ‘sheddy’ darkness.
Under the glass face of a panel is a silicon material that creates an electric current when light shines on it, hence the name ‘photovoltaic’.
If the sun is shining brightly (I know, we’re in Britain, but sometimes it does), a 50-watt panel will put over 4 amps into the battery, and it will be at about 15 volts or more.
Just follow the instructions with the controller, but typically, connect the 12-volt battery (this one is a small, electric fence type) to the ‘battery’ terminals on the controller; then connect the solar panel wires to the solar controller connectors. The charge controller (this one is called an ‘ET Suncharger’) regulates the voltage coming out of the panel (maybe 14–17 volts) to something the battery likes (about 12–14 volts), to stop it being fried by being overcharged. If you want to run a light or some other 12-volt gizmo in your shed, connect it to the ‘output’ terminals on the controller as you can see.
Note that if you wanted to put the light on and off at set times, the 12-volt timer I showed above could be fitted between the ‘output’ terminals and the light, but there’s a cheaper way, as you’ll see! So, let’s look at setting up my all-singing, all-dancing modern system in the hen-house, where we want to run lights in the winter months to extend the laying period, and run the electric fencing unit all year round. A few ‘givens’ in the light of experience – the solar panel needs to be big enough to keep the battery charged, even in winter – 50 watts then.
The old type had to have high-power components in them, which made them relatively expensive, or, like the ‘Suncharger’, you were expected to disconnect your gizmos when the battery became flat or overcharged. All that is solved with PWM controllers – not only can they use cheaper components, they control the charge much more accurately, so your expensive battery should last a lot longer (time will tell!). For the battery: prior to the advent of these wizard PWM controllers, I’d have recommended a ‘leisure’ battery, not a bog-standard car battery. This needs mounting in an unshaded place, at an angle of about 30–35?, and facing south if possible. To keep the power to a minimum when the battery kept going flat I bought an LED light (about 2 watts I think) from Halfords, but fluorescent is, believe it or not, still slightly more efficient in terms of the amount of light you get per watt of power. The ‘output’ to the lights is the one that the controller disconnects if the sun doesn’t shine and the battery looks like going flat, and it’s also ‘timed’ to only supply power after dusk.
The 50-watt 12-volt panel was ?95 + ?8 postage via an online auction site; it arrived two days after I’d ordered it and it’s good kit.


Charge Controller – an ‘EPRC-10’ – you can see what appears to be exactly the same item on the Internet at ?55 from a specialist solar company, ?27 from Amazon, and ?13.50 on eBay, so shop around! If you get a charge controller without a built-in timer, a timer like mine is now, annoyingly, about ?19 (google ‘12V timer’). Download a free copy of the first Home Farmer Magazine Ever PublishedEnter your email address and name below to get our popular weekly newsletter full of recipes, seasonal growing advice and DIY instructions.
We describe Home Farmer very much as a magazine for the kitchen table than coffee table, and each issue targets what you need to know to get the job done with simple step-by-step instructions, features and honest accounts of people trying to live their dreams either in the country or town. Solar Panels - SOLAR POWER OUTDOOR GARDEN SHED LIGHT WALL FIXED - FREE SHIPPING if you buy before Friday the 13th.. It doesn’t require fixing solar panels to the roof, which gives potential users an added advantage: they can take the system with them if they move houses. There’s the Powershed Lite, which comes in an 8’ x 10’ shed, slightly larger than the standard POWERSHED to allow for the modifications needed for the lighter frame. I installed a solar system in our hen-house about four years ago, and it worked, after a fashion. The rating in watts is the maximum power you’d get on a midsummer day at noon, with the panel facing south and at 35 degrees so the sun shines directly on the face. You need a solar panel with enough ‘oomph’ to do the job, and from experience a minimum of 10 watts is required. Well, you could, and some are marketed as car battery chargers that plug into the car’s 12-volt lighter socket.
If all you’re doing is using the sun to charge a battery, as I intend to do with my tractor battery in the tractor shed, that’s all there is to it!
Then, if you leave the light or gizmo on too long and it starts to flatten the battery, the controller simply switches the power to the output terminals off to protect the battery, and stop it being undercharged, or flattened.
Mine has a built-in timer, as its original use was for controlling street lights – switching them on after dusk for a pre-settable period.
That’s because ordinary car batteries (‘starter’ batteries) simply hate being deeply discharged – it causes them to ‘sulphate’, which means they won’t recharge properly and they have a really short useful life. This is the ‘lumens per watt’ ratio, and at the moment, white LEDs are only about 34 lumens per watt, with compact fluorescents about 55 lumens per watt. The electric fence on the other hand needs to be on all the time, so I’ve connected it directly to the battery terminals.
The old solar panel and charge controller will be relegated to tractor battery-charging duties, so they’ll still have some useful life. Beware of buying from shops or even electric fence suppliers – I’ve seen 20-watt panels at ?130 and 50-watt at ?275.
We need styles that are quick and easy to maintain without having to wake up at the break of dawn every morning to get it right.
Finally, the company also offers Solar Wings for those not interested in the storage and functional capabilities of its shed products. Maybe you need to light up a hen-house to extend the laying period into the winter months (the experts tell us we should, and rising corn prices tell us we must!). We used it to light the shed at dawn and dusk, and to power the electric fence round the hen run to keep the fox out; the drawback was in the depths of winter though, when lack of sunlight meant it would keep the battery charged for only two or three weeks.


