Solar lights [battery powered - solar charging]
solar powered water pumping

First posted
Friday March 30, 2012 13:31
Friday June 1, 2012 10:42

AltE store.

Thursday May 3, 2012 14:44

Solar-generated electricity must be paired with the load driven.

Large-scale solar generation of electricity may be a scam?

Attempting to drive home-sized loads with solar-generated electricity may be a scam too?

No response from Mr Sweet as of Wednesday May 2, 2012.

1 West patio PacificHydroStar solar water pumping video

Google 'cornwall mining' amd click on 'Home Page | Cornish Mining World Heritage Site', then click on


Coal used to generate steam to pump water started on an industrial scale here.

Google 'newcomen steam engine' and 'watt steam engine' to learn more about history of mechanized water pumping.

But solar water pumping doesn't work at night! We have 3 5 watt solar panels in garage we used to test Fast Neutron's statement.

Charging a battery with these three panels which will power a cd PacificHydroStar 12 volt pump is under consideration.

2 Raised garden, One Stop Solar batter-powered, NiCd AAA solar charged, LED lights and 1,000 pounds of 6 inch snap rock in little trailervideo.

3 Front vase PacificHydroStar solar water pumping video.

Background seen in video 1 is changing.

Editing sedimentary 6 inch snap rock requires technique learned on You Tube. Tap lightly.

Thick stones were sliced into thin ones. Here is a result of bill's work on Thursday morning May 3, 2012.

Compare to where shane left off on Tuednesday afternoon.

Water display video at Pete's landscaping made Thursday afternoon May 3, 2012 while

Tuesday May 1,2012 14:15

No response from Mr Sweet as of 14:13 Tuesday May 1, 2012

Google 'PNM Unveils Renewables Plan' By Michael Hartranft / Journal Staff Writer on Tue, May 1, 2012
The REC payments were restructured in 2010 to start at 12 cents a kilowatt-hour for small systems – typical rooftop systems up to 10 kilowatts – and 14 cents a kilowatt-hour for larger systems, but to decline by 1 cent as participation thresholds were met. Both are at their 5-cent floors now.

Under the new program – supported by the Renewable Energy Industries Association of New Mexico – REC payments for small systems would start at 4 cents a kilowatt hour and 5 cents for larger programs, then drop by a half cent every six months to a floor of 2.5 cents.

Energy efficiency forums

Ohio solar project passes federal environmental review

Friday April 27, 2012 18:40

Hello Travis,

Thanks for clarification email.

You wrote
[a]nd backwards when you are producing energy from your solar modules ...

Mr Spiller wrote
The Rural Electric Coop's are working on developing the one meter set up that reverses or goes backwards ..

Does this mean that the Rural Electric Coop's are unaware that PNM already has such a meter?

Will PNM's meter, photographed by an Affordable Solar employee on September 1, 2011,

run backwards if more solar generation of electricity is produced than our home consumes?

If PNM power goes out to a home on a sunny day and a solar system is generating more than that home is using will power remain on in the home?

You wrote
[l]et me know if you have any more questions or would like me to come out and give you a solar site evaluation.

CST and Affordable Solar gave quotes and Affordable Solar provided installation information.

Decision was to invest in landscaping before home-sized solar generation of electricity.

Evaluation of garden solar powered water pumping is in progress, however.

Your comments on an evaluation of home PV generation of electricity vs gasoline-powered generator I plan to write would be valuable.



From: "Travis Sweet"
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2012 6:29:45 AM
Subject: Re: Clarification need.

Good Morning bill,

I did not explain myself very well. There are 2 meters.

1. net meter, this spins forward when using electricity from the grid and backwards when you are producing energy from your solar modules. If you produce more energy than you use PNM will owe you a credit if you use more energy that you produce you owe PNM $

2. REC meter this only meters the production of your solar array. it spins forward when you are producing energy and does not take your usage into account at all. PNM will pay 5 cents for every Kw you produce according to the REC meter.

