EL wire current rating and Opto-triac to drive it

For my project I am planning to drive 7*1 meter EL wires with the following inverter, which claims driving 15m of EL wire;

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-DC-To-AC-Inverter-for-EL-Lamp-Wire-With-Switch15M-Meters-LJN-/161209107330?pt=US_String_Lights_Fairy_Lights&hash=item2588cfc382

First of all, for in total 7 meters EL wire (2.3mm diameter) how much current would I need ? I searched a bit and read that 100mA what it needs (well, I am not certain of that, sounds a bit too much for EL wire) And do I need to power the inverter for 15 meters or it will be only drawing for 7 meters, not sure though.

Once I power the EL wires, I need to control them with arduino. To do so I need opto-isolators. Not familiar with those components but as far as I researched I need to couple each opto-isolators with a triac since they are not designed to drive the load but another triac instead.

However, heard that opto-triacs replaces the need of a optoisolator and triac couple and are capable of driving the load. Since I don't know how much current I will be handling for each 1 meter EL wire, I couldn't pick a proper opto-triac.
Appreciate if you give me advices. Thank you.

Oh by the way, the opto-triac I found and thought would be useful is that;
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/moc3023.pdf

What do you think ?

First of all, for in total 7 meters EL wire (2.3mm diameter) how much current would I need ? I searched a bit and read that 100mA what it needs (well, I am not certain of that, sounds a bit too much for EL wire)...

Do you have the specs for the particular EL wire? The manufacturer should have a datasheet.

And do I need to power the inverter for 15 meters or it will be only drawing for 7 meters, not sure though.

I'd guess you'll be fine.

To do so I need opto-isolators. Not familiar with those components but as far as I researched I need to couple each opto-isolators with a triac since they are not designed to drive the load but another triac instead.

On optio-isolator is simply an LED (inside so you can't see) and a light activated component such as a phototransistor. The opto-isolator you found is especially designed to drive a TRIAC, and a TRIAC is EXACTLY what you want for switching AC.

However, heard that opto-triacs replaces the need of a optoisolator and triac...

That makes sense, but what's an opto-triac? Is that the MOC3023? It's capable of 50ma output, and that might be enough. You'd connect the MOC3023 in series with the power supply and load. I'd give it a try! Worst case, you fry a MOC3023. (Nothing else will get damaged if too much current goes through the opto-isolator... If the part gets blown it will probably short internally and the EL wire will probably get stuck-on.)

Oh by the way, the opto-triac I found and thought would be useful is that;
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/moc3023.pdf

That should work. Before trying the MOC3023 alone, personally I'd start with the circuit shown in figure 5 on the datasheet. I've used that circuit before, it's the manufacturer's recommended circuit, and I know it works with regular incandescent lamps.

  • The Arduino gets connected to pin-2 in place of the NAND gate shown. When the Arduino output goes low, the opto-isolator turns-on. You can test the circuit by disconnecting the Arduino and grounding pin-2 to turn-on the opto-isolator.
  • An Rin value around 330 Ohms should work. (The LED current needs to be between 5mA and 50mA, so it's not too critical.)
  • RL is your EL light.

DVDdoug:
Before trying the MOC3023 alone, personally I'd start with the circuit shown in figure 5 on the datasheet. I've used that circuit before, it's the manufacturer's recommended circuit, and I know it works with regular incandescent lamps.

Total waste of time.

We are not talking here about controlling an incandescent lamp of 15 watts or more; we are talking of EL wire drawing a watt or two at most. A common Triac will not even fire at the current levels involved. The MOC302x however is perfectly suited for the current levels involved and should work quite well.

The only concern I can see is that the EL driver is working at a much higher frequency than the usual 50/ 60 Hz, and it has to be able to switch fast enough but looking at the specs, I dare say it can.