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The lamp is covered from all sides by transparent glass or fiberglass. This cover is transparent from all sides, hence solar lantern can emit light in all directions i.e. 360o of light illumination. The top of the transparent hollow cylindrical lamp cover, there is one top cover which is not transparent and generally made of some material by which casing of solar lantern is made. Hanger of the lantern is filled with the top cover. There is a plug point and charging discharging (ON) indications on casing. For changing purpose, wire with socket comes from solar module which placed under sunlight is plugged to the plug point on the casing. There are different models of solar lantern, but normally battery capacity of a solar lantern is 12 V 7 Ah. CFL lamp used in this system is normally either 5W or 7W. The PV module used for charging solar lantern is from 8 Watts peak to 14 Watts peak. A table showing different configuration of solar lantern as per MNRE specifications is given below
|Model||Lamp (CFL)||Battery||PV Module|
|I-A||5 W||12 V, 7 Ah at 20oC||8 to 99 Watts (Peak)|
|I-B||5 W||12 V, 7 Ah at 20oC||8 to 99 Watts (Peak)|
|II-A||7 W||12 V, 7 Ah at 20oC||8 to 99 Watts (Peak)|
|II-B||7 W||12 V, 7 Ah at 20oC||8 to 99 Watts (Peak)|
The Components of Solar Lantern
Solar Module or PV ModuleGenerally solar module used for charging a single solar lantern has rating of 8, 10 or 12 Watts (Wp). The module is normally kept on rooftop at most tilt angle for which the module gets maximum intensity of sunlight, for maximum duration. The lanterns are connected to module through wire socket which is kept in room or other places. But sometimes users do not install solar module at roof top instead they like to keep the module in sunlight in daily basis.
BatteryNormally maintenance free sealed dry type lead acid battery of tabular shaped with 12 V 7 Ah capacity is used for solar lantern.
InverterFor CFL lamp one inverter is required to make the battery output of AC. The inverter should have at least 80% efficiency.
Protection and Indication SystemThe lantern has electronic circuit to provide cut off provision to prevent excess charging or over discharging of the battery. An electrical fuse is also provided with the system to protect it from any short circuit fault. Two Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are provided on the casing for charging and deep discharging states of the solar lantern.
LED Based Solar LanternSolar electricity is expensive. The availability of solar electricity in portable solar module is not large it is small. So, LED has become quite suitable light source in portable handy solar lantern. LED is best suited for small house hold solar lantern because of its small electricity consumption. Although LEDs are manufactured in different colours but white colour LED is most suitable for solar lantern.
As the electricity consumption sate of LEDs is quite low, the power ratings of the PV module used to charge the lantern is also low and if the peak power rating of a solar module is more than 2.5 W at 17 V it can be suitably used to charge a LED based solar lantern. Became of low power consumption, battery of this lantern is also smaller and lower rated. A 2.3 Ah 12 V at 20 oC sealed, maintenance free dry type lead acid battery can be suitably used for LED solar lantern. More than 30 lumens per Watt 5 mm white LED is most suitable for LED based solar lantern.