Sorry if i led you to believe something else and I hope this clears it up. let me know if you have any more questions or would like me to come out and give you a solar site evaluation .

Thank you

Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2012 7:06:34 AM
Subject: Re: Clarification need.

Hi Bill & Travis,

The two meter set is the standard that is used in New Mexico, electric building codes for grid-tie renewable energy systems. There are the two recording options that you mentioned. The Rural Electric Coop's are working on developing the one meter set up that reverses or goes backwards and the other is the REC meter but right their meters are one for grid usage and the other records renewable energy produced. We pay $.132 /Kwh for the COOP's power. PNM is cheaper and does things in thier own way.

Hope this muddies the water for you, let me know if you have more questions.

Michael Spiller
Sunsmiths Ltd Co
505-281-8104 Home / Office
505-252-9227 Cell

In a message dated 4/25/2012 9:25:52 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time, writes:

Hello Mr Spiller,

Any comments?


1. Nickel metal hydride (NiMH): Has a very high storage capacity compared to other technologies, allowing greater levels of charge in smaller form factor batteries.

2.Nickel cadmium (NiCd): Has a longer lifespan than NiMH and exhibits a lower self-discharge level. NiCad also allows production of batteries that have the lowest cost of the three technology options.

3.LIthium-ion (Li-ion): Results in lightweight batteries that are capable of working at lower temperatures, making them particular suited to outdoor application scenarios. This technology requires charging times that are comparatively short. Furthermore, it can cope with a greater number of charging cycles than NiCad or NiMH alternatives.

Monday April 30,2012 13:51

Monday April 30,2012 06:55

Harbor Freight May filer contained

The solar panel is advertised to produce 1.2 W.


Battery charging and now water pumping are apparently good applications for solar generation of electrcity.

Water pumping application is under investigation because of possible motor damage at low voltages

Also in the flier is

Owner gets 3.2 kW for about $300 plus gas - if it is available

Sunday April 29, 2012 Harbor Freight visited for reason


Both look to be hot sellers? Maybe for reason that people are becoming concerned about reliable supply of PNM electricity?

Let's compare cost and availability of solar generation of electricty with the 3.2/4.0 kW portable generator.

CST and Affordable Solar have provided numbers for solar. 

Tuesday May 1,2012 06:25

Solar water pumping issues investigated.

Sprinkler issues

1 Evaporation
2 water contamination

Stick shifts popular again, despite lower mpg

Just Sprinklers solar water pump conversation Saturday March 3, 2012.

120 volt water pump sales is one of Just sprinklers' main products. :-)

is apparantly owner of Just Sprinkers.

Just Sprinklers solar water pump conversation Saturday March 3, 2012.

Mr Seaver told bill he spoke multiple languages including spanish. 

Sunday April 29, 2012 Mr Seaver's rental home mail box.

water display

Mr Seaver showed bill this on Sunday April 22, 2012 and explained.

That's synthetic turf.

April 28, 2012 lecture photo.

Just Sprinklers' 120 volt-powered water display video1

Solar-powered water display video 1
video 2

Thursday April 26, 2012 06:12

Water oozed out of both solar water pump on Wednesday April 25, 2012 when it was cloudy. Pacific Hydrostar may not have included circuit to shut off power to pump under low volatage/low current conditions?

Looks like we need to monitor voltage and current to see what is happening.

Solar Water Pumping: A Practical Introduction How It Works by Windy Dankoff

Saturday April 21, 2012 we attended the Home and Garden show.

One of the solar booths visited was


Person manning booth said that the electricity produced by the solar system NOT CONSUMED BY THE HOME is sold.

Information verification phone call Wednesday April 25, 2012. Volunteered information that the meter spins backward.

Travis phones!
Grid tie solar generation of electricity systems input all electricity to the grid, we have also been told. None of the electricity generated by the home system is directly used at the home, we have been told.

Listen to conversation Michael Spiller of Sunsmiths about 'spinning backward.'

Sunday April 17, 2011 09:17

Sunsmiths Ltd. Co.

