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Running mains fluorescents from inverter - Page 2

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Posted by Victor Roberts on June 20, 2011, 11:03 pm
On Mon, 20 Jun 2011 12:30:03 +0100, The Other Mike



Check Universal Lighting Technologies.

Vic Roberts
sci.engr.lighting Rogues Gallery http://www.langmuir.org
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Posted by The Other Mike on June 20, 2011, 11:58 am
On Sun, 19 Jun 2011 20:56:39 -0400, "vaughn"

The IOTA ones are a bit crude (check the wiring layout!)   They don't
like cold temperatures and light output is also down quite a bit.


Posted by Mho on June 20, 2011, 12:55 am
 Did you try rubbing the tubes to get them started, especially with a static
generating material like nylon or wool?


"The Other Mike"  wrote in message

Currently got a remote observation site (wildlife) with no grid fed
power nor any prospect of it.

Half the site has a few modified 4ft T5's (36W) retrofitted with 12v
IOTA Ballasts (2D12-1-32) fed from a lead acid battery charged by a
solar panel.   The other half of the site has 5ft T5's with magnetic
ballasts fed by a Honda EU20i generator which despite being a quiet
suitcase model and loads of additional soundproofing is still way too
noisy.  Near silent operation is essential.  Hauling fuel is also a
PITA as its a long way from the road.

So I need a way of powering the 5ft T5's (58W) from a low voltage DC
supply.  IOTA only make ballasts up to 40W and they need a circa 50v
supply, realistically I need to keep to 12v to keep the solar array
price down.

So thoughts turned to an inverter fed from an uprated solar array and

A cheap modified sine wave inverter (circa 500W capacity) on a 100Ah
brand new battery fails to even kick even one 5ft tube into life.  The
manufacturer says these inverters are not compatible with fluorescent
tubes but doesn't elaborate any further.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get these lights working off

A change of ballast to an electronic type? (all indications are this
could won't work?)

Moving to a pure sine wave inverter (extremely expensive) ?

A different inverter supplier rather than 'one hung lo china inc' ?'

A ballast supplier that offers 12v ballasts that will drive a 58W

A homebrew 12V fluorescent inverter, running at high frequency that
will drive 5ft tubes and costs not a lot?  :)


Posted by news on June 20, 2011, 2:13 am
 On Sun, 19 Jun 2011 23:52:29 +0100, The Other Mike

Since you appear to be in the UK, the first product source below won't
be much help, but the concept might be an alternative.

Do you need  fluorescent tubes or would LED bulbs be a more efficient
choice for solar powered illumination?

The local home/garden center has 120 volt 7.5 watt LED bulbs (lumens
equivalent to 40 watt incandescent) for $0US each.  These bulbs work
with a dimmer, so they are not picky about the power source.

Two of these LED bulbs should provide more light than a 5 foot
fluorescent tube plus provides power savings.

12 volt LED and CFL bulbs are available, but they are usually at
premium prces: http://www.led-cfl-lighthouse.com/


Posted by The Other Mike on June 20, 2011, 11:49 am
 On Sun, 19 Jun 2011 22:13:33 -0400, news@jecarter.us wrote:


USD 10?

I thought this was the only one worth bothering with?


450 lumens output

USD 50 a piece

To give me 17000 lumens equivalent (100 lumens /watt * 58W * 3
fittings) that requires 37 lamps costing USD1800

Giving a total load of more than 300W compared to circa 170W

You might be able to see why I keep coming back to conventional
fluorecents every time :)


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