Help circuit not working

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Help circuit not working

Post  Darrick Wood School on Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:33 am

Hello
Just posting a messaging because this is our first time participating and we are starting to struggle.
Just wondering if anyone has a circuit diagram for us to look at, none of the ones we have found on the internet seem to be entirely correct.
thanks a lot
jack
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Re: Help circuit not working

Post  chriscalver on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:48 am

The circuit in its most simple form is very straight forward. To charge the capacitor, you would have the switch in the off position and connect the solar panel using the crocodile clips directly to the legs of the capacitor (making sure the polarity is correct!)

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RE:Circuit

Post  Darrick Wood School on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:56 am

Thank-you.

That is what we have been doing, perhaps we need to do some more troubleshooting to see if something isn't working as well as it should be.

The circuit diagram will help us out too.

Thanks again

Jack
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Re: Help circuit not working

Post  chriscalver on Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:03 am

Test your circuit in stages:
  • Start with the capacitor on it's own, completely seperate from the rest of the circuit.
  • Short the legs together for 5 seconds to ensure the capacitor is fully discharged
  • Check the voltage with a multimeter set to DC Volts - should read nearly zero.
  • Now connect your solar panel to the capacitor and put the solar panel under a bright light (60w bulb for example)
  • Keep reading the voltage with your meter - you should observe the voltage slowly rising to around 2.5V
  • When you disconnect the solar panel, the voltage across the capacitor should remain around 2.5V
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Re: Help circuit not working

Post  Darrick Wood School on Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:07 am

Ok, thanks Chris. Would we then add the motor to see if it is working?
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Re: Help circuit not working

Post  chriscalver on Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:32 am

If the capacitor is holding a charge, it the should be fine for powering the motor. To test this, connect the legs of the capacitor directly to the two terminals of the motor. Be careful not to short the capacitor otherwise it will discharge very quickly.
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Re: Help circuit not working

Post  Darrick Wood School on Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:42 am

THANKS... WE'RE GETTING THERE!
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Taking ages!

Post  Darrick Wood School on Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:50 am

Our capacitor takes around forty minutes to charge. Is this normal? We are aware that will only have fifteen minutes to charge it at one point

Jack Exclamation
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Re: Help circuit not working

Post  chriscalver on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:15 am

The charging time will depend on your light source. Don't worry, the lights we use at the Regional and National Finals are more than adequate to fully charge the capacitor in 15 minutes using the supplied solar panel sunny Cool
For testing your vehicle in the workshop, you can very quickly charge your capacitor using 2 AA batteries. In this years solar kit, you should have recieved a battery box and 2 crocodile clips with which you can make a fast charger.
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RE:Charging

Post  Darrick Wood School on Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:03 am

Yes thats what we have been doing... thanks!

We do have a good light source that we have been using but good to know about the source of light at the regionals!

Thanks for your continued help

Jack Smile
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