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I hope you can help me as I know nothing about electronics and really need some help as I work in a customer service department for a huge company and had an idea that will be really good for a product that I would like to suggest to my company to start producing.

I think if I can pull this off it they will be purchasing these in the 100,000's.

My query. .

I need to find 2 solar panels that will be able to provide the following power (for 2 separate products they do). My idea is that the product I have thought of will run off of the mains but I want to try to reduce the amount of mains power used as much as possible.

The tech guy at work has test the product that they currently sell to find out how much power the currently consume and has provided me with the following.

The basic power consumption of the PRODUCT A is about 350mA @ 12V which is 4.2W. This increases with about 10mA for each EXTRA DEVICE ATTACHED in use, so the maximum is about 400mA or 4.8W. If you want to play save, take 450mA or 5.4W as basic power needed.

The PRODUCT B needs a bit more: 420mA @ 15V which is 6.3W. Again it increases with about 10 mA for each EXTRA DEVICE ATTACHED in use, so the maximum is about 460mA or 6.9W. Playing safe, take 500mA or 7.5W as basic figure.

I have looked around for these on major suppliers (i.e China etc) but have not found any.

They have two vertical sides each that can be used (if needed) and need to be around 120mm x 60mm; they can be slightly larger this would be just a rough guide.

Can anyone please point me in the right direction or let me know if this is possible as I really want to suggest this to my company as it would look great on my yearly review and as I am still in a probationary period may even secure me a job with this company I enjoy working with so much.

Thank you
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Not quite sure how much power you'll be saving here but here goes anyway...

I may be wrong but there might be problems sourcing a panel to give you the power you want and have it small enough to mount on the product. 120 x 60 is tiny! That's going to need an efficient PV! Mono technologies are well on the way but at what price and availability?

I found an 8W at 365mm x 240mm after a quick search. Thing is, that quoted 8W is probably best effort, eg, clear day with PV pointed at the Sun!

You can have a seprate PV? If the products plugged into the mains anyway i'll assume it's not portable and so seperate, good sized PV can be used but suppose that's some distance away and now you have to think of losses over the cabling.

Last thing before I become a completely negative bore, you'll be getting somewhere around the 16V o/p from the PV so that may need regulating but without a battery to back up the current in dim conditions you'll be surprised at how many panels you'll need.

I did an install to keep a 12V/35W bulb flashing 3 times every 30 secs all night, all year round. Granted there was also a good bit of control electronics and telemetry to be fed as well but to light that bulb took about 4kW of panels and nearly 5 ton of batteries...

Good luck :O)


I'm no expert (on anything!) but i would suggest the supply would need to go through a regulator if it is supplying feedto a unit as opposed to charging it which wuld allow variable supply. Solar chargers exist and have done for many years( the first I saw Was in SA in 2000 and are available by mail order from many Sunday papers magazines
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