26 09 2012 - The heart of the system

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The heart of the system

is our third chapter of our Solar Light Fitting Tutorials. It looks at the “electronic circuit board” or its “heart”.

In the first chapter we covered the “Panel”, looking at the various types of solar panels available on the market. In our second chapter we looked at the “Battery”, where we considered two of the most efficient battery types available on the market.

Although it is hard to break a system down, and define which component is more important, we can confidently state that Mareco Luce’s Electronic Circuit Board (ECB) is the point at which all of the technology meets and becomes a living, thinking system.

Connecting the solar panel to the battery, the battery to the LEDs, it is the nerve centre of the Solar Light Fitting. Its job is to control the flow of energy which originates from the sun, and is destined to illuminate our nightscapes.

The ECB is designed to work in one of two “macro” operating modes:

Normal or Smart

Normal mode is designed very much like a timer system, whereby the light is switched on just after sunset and continues to stay “on” until the time expires, or the battery reaches minimum charge (20% is always kept in reserve to safeguard against battery damage – thus extending battery life and increasing battery efficiency).

Smart mode is where this system shows its true capabilities. Smart mode carries out a series of calculations before it switches the light on. These calculations are aimed at anticipating the length of the oncoming night, so that energy can be balanced to guarantee from 2-10 nights of illumination (depending on type of product selected).

When operating in Smart mode, the system collects and analyses the charging data collected over the previous 3, 7, and 15 nights. It then takes the average, and can decide to increase of decrease the amount of energy to be supplied to the LEDs.

In this way it is constantly adjusting itself to cope with the changing seasons. This demonstrates the true intelligence of the system as well as the flexibility in changing just as the environment around it changes. All of this without any input from the user.

The ECB has also been designed to allow for:

•    connection to the Electrical Grid – only as a back up
•    occupancy sensor – helping to conserve battery power for when it is really needed.

All of the above is explained more thoroughly in our 2012 Solar Catalogue, where we also give detailed examples. Please download by clicking here or request us to send you a hard copy.

Mareco Luce’s Solar range – click here