Hello Mr Spiller,

From your experience with wind and solar generation of electricity, I would appreciate comments.

sent Tuesday April 24, 2012.

John from Enchanted Solar phone several minutes after above email sent.

Case No. 000007- UT was discussed at the Enchanted Solar booth at the homes and garden show.

John said that he had to do and installation and did not have time to talk. But would phone in the evening.

No phone call so


Toward Energy Literacy

Tuesday April 24, 2012 08:27

Solar panel angle understanding is made simple by water pumping observations.

For maximum solar production of electricity the panel must face the sun. Deviations of 0o to about 20o do not seem to make much difference.

Observation of solar panel angles range from about 0o at Santa Rosa lake part to about 60o with BNSF installations.

MCT roof top 80 kW solar grid tie panel angle is 30o, we were told by 310 Solar. MCT is a government contractor.

Our solar water pump angles vary between 0o to 90o for optimal pump performance - water being vigorously pumped.

Morning full-scale pumping commencement is about east facing 60o since morning sun is blocked by Sandia mountain.

If solar water pump panel mounted at 60o facing south, not much water would be pumped.

Solar generation of electricity systems which track the sun should be much more efficient - and complicated - than those with fixed panel angles.

Solar lights with panels mounted at 0o or slightly inclined like the One Stop Garden fence lights work okay. So correct panel angle appears to depend on application.

So if a company's application is make money from panel sales, installation, and maintenance then solar panel angle is unimportant.

Customer is left with a system that doesn't produce much electricity for cost of system and produces it at a time of day which the electricity is not useful. Then the customer must figure out its safe disposal and site remediation.


Water level too low causes bubbles.


Probably not good for motor since motor is water cooled and bubble make good insulation from the water.

Concern of effect of low voltage on electric motor life causes us to look for low flow, as opposed to no flow circuit.
Solar water pumps are specially designed to utilize DC electric power from photovoltaic panels. They must work during low light conditions at reduced power, without stalling or overheating.

Dim illumintion causes low flow. Shaddow on panel, however, causes pump to quit.

No bubbles.

Note solar panel facing west at about 30o angle.
While these photos were taken, white wing dove flew from palm yucca in front yard and landed solar panel. It then descended to ground. Next it hopped on edge of planter. Than flew to 'conversation table' to emerse it head in the water. Dove then returned to palm yucca.

Solar panel is mounted 90o late in the afternoon.

Four soot snake observed heading south near patio 9 foot windows.

Diamond back rattlesnakes are seen but this was not one of them.

Later the snake climbed with about four foot wall, started to reenter the back yard, changed its mind, then proceeded slowly to the east on wall top.

Wednesday April 18, 2012 09:24

Solar works fairly well for charging batteries - especially those that charge NiCds for solar lights.

Gate opener battery charging works fairly well too. Apollo troubleshooting goes into detail bad things that can happened to battery charging.

Pumping water may be another application for solar?


Pump appears to slow down in dim illumination. But Friday April 20, 2012 it was working very well

Original battery on free 98025 [red on/off] meter died. 98025 used to have fuse solder to board. Note socket.

And microcontroller direct chip attach - blob of epoxy.

Calibrated solar panel [267 ma isreone sun manufactuer claims] read about 154 ma or about .577 Sun

The insolation of the sun can also be expressed in Suns, where one Sun equals 1000 W/m2 at the point of arrival, with kWh/(m2·day) displayed as hours/day.

Covering just a small portion of the solar panel causes the pump to quit, not slow down.

Under voltage apparently does bad things to electric motors. Let's investigate what Pacific Hydrostar did to abruptly turn off the motor when the voltage decreased.


Note free 9 LED flashlight. Three AAA batteries power flashlight.

We're thinking of trying to charge the flashlight batteries using solar while measuring currenta and voltage progress.

Sunday April 15, 2012 15:53

Depending on the type and brand, solar panels put out 16 to 70+ DC volts, so if there is no regulation the batteries may be damaged from overcharging.

Generally, there is no need for a charge controller with the small 1 to 5 watt trickle charge panels. A rough rule is that if the panel puts out 1/60th or less per day of the rated battery amp-hour capacity, you don't need one.

Speculation that One Stop Gardens used the solar panel to detect dark condition appears incorrect.


Note apparent light sensor at bottom of solar panel.

Zero volts measured across the solar panel when illuminated.

When charged battery inserted, LEDs illuminated.

Further investigation warranted.

Solar generation of electricity works, in some cases, to charge batteries.

Solar irradiance meter calibration conversation with Mr Stuart Bowden on Tuesday April 10, 2012.

NiMh battery charged with Harbor Freight Universal Fast Charger.

ry voltage quickly dropped to

1.08 volts BUT LEDs were buring as bright as initial 29 hours 44 minutes later!

Here is after 47 hours and 59 minutes.

Note that volage across battery had dropped to 1.06 volts but the current is 28.84 ma. IR drop across load resistor became hard to read because of apparent meter stability problems.

Tuesday April 10, 2012 .79 v -.970 ma LEDs dim but visible, 73 hours, 31 minutes..

2,000 mAh NiMh battery tested. Visit to Harbor Freight on Monday April 9, 2012 revealed that the NiCads are rated at 800 mAh. But this is long enough life to power two LEDS for a typical night.

Low voltage damage of electric motors

is of concern if solar is used directly to power water pump or if solar is used to charge batteries which power pump.

Overcharging batteries with solar is another issue we are studying.

Reviews fun to read, especially
I recommend you go out and buy 'em. The are a really good deal and does the job at the best price ! I use them in Jamaica, to provide my appliances with power during power outages (very frequent here). Used with solar panels and DC to AC inverter, of course. Considered using a generator, but too many accidents here with generators, too noisy, too bulky, and during hurricane aftermath, fuel is a problem. Solar is freely available, so it was the BEST option all round.

One Stop Gardens solar fence light application.

Solar light [battery powered, battery charged with solar panel] is attach to snap rock with doulbe-side sticky foam tape.

Serious study of how the calibrated solar panel works

examines the current and voltage outputs as a function of irradiance. Questions of how the panel was calibrated and its proper use have not been answered as of Monday April 9, 2012.

On the back of calibrated solar cell are written 267 ma and .58v.

We're working on this.


Attachment pdf.

The short-circuit current is the current through the solar cell when the voltage across the solar cell is zero (i.e., when the solar cell is short circuited).

Solar panel insolation measurements.

3 five watt solar panels purchased from Harbor Freight to try to verify Fast Neutron's assertions sit idle.

Now that One Stop Gardens has demonstrated what good battery chargers solar can be, we're considering a garden solar water project be realize that over and under voltage can cause problems.

Wireless digital weather station sensor fell on concrete because double sticky tape failed.

Case broke open so

Note direct chip attach.

Unit did not communicate with station opn Friday afternoon so we figured it died.

Saturday morning April 7, 2012 it was communicating! But at maximum distance of only a foot or two we later discovered,

looks to be an amazing company.

Especially when price is considered.


Saturday April 7, 2012 06:49

What's the difference between a NiMH battery charger and a NiCd battery charger.

The biggest differences are in the charge rate (how fast the charger can charge batteries) and the charge control (how the charge determines when to stop the charge). Many of the inexpensive NiMH battery chargers are simply NiCd chargers that have been modified slightly. Typically a 5 hour NiCd charger has a switch that allows the charge time to be increased from five hours to eight hours. Thus a 5 hour NiCd charger becomes an 8 hour NiMh charger. As we mentioned above, we do not recommend this type of charger design. While a timer type charger is less expensive to manufacture than a smart charger, it can lead to overcharging and battery damage if batteries are frequently charged before they have been discharged (that is, the batteries are used for a short time and then fully charged again).

NiMH smart chargers have actually been designed to detect when a NiMH battery is fully charged and then shut off or go into a trickle charge mode. Because of the more complex circuitry, this type of charger costs more to make, but should lead to greater battery life. Some of these chargers only cost slightly more that the "dumb" chargers. We strongly recommend investing in a smart charger for your NiMH or NiCd batteries.

Thursday afternoon April 5, 2012 high clouds caused low charging current.

Sky condition.

Low cost [$0] IR drop multimeter replace with expensive [< $20] meter because we saw the 1/100 volt digit changing from zero to one.

Cfl is ON.

Cfl is OFF.

Ambient light on solar panel greatly affects circuit.

The 6608A 11163 is the semiconductor.

Color code on resistor was hard to read but this is guess.


Not mentioned on audio but we're running the LEDs until they extinguish. So far they have been running 17 hours and 46 minutes!

Thursday April 5, 2012

Wednesday evening switch for LEDs was inadvertently left in ON position for a while, then turned off.

Thursday morning


1.37 volts battery is impressive from solar panel charging.

9v battery on autoranging dmm died. It was replaced before charging with LED switch in OFF position.

Note impressive 44.1 ma charging current. -0.31 volts across diode which protects battery from trying to power the solar panel when it is dark.

We can't see the battery voltage, which I believe is 1.41 volts.

Listen to my audio where I read the meters. And discuss the Solar Trust bankruptcy.

Wednesday April 4, 2012 13:42

Energy Harvesting Suits Remote Low-Power Devices

stresses matching power source with load.


Wednesday April 4, 2012 at about 06:45 cfl was turned on to make

Battery voltage measured by meter 13 reads 1.24 volts and the current is 4.78 ma.

The light is turned off

the current goes to 29.03 ma. Do the LEDs seem brighter? Can't read the battery voltage but the IR drop appears to be 2.6 volts.

Experiment repeated at about 08:00 since we can't read battery voltage. Light off.

Light on!

Sunny today as opposed to snow and clouds on Tuesday. So let's soon start the charging portion of our experiment.

Audio segment 1.
Audio segment 2.

Move outside for charging.

Audio segment 3.

Autoranging LCD could turned black and could not be read after returning with load of cobblestones. So

Towel worked.

Panel angle causes current to vary but not so much voltage.

Tough to photograph all meters display but here is a mid day amp reading

Unfortunately, we can't read the voltage.

Late day photo.

Notice impressive voltage of 1.40 volts but only .69 milliamps.

Midday photographing goof.

Tuesday April 3, 2012 21:29 

Google 'solar lights prosefights'

Think viz.
Solar Trust of America, a German company developing one of the world’s largest solar power plants near Blythe, this week filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, raising questions about the future of its solar projects.

Tuesday April 3, 2012 test of One Stop Gardens solar fence light circuit.

Meter 13 measures voltage across the Ni-Cad battery.
16 measures amperage - note polarity changed at junction to meter.
14 measures IR drop across resistor.
15 measures voltage drop across diode.

12 is used to prop-up right hand side of cardboard sheet!

Switch is on and solar panel covered.

16 shows .2 amps?
14 shows IR drop of .14 volts.
15 shows diode drop to 1.28 volts.
13 shows battery drop to 1.33 volt from 1.34 volts when there was no resisitive load.

Switch is on but solar panel is slightly illuminated from lamp. This caused the two LEDs to extinguish.

Meter 16 indicates that no current is flowing but 13 shows that the voltage across the battery has increased to 1.35 volts.

14 shows that there is no IR drop across the resistor.
15 shows that the voltage across the diode has decreased to .86 volts.

Video initiating discussion of above.

Audio continuation.

Return to experiment to see what the current read was, cfl desk lamp was turned off. The LEDs got lots brighter!

Stray light was apparently illuminating the solar panel.. Here's a photo showing the current has increased to .4 amps while the voltage across the battery has decreased to 1.31.

The IR drop meaured by 14 increased to 1.28 volta and diode voltage on 15 increased to 1.25 volts.

Solar is NOT BORING.

Fraud is exciting too. :-)

And we are investigating possible large-scale solar generation of electricity fraud.

Money is to be made selling solar panels, inverters, installing systems, and maintaining them.

Not much money is made selling electricity produced by them.

But, hey, are we NOT selling electricity with One Stop Gardens off-grid battery-powered and solar charged light systems.

Current measuring 16 free digital multimeter replaced with expensive [< $25] autoranging multimeter.

We'll just swap out meter 16. We did. Everything stopped working. After trying to fix, we rewired.

Heard of 'spaghetti code'? This is the hardware equivalent.

Meter 13 is measuring the voltage across the battery
Autoranging meter is measuring current.
14 measures the IR drop across the resistor.
15 measures the voltage drop across the diode.

The LED switch is off and solar panel not illuminated.

Switch is on.

26.85 millamps are passing through the resistor.

The IR drop across the resistor is .24 volts.

The voltage across the diode is 1.07 volts.

This is the night time condition when the LEDS are on the an battery IS NOT powering the solar panel.

The switch is off and the solar panel is illuminated.

The voltage across the battery has risen to 1.36 volts. 3.71 milliamps is flowing into the battery

0 Volts IR drop.

And -.25 is now across the diode apparently indicating that it is supplying voltage to the battery.

Switch on and panel illuminated.

The 4 lead 6608A semicondutor apparently has as its function to turn off the LEDs when the battery is charging? This is the daytime condition when the fence light is in auto mode.

PRC commissioner Jason Marks, a sociology graduate from liberal arts Reed College, sent bill an email explaining why large scale solar generation of electricity is not a fraud.

Time to respond to that email is approaching?
One Stop Gardens may have done something brilliant by pointing out that solar generation of electricity must be paired by what it is driving?

And turning off battery draw while batteries are charging during the day.

Electric motors are reported not to do well with low voltage.

Over voltage is reported to damage batteries.

Let's try to find out how solar generation of electicity solves these problems.

Using solar generation of electricity to power old-style loads may, in fact, be a fraud?

We will see. Albert Gore willing, of course.

We're considering turning on LEDs tonight to see what happens to battery tomorrow.

After starting our Timex Ironman 6805 computer watch chrono, of course.

Then let's try to recharge in the sun. With all of the digital meters running, of course.

Tuesday April 3, 2012

Number 2 of four fence solar lights.

3x magnification. Two white LEDs. one resistor, one diode, switch and four pin semiconductor see to the right of S+ and S- labels.

Board modified with test points to measure voltage drops across the diode and resistor.

Battery holder is to allow a digital ammeter to be inserted in the ciruit.


30 gauge wire soldered to each end of the diode and resistor terminated with T44 pins allowed preliminary view of how the circuit works.

When the sola panel is darkened, the two LED illuminate and are powered by the Ni-Cad battery.

When the solar panel is illuminated, the LEDs are extinguished and battery charging presumably commences.

Video of above battery operated LED with solar charger working.

Saturday March 31, 2012 20:17

Solar gneration of electricty is interesting in that large-scale may be a fraud.

We don't know but are investigation.

Affordable solar solar employee Bill Felsher told us that New Mexico sun is so intense that it produces more tha one Sun.
[The insolation of the sun can also be expressed in Suns, where one Sun equals 1000 W/m2 at the point of arrival, with kWh/(m2·day) displayed as hours/day.[5] ]

Felsher also told us the meter runs backward with solar.

We mp3 recorded these conversations.


A mess?

Solar panel surrounded with white hold is calibrated solar panel which purports to measure One Sun.

Thus we can supposedly measure efficiency of our solar setups.

Chargin Ni-cads.

Saturday March 31, 2012 09:05 

India's Solar Excitement: Proceed with Caution

Landscaper Shane [google 't4 landscaping'] wants to add solar lights.

Non-fraudulent application of solar include calculators, battery chargers for alarm clocks, gate openers, train signals, ...

Large-scale solar may be a scam. We continue to investigate.


Note free digital multimeter. :-)


Charging circuit is of interest.

Instructions appear not to match what is inside solar light.


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