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### Author Topic: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2  (Read 13966 times)

#### dinoth

• Newbie
• Posts: 8
##### Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« on: July 22, 2015, 06:57:24 AM »
Hi guys.
I made modification on my Flashlight.
Added Joule Thief and Capacitors are in parallel now to get 2.7 V 600 Farads.
Run time is increased from 20 minutes to more than 4 hours.
Light intensity is little lower but it is worth it.
Replaced USB charging port with normal connector.
Bought on eBay Step-down Power Converter 2A.
I made a video on You Tube.

#### MarkE

• Hero Member
• Posts: 6830
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 08:41:11 AM »
Nice project.

Assuming that your JT circuit works down to around 0.8V (many do better), then you can extract: 1-0.64/7.29 = 91% of the energy in your capacitors, or about 1990 J.   A AA alkaline battery by comparison holds about 2.4Wh or ~8800J.  So if you set-up with a pair of AA batteries, you would have roughly 9X as much energy available, but of course the unit would not be rechargeable.

Now, the only question is how much of your available energy that you are converting to light after going through your JT and LEDs.  Since you have a 40 hour run time, you are pulling about 50J/hour or 13.9mW from the capacitors.  State of the art power conversion and LEDs would yield about 2.6 lumens, (about the same as one candle ) yielding about 104 lumen hours.  You are using bulb style LEDs and JTs are notoriously inefficient, so you are probably getting more like about 0.35 - 0.50 lumens, which translates to around 14 - 20 lumen hours per charge.   If you change out the JT for a current controlled LED driver then you should be able to about double or triple your lumen hour product.  If you get some of the super efficient LEDs that are around then you can bring your lumen hour product up again by another factor of 3X or so.

#### dinoth

• Newbie
• Posts: 8
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2015, 09:29:11 AM »
Thanks. My JT runs to about 0.6 volts but I would never discharge caps so much, really no need.
And run time of 4 hours is more than enough.
My goal first was to replace lead acid battery and now run time of 4 hours, is more than enough.
That is basically what I need.
Maybe in the future I will modify it further to increase lumens and run time.

#### sm0ky2

• Hero Member
• Posts: 3948
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 11:33:26 AM »
nice work

my brother builds JT-Lighting in his house, with superbright LEDs that use very little power.

in all sorts of containers, altoids cans, little plastic things, old flashlights, etc.

he  doesn't need to turn on any normal lights in his house,
and these things run for a month or two on random "dead battery" out of the battery box
much longer for him, since he switches them off when he leaves a room.

#### MarkE

• Hero Member
• Posts: 6830
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 08:35:02 PM »
Thanks. My JT runs to about 0.6 volts but I would never discharge caps so much, really no need.
And run time of 4 hours is more than enough.
My goal first was to replace lead acid battery and now run time of 4 hours, is more than enough.
That is basically what I need.
Maybe in the future I will modify it further to increase lumens and run time.
0.8V is typical for a lot of JTs.  The lower the better but compared to 0.8V 0.6V only improves the harvestable percentage energy from the capacitors by about 4%.  It is not very significant.

#### sm0ky2

• Hero Member
• Posts: 3948
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2015, 12:48:34 PM »
the frequency, and the on-time ( duty cycle)
are the most important factors affecting efficiency
ideally, you want to pulse as quickly as possible,
and stay on as little time as possible.
this will consume the least amount of power, and greatest extended run-times

the only real requirement is that you stay above the response time of the human eye
otherwise you get a flashing, or "strobe effect" which makes the light look funny.

#### MarkE

• Hero Member
• Posts: 6830
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2015, 08:14:40 PM »
the frequency, and the on-time ( duty cycle)
are the most important factors affecting efficiency
ideally, you want to pulse as quickly as possible,
and stay on as little time as possible.
this will consume the least amount of power, and greatest extended run-times

the only real requirement is that you stay above the response time of the human eye
otherwise you get a flashing, or "strobe effect" which makes the light look funny.
It doesn't quite work that way.  Switching at anything over about 100Hz will make flicker imperceptible.

