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DIY Solar Bottle Lamp

Solar Bottle Lamp is a solar-powered light that is constructed from waste plastic bottles. The design idea is to reuse waste plastic bottles

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The core concept of the DIY Solar Bottle Lamp has two missions:
1. to prevent waste by making it easy for anyone anywhere to repurpose and upcycle water and soft drink plastic bottles that would otherwise be discarded and further contaminate the planet.

2. to make free solar-powered light available to everyone, whether it is at a remote camping site for outdoors enthusiasts, or at an extremely remote and rural location in any of the most economically challenged countries in the world.

How does the Solar Bottle Lamp work?

The solar lamp can be considered a standalone Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) system and contains four basic components:

1. The Solar Panel receives sunlight from the sun and converts Solar Energy into Electrical Energy
2. The Controller Board charges the battery (charger) during the daytime and drives the LED (driver) during the nighttime
3. The Battery stores the Electrical Energy
4. The Load (LED) provides the desired light output

I have designed this lamp by inspired from Moser bottle which was invented by Brazilian mechanic Alfredo Moser. The concept is that clear plastic beverage bottles filled with water and bleach can be fixed into the roof of an unlit building to refract sunlight around a room.

In 2011, Illac Diaz used Moser’s technology to start the Liter Of Light ( MyShelter Foundation), which used a grassroots model to provide lighting on a large scale. The program uses partners around the world to keep costs down, using recycled plastic bottles and locally sourced materials. The program also promotes local entrepreneurs, by providing financial incentives to locals who assemble and install the lights.

The Moser bottle lamp is simple and inexpensive but has a limitation. It only works during the daytime. So I have designed a solar bottle cap that can provide light during the night. By combining the Moser Bottle concept and my Solar Bottle Cap, a powerful lamp can be made.

Benefits:

  1. Reusing plastic bottles can significantly reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy usage.
  2. The use of the solar lamp will decrease the amount of local air pollution and saves energy.
  3. It can provide access to solar lamps at an affordable price to a wide range of people living in remote villages that are deprived of clean energy access.
  4. It also came out as an alternative business model with the potential to strengthen the overall rural economy by generating technology-based livelihood opportunities.

Working of Moser Bottle:

It works by the refraction of light rays because of different mediums, air, and water. By refracting light from the sun, it produces light 360 degrees around the room with an equivalent light power of 55 watts bulb. It will last for 5 years without maintenance and before the water has to be changed. The chlorine prevents the growth of microorganisms and maintains the clarity of the water.

If you want to know more about it, you may go through a nice research Journal. It is attached in the files section.

Image credit: - believe.earth

How the Solar Lamp Works:

The solar panel receives sunlight from the sun and converts it into electrical energy. The controller board charges the battery during the daytime and drives the LED during the nighttime.

The solar lamp can be considered as a standalone Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) system and contains four basic components:
1. Solar Panel: Convert Solar Energy to Electrical Energy

2. Controller: Charge the Battery ( Charger ) and drive the Load ( Driver )

3. Battery: Store the Electrical Energy

4. Load (LED): Provide the desired light output

How the Circuit Works?

The entire circuit is broadly dived into 3 parts:

1. Charger Circuit

2. Battery Protection Circuit

3. LED Driver Circuit

The power generated by the Solar Panel is extracted by the charger circuit and charges the battery. The protection circuit is responsible for providing various protections to the Li-Ion Battery. The LED driver circuit is responsible for driving the LED.

Charger Circuit:

The charger circuit charges the battery by taking power generated from the solar panel. It is based on a lithium-ion battery charger IC LP4060. It is a complete constant-current/constant-voltage linear charger for a single-cell lithium-ion battery. It uses only a few external components like resistors and capacitors. The circuit is based on the application circuit given in the datasheet.

 Battery Protection Circuit :

The Battery Protection Circuit provides various protections to the Li-Ion battery. The circuit is based on IC - AP6685 which contains internal power MOSFET, high-accuracy voltage detection circuits, and delay circuits. The IC has the following protections inbuilt:

1. Reverse polarity protection

2. Over Charge Protection

3. Over-Discharge Protection

4. Load short circuit protection

LED Driver Circuit :

... Read more »

PCB Gerber Files.zip

Gerber Files V1.0

x-zip-compressed - 120.46 kB - 05/02/2022 at 19:54

Download

Research Paper_Solar_Bottle_Bulb.pdf

Research Paper on Moser Bottle

Adobe Portable Document Format - 1.00 MB - 05/02/2022 at 18:01

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  • 1 × Charger IC - LP4060B5F
  • 1 × Battery Protection IC - AP6685
  • 1 × Transistor - MMBT3904
  • 1 × MOSFET - AO3400A
  • 1 × StrawHat LED - 0.5W

View all 15 components

  • Installed the Components in the V2.0 Enclosure

    Debasish Dutta05/11/2022 at 18:46 0 comments

    Installed the PCB and all other external components as I have done in my earlier version. One change is that instead of directly soldering the terminal wires to the PCB, I have used JST PH2.0 connectors. 

    It will be easier for users and the connection is far better than the direct soldering. There will be no chance of short circuits and loose connections.

  • Printed the Enclosure for STEM Education PCB

    Debasish Dutta05/11/2022 at 18:35 0 comments

    I have printed the modified enclosure for STEM education PCB. I  have printed the two parts of the enclosure using filament in two different colors. The outcome is really nice and all the components fit as intended. The dual color enclosure is looking more beautiful than the single color one.

    I am planning to modify the design so that it can be printed without support. Stay tuned for the next update.

  • Designed a separate Enclosure ( V2.0 ) for STEM Education PCB

    Debasish Dutta05/09/2022 at 08:30 0 comments

    Designed a dedicated enclosure to fit the new PCB for STEM education.

    The enclosure has 5 parts: 

    1. Main Body 

    2. Top Cover 

    3. LED Holder 

    4. Diffuser 

    5. Button 

    The Main Body is basically designed to fit all the components including the battery. The top cover is to cover up the main body and mount the solar panel on it. The LED holder is used to hold the LED and the diffuser is used to diffuse the LED light in all directions. The button is used to operate the switch on the PCB from outside. 

    Download the .STL files from Thingiverse.

    You need a support structure for printing the main body and top cover. You can print the enclosure parts either in PLA, ABS, or PTEG filament.

    I am trying to modify the design so that it can be printed without support.

  • PCB for STEM Education

    Debasish Dutta05/09/2022 at 03:57 0 comments

    The PCB board used in the earlier version was made of all SMD components as result users who don't have SMD soldering experience can't take advantage. So I thought to redesign the PCB by using all through-hole components so that anyone can make it.

    This board can easily be assembled by school children which can be used for STEM education in the school. By making this project they will aware of the sustainability and use of renewable energy. 

  • First Field Test

    Debasish Dutta05/03/2022 at 04:07 0 comments

    Before first use, charge the battery by placing the bottle lamps in bright sunlight for at least a day. Then turn on the button switch to set the desired brightness ( Low / High ). Place the bottle lamp at the desired location like a garden or pathways. The solar lamp will be automatically switched on when the sun goes down.

    If you want to use this lamp for lighting the room, you can follow this Instructables to mount it on the roof.

  • 3D Printed Enclosure Design

    Debasish Dutta05/02/2022 at 18:11 0 comments

    The enclosure for the solar lamp is designed in Autodesk Fusion 360. I have designed many iterations to get this design. The enclosure has 5 parts:

    1. Main Body

    2. Top Cover

    3. LED Holder

    4. Diffuser

    5. Button

    The Main Body is basically designed to fit all the components including the battery. The top cover is to cover up the main body and mount the solar panel on it. The LED holder is used to hold the LED and the diffuser is used to diffuse the LED light in all directions. The button is used to operate the switch on the PCB from outside.

    Download the .STL files from Thingiverse.

  • PCB Design

    Debasish Dutta05/02/2022 at 18:10 0 comments

    I have drawn the schematic by using Fusion 360 Electronics Design after that switched to PCB layout. I have placed all the SMD parts on the top side of the PCB and the button on the bottom side of the PCB. The main reason for placing the button switch on the bottom side is that it will be easier to access from outside of the enclosure. It also reduces the PCB board size.

    I have ordered my PCB from PCBWay and received it within 7 days.

    Download the Gerber files from PCBWay

View all 7 project logs

  • 1
    PCB Assembly

    It's very important to first clean the PCB with some isopropyl alcohol. Then apply solder paste on the pads by using a solder paste syringe. Place parts with tweezers making sure that LEDs, chips, etc. are properly aligned. I like having a second board with no paste on it to see the alignment dots.

    Now you have many options to cook the PCB like hot air soldering gun, Hot plate, reflow oven etc. I have used my Miniware MH30 hot plate to solder the PCB. Set the temperature according to your solder paste melting point and place the PCB on the hot plate.

    It is important to look at the reflow profiles of all your components, to see how long you can heat your components for, and at what temperature. I usually just "wing it", and heat them at about 250C, for about a minute. You will see the solder melting, and the components being soldered into their respective places. Now you can turn off the hot plate and let it cool down completely.

    Once you have completed the soldering process it is important to remove the flux from PCB. Spray a small quantity of IPA (Isopropyl alcohol) Solution and clean it with the cotton.

    Now the PCB boards are ready to use.

    If you are not interested to assemble the PCB on your own, you may order the fully assembled PCB from the PCBWay store.

  • 2
    3D Printing

    I have used my Creality CR-10 Mini printer and 1.75 mm PTEG filaments to print the parts. I have printed it in 3 different colors yellow, Orange and Cyan. The diffuser is printed in the transparent filament. You need a support structure for printing the main body and top cover.

    My settings are:

    1. Print Speed: 60 mm/s

    2. Layer Height: 0.2mm

    3. Fill Density: 25%

    4. Extruder Temperature: 235 deg C

    5. Bed Temp: 75 deg C

  • 3
    Remove the Support From the 3D Printed Parts

    Both the top and bottom parts are printed with support structure, so we have to remove them before final use.

    Removing support from the main bodies is quite easy, just squeeze them with fingers, and they will be easily separated from the main body.

    Removing the support from the cap threaded area may need a screwdriver or any sharp object. After removing the support, you have to smooth out the cap threaded area. You can easily do it by twisting and untwisting a few times with a soft drinks bottle.

View all 10 instructions

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