Alternative Energy

Alternative energy or renewable energy is converting available ambient elements such as sun, wind and water into an energy form that we can use. Once converted, the power would be available as DC, to power energy efficient systems or AC as a backup to conventional power supply. Depending on the need, this may be a low level of converstion which caters to lighting or backup power. Where there is greater need or dependance on alternative sources of energy, the systen may replace access to a national power grid.

An alternative energy system is created when the three elements described below are combined. The solar panel converts sunlight into electrical energy, the solar controller harnesses that energy and controls its use with the battery storing the energy for use.

Solar Converter

Lumens © is an alternative energy system which is DC powered. You can use solar, battery or DC power supply. The unit has dual output channels for two LED lighting banks and can be set to switch on | off with the transition between night and day.

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A common power storage medium is the SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) battery. They do not require maintainance and have a relatively good life span, with reasonable discharge / recharg times. They are however very susceptible to damage if not managed properly. The battery cannot be overcharged or completely discharged and must be kept in a charged state to get the best out its nominal 2 - 3 year life span. A very common iteration of this battery is the 12V 7 AH variety, and these batteries are readily available and can be obtained from electronics stores, security equipment stores and IT shops. They are used in UPS systems, power backup and auxilary applications.

Solar Panel

Whether a large scale solar panel system is installed or a stand alone, single panel the principles are similar. The panel will require good sunlight, pitched at the right angle (~45') and be dust free. Panels cen be mounted on a stand, a wall bracket or large frame comprised of many panels all interconnected.