Introduction: DIY Mini Solar Car! (14kph Toy)

Picture of DIY Mini Solar Car! (14kph Toy)
Feast your eyes upon the beast of all solar cars! A small scale dragster, runs 14-20kph!. A project great for beginners! I made this when I was 6 y/o, this guide is kinda* a remake of my original project. It only took me $4 to one. It runs with two 5v ultra fast 2400rpm efficiency motors, recycled from old "DVD Drives". This small scale experiment would become real lifesized vehicles in the future.

The future is closing in, small projects like this are what helps our engineers develop full scale versions. It's completely ecofriendly, zero emission & battery free! The car's top speed is extremely fast, although it lacks torque which result to a slow starting acceleration. 

This thing runs an average of 14kph. Granzeier made an equation below to get the car's speed. 20kph is achievable but requires a lot of sunlight. Not bad for a car powered by sunlight!

The video on the left shows 1/3 is the car's max speed potential. It was taken during night and only had a 30w fluorescent lamp as its light source. You can watch the car's max potential speed in the video below. 

I'm starting a Weekend Project channel: 
Please support my new FB page :D There are more interesting stuff to come!

For the plan to succeed I need to have a number of viewers from YouTube, Facebook & Instructables. Thank you for your cooperation!
Watch This Insane Video! See How Fast It Really Goes :D
You wouldn't believe this :)) Not bad for a car powered by sunlight :DD

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials

Parts & Materials:
- 2x Recycled DVD Drive Motors (2400rpm)
- Recycled Pulley (for the 3rd wheel)
- 6V Mini Solar Panel 
- Soldering Wire
- Super Glue 

Tools & Equiptment:
- Soldering Iron
- Hot Glue Gun
- Leatherman
- Scissors

Step 2: Adding a Right-Angle Support

Picture of Adding a Right-Angle Support

Later, both motors will be mounted using hotglue. It is ideal