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Get Powered Up! Certified Energy Manager Jeff Yago answers your alternative energy questions

Wondering about a great new energy-saving device
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Battery efficiencies for Solar LED lamp

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Hi Jeff,

I am building a solar LED lamp, and I am trying to find the overall efficiency of this system.

There are three options of rechargeable batteries that I am looking at and they are NiCd, NiMH and Li-ion.  These three batteries have different efficiencies due to their different charge and discharge methods.

Can you tell me how can I find the efficiency of this batteries?

I was wondering if for each one of them I have to build a protection circuit as well.

Which battery will you recommend if I want it to be cost efficient and also reliable?

Thanks a lot.



Several years ago I wrote an article to test which type of flashlight and flashlight bulb gave the most bang for the buck.   This article describes how I tested them to see which battery-lamp combination provided the longest run time.

I suggest you try a similar test using the different batteries you are considering as this way you will not need expensive test equipment or calculations.  Here is the link to this past article:

Good luck,

Jeff Yago



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