In most JT circuits and solar pathway lights the converter operates in discontinuous conduction mode.  Current builds up in the inductor and then the inductor energy is dumped into the LED load as a pulse.  For very clean, rectangular pulses, the amount of energy that goes into the inductor each cycle is:  0.5*V2*TON2/L.  The peak current increases as V*TON/L.    The motivation for switching at a high frequency like a MHz is to make the inductor small and limit peak current.  The devil is that the higher the switching frequency, the greater the switching losses.  Solar stick lights routinely switch at several hundred to six hundred kHz.  Discontinuous switching circuits are limited to low power because power only flows into the load during the transistor off time.  If the input voltage is 1V and the LED takes 3V then the output is powered for only about 1/3 the time and during that time the average current is one half the peak current.  That means that for 10mA average it takes 60mA peak.  That is why for higher powers, more expensive continuous conduction circuits are used, where the LED current is more or less constant.

#### Hope

• Hero Member
• Posts: 701
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2015, 10:58:24 PM »
Nice project.

Assuming that your JT circuit works down to around 0.8V (many do better), then you can extract: 1-0.64/7.29 = 91% of the energy in your capacitors, or about 1990 J.   A AA alkaline battery by comparison holds about 2.4Wh or ~8800J.  So if you set-up with a pair of AA batteries, you would have roughly 9X as much energy available, but of course the unit would not be rechargeable.

Now, the only question is how much of your available energy that you are converting to light after going through your JT and LEDs.  Since you have a 40 hour run time, you are pulling about 50J/hour or 13.9mW from the capacitors.  State of the art power conversion and LEDs would yield about 2.6 lumens, (about the same as one candle ) yielding about 104 lumen hours.  You are using bulb style LEDs and JTs are notoriously inefficient, so you are probably getting more like about 0.35 - 0.50 lumens, which translates to around 14 - 20 lumen hours per charge.   If you change out the JT for a current controlled LED driver then you should be able to about double or triple your lumen hour product.  If you get some of the super efficient LEDs that are around then you can bring your lumen hour product up again by another factor of 3X or so.

Great input MarkE     Thank you for the comment,  it really helps to have someone active and interested in the projects end of the forum with the know how to improve a prototype.    What current controller would you recommend?

#### MarkE

• Hero Member
• Posts: 6830
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2015, 11:20:21 PM »

Great input MarkE     Thank you for the comment,  it really helps to have someone active and interested in the projects end of the forum with the know how to improve a prototype.    What current controller would you recommend?
Depending on the power level you want and how you want to wire your LEDs, these ICs are all very efficient and low cost:
PAM2803 boost for one LED  Works down to 0.8V directed at 1W and 2W flashlight market.  Available from MOUSER
PAM2804 buck for one LED  Needs at least Vfd of the LED plus 0.2V  Very good for USB input.  Available from MOUSER
PAM2805 boost for one LED Works down to 0.8V Similar to PAM2803 but offers High/Low/Blink  directed at 1W and 2W flashlight market  Alibaba (beware counterfeits)
PAM2841 boost for series LED string up to 12 LEDs in series. Available from MOUSER

With careful design all of these are capable of ~90% efficiency and in some cases better.

#### dinoth

• Newbie
• Posts: 8
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2015, 12:45:30 AM »

#### MarkE

• Hero Member
• Posts: 6830
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2015, 04:59:45 AM »
I bought on eBay LM2596 for US \$2.47

http://www.ebay.com/itm/400802470941?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
There is a lot of product on the market and a lot of it works rather well.  The 93% they get is because they are operating in a particularly convenient voltage range for both the input and output.  For driving LEDs you want to control the output current.  The 2596 is designed to control the output voltage.

#### dinoth

• Newbie
• Posts: 8
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2015, 01:01:34 AM »
I will use it to make charger for my flashlight

#### MarkE

• Hero Member
• Posts: 6830
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2015, 01:28:25 AM »
I will use it to make charger for my flashlight
You want a current limited voltage source to charge your capacitors.

#### dinoth

• Newbie
• Posts: 8
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2015, 12:14:44 PM »
Of course, 2.5 volt 2 amp

#### MarkE

• Hero Member
• Posts: 6830
##### Re: Led Flashlight with Super capacitors V2
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2015, 09:00:43 PM »
The 2596 ahs internal protection against overcurrent, but it does not have a rectangular current limit function.  You might want to go with a board based on a different IC that does implement rectangular current limiting.