All the rest of the time it will generate less than the rated power, though you’ll still get some during daylight hours whatever the weather. This only works if the solar panel is small and weedy enough not to overcharge the battery, and for our purposes here, they’re a waste of space – typically they’re less than 2 watts, so for lights, electric fencers and tractor batteries, they’re nowhere near big enough to do the job. If you run lots of gizmos (lights for example) when the sun isn’t shining, you’ll flatten the battery, which again, will kill it sooner or later.
We need a decent charge controller to protect the battery too, and the original solar controller I had only protected from undercharge (always check the specifications!), and even the later ‘ET Suncharger’ specifications leave a lot to be desired.
Instead of ?20 for a fairly crude solar controller and ?40+ for a timer, I paid ?13.50 for a super-duper controller that does it all. PWM controllers claim to keep the battery at 90–95% charge, so in theory you should be able to use the cheaper starter battery rather than splash out on a more expensive leisure battery.
Typical 50-watt panels come without mounting brackets, so I sawed up an old aluminium window frame and made some. I bolted them to the panel, marked and drilled the holes on the roof, then pushed stainless steel bolts through from inside and bolted it down. I mounted the charge controller inside the shed, but let’s face it, hen huts can be mucky, dusty places, so I mounted it inside a plastic container (No.
It takes very little power, so with the nice big solar panel connected up I don’t expect it to flatten the battery, even in winter. After that I had to disconnect it, take it indoors, charge it with a mains charger (for twelve hours at least) and take it back out – a rotten job in snow, and a period with no lights and no fence power.
Something altogether modern is called for, and that’s a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) charge controller. Alas, though, my better half thinks the brighter fluorescent light encourages better laying, so I’ll experiment with both and see which works best. They can be mounted based on individual customer preferences including ground and pole mount. If you’ve ever had a flat battery a good distance from a mains socket you’ll know just how heavy they are to carry. I’ve set up the old 5-watt solar panel on a board to demonstrate how it all connects up, as you can see in the picture.
Here it is with the lid off to show you what the controller looks like. The button on the right sets the programme for how long the light switches on. Fear not, that is what we want for our 12-volt system, as the ‘charge controller’ will sort it out, as you’ll see below. They control the charging current to the battery by varying the width of a pulse, so they’re ‘digital’. The solar panel connects to the left pair of terminals, the battery to the middle terminals, and the light to the right-hand terminals. Now, you might be thinking “who the H*** cares?” at this point, but you should care – not only are they better, they’re cheaper!




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Comments to «Solar power shed light photography»

  1. POZETIF_KIZ on 18.08.2013 at 21:15:49
    Reminiscent of a sofa, an finish keen on fancy cabinets and the free dictionary, Wooden 1 (wo?od). Dealt.
  2. SabaH_OlmayacaQ on 18.08.2013 at 23:36:24
    Stable wooden with a elegant simple steps will result in a correct development and.
  3. turkan on 18.08.2013 at 18:57:38
    Similar for mine - however I've for the storage field hours (serves me right.