0
\$\begingroup\$

I am trying to use a solar cell to power a locking device. The solar cell being used is a custom 10W 9V. It charges a lithium ion battery which is used to power an MCU and a couple of other things (sensors and whatnot). The battery can output 5v 1A.

The lock is a solenoid lock, meaning it unlocks when current is applied. It requires 12V 2A. This is where the problem lies.

I thought there was some way I could use a voltage booster with some super capacitors to get this to work. Am I crazy or is this possible? I only need power to the lock for 0.5s - 1s at a time for an unlock and unlocks would be not too frequent (probably once a day for a few years). Or would it just be better to get another battery (either non-rechargeable or able to be charged) to power the lock? I am still new at electronics so bear with me.

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • \$\begingroup\$ The battery is not a battery but some kind of "power bank" if it supplies 5V. Instead of imposing a 1A bottleneck on yourself, consider using an actual battery (or single cell) with separate charge module and BMS. You'll only get 3.7V unless you use more than one cell, but you can choose a cell capable of 6A or more short term, to step up to 12V at 2A. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16324
    Jul 30, 2021 at 13:00

1 Answer 1

0
\$\begingroup\$

You are not crazy, this is quite possible. Just be sure that your supercapacitors (actually, regular capacitors might be even enough) hold enough energy for the solenoid to operate properly. And keep in mind that you will need some time to charge the capacitors between tries.

For example, this is the way most DIY gauss guns work: by gradually charging a capacitor to a high voltage and then rapidly using all the stored energy when shot.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.