solar panels

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mark B, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    Ok I saw a post a month or so ago that someone posted pictures of the setup they used in the desert. I know James has done the signs in his home town.

    I have a request for doing the same thing. Light some signs that have no line voltage anywhere close. The questions I have is.

    How is it working out with the type of design that you did?

    Is there anything that you would change?

    Is the customer still happy with it?

    Would you PM me with some details on what you did.

    Where did you find that parts?

  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    So far the design is working our just fine. I have had many positive comments from locals, visitors, area officials, etc. (I lit four identical signs to the one in the photo)

    At this point, the only thing I would have changed is: I would have put more thought and research into the materials required and the costs associated with mounting 2 x 250W PV panels on custom poles at 10 feet above grade and into solid granite and 24" x 4' sonotubes into soils. That part of the job was the most challenging and was more costly than I anticipated.

    The customer (essentially the people of Muskoka and Ontario) seem to be very happy. I have not had any complaints.

    Send me an email direct to and I will fill you in on the deets.

    My local LV lighting distributor was very helpful in helping me specify and procure all of the components. With the information I learned through them, I am now much more comfortable in designing and specifying solar powered lighting systems.

    (The photo was taken with my blackberry)

  3. johnh

    johnh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Hi Sleepy,
    I wouldn't call myself an expert by any means, but I have had a bit of practice in sizing solar power systems. PM me if you need some assistance in this area.
    John H.
  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    Do these solar systems run off batteries (like a 12 volt car battery) and charge via solar panels during the day?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Yes they do use 12v batteries.

    Essentially you have: Photovoltaic Panels, Charge Controller, AGM Batteries, Output control (timer, photocell, etc), lighting equipment. You have to have the proper disconnects and fusing on both the supply and load side. It is a pretty simple set up once you have everything sized properly. Remember that these are 12V DC systems and not AC.
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    Man that's pretty cool. I have an application for something like that right now. Can you point me in the right direction?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. jshimmin

    jshimmin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    I put in a 20 panel array last week for running a large bank of LED lights. System runs on 24 VDC using eight batteries, panel combiners and four charge controllers. The battery box ended up weighing 1200 lbs loaded.

    photo 1.JPG
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    That is a really large system Jim! Was it entirely for landscape / outdoor lighting or some other application? What type of fixtures / lamps were you powering?
  9. jshimmin

    jshimmin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    Strictly outdoor LED lights. The entire system is around 700 watts total. The LED lights are direct fed 24 vdc.
  10. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    Very cool... Is anybody else doing such an extensive Solar system to power landscape lighting?

    AOLP Conference planners Jim Shimmin should present at the AOLP conference.


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