Battery/Solar Problems Lighting Art Installation - need help!

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likewize123
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:56 pm
Burning Since: 2013

Battery/Solar Problems Lighting Art Installation - need help!

Postby likewize123 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:39 pm

Hello beautiful Burner community,
This year I took on the undertaking of leading both an art installation and a theme camp (first time doing either) and I'm having issues with my solar regarding the installation. Feeling extremely overwhelmed.
I'm working with 2 Chauvet Colorstrip LED lightbars and 4 Lixada DMX-512 RGB LED par cans.

My calculations are as follows -
Power Consumption: Chauvet Colorstrip LED's (each) running 72 W, 0.6 Amps @ 120 V x 2 = 144W, 1.2 Amps x 12 hours =
Total = 14.4 Ah needed per evening PLUS Lixada DMX-512 RGB LED High Power Stage PAR Light running (each) 15W (no amp specs) x 4 =
Total 60W x 12 hours = guessing around 8Ah needed. This brings totals for all 6 lights to let's say 25Ah giving a buffer (right?)

I plugged everything into a Bestek 400W inverter, 12V inverter connected to a Universal UB121000-45978 12v 100AH Deep Cycle AGM Battery and all 6 lights didn't last more than 6 hours. If I can technically drain the battery to 50% that should give me minimum two 12 hour nights of power right!?

Any help is appreciated. Been reading forums for hours and feeling overwhelmed.
Thank you kindly.

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BBadger
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Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Battery/Solar Problems Lighting Art Installation - need help!

Postby BBadger » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:17 pm

No, that's not right. Those lights run at 120V, not 12V. The power comes from 12V batteries and passes through a converter (inverter) to make it 120V. The amount of power used remains the same however. Power = Volts * Amps. To compensate for the greater voltage at the load at the same power, the amount of current used at the 12V battery source must go up. What used to be 120V x 1.2A = 144W, is now 144W = 12V x 12A.

So your batteries are draining 12 amps to power that 144W (assuming 100% efficiency, which is not possible). Add in your stage lighting and it goes up even more.

If you only want to drain your battery by 50% (50AH), you'll have only have 50AH / 12A = ~4 hours per day, per battery, to run just the strips. You may have gotten more from that depending on the average brightness of the lights throughout the night, but 6 hours or less sounds about right.

I would probably invest in a generator and use that instead. You could also buy more batteries and solar cells to recharge the batteries if you have enough solar capacity.
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Admiral Fukkit
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Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:44 am
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Camp Name: Camp I'm going to Hawaii instead

Re: Battery/Solar Problems Lighting Art Installation - need help!

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:30 am

Read this! "A Burner Analogy For Understanding Electricity"
https://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=65368

Go to the original post in that thread, if that link doesn't take you to it automatically.

likewize123
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:56 pm
Burning Since: 2013

Re: Battery/Solar Problems Lighting Art Installation - need help!

Postby likewize123 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:05 am

Thank you kindly Bbadger and Admiral! I was not understanding this (somewhat basic) calculation at all. Makes a lot of sense. Want to stay away from generators but sounds expensive to do it with battery power. I appreciate your time and knowledge


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