Replacement of skylight in the little shed

The ‘little shed’ is about 30 years old and the fibreglass sheets in the roof providing a skylight have reached end of life, so they were replaced before hail destroyed them. A fairly local company rolls the exact same profile and colour of Colorbond steel sheet, so two sheets were ordered in the required colour and length and collected a couple of days later at Minto.

The sheets were replaced, but a solution was needed for the missing skylights. A solar / LED solution was chosen.

Above, a nominal 30W PVA, not optimally tilted, delivers about 15W max. Cost $50.

Above, a plastic ammo case for the battery and electronics. The battery is 10Ah LiFePo4 battery with battery manager (prevents overcurrent / overcharge / over discharge), the controller is a 10A MPPT one that has a profile for a LiFePo4 battery (and also prevents overcharge / over discharge), the timer is a DIN rail mount ‘universal timer’ set for 5min delay to hold the lights on for 5min after the last button push. The timer is a 12VDC-230VAC universal type, it draws about 5mA on 12VDC. The costs are: box $29; MPPT controller $23; timer $20; battery $60.

Above, a bracket to mount the DIN rail mount timer, fabricated out of hoop iron.

Above, a rugged industrial style momentary push button is used to start / retrigger the timer. Cost: $7.

The lights are four nominally 10W 12VDC modules from eBay, about $22 for the lot. These LEDs use a series dropping resistor, about 9V is applied to the string of LEDs. Luminous intensity at night is over 100lx at 1m above the floor, plenty for safe navigation of stuff on the floor, and for finding stuff in the shelves.

A complete spare set of LEDs was purchased to service the inevitable failures… LED life is never what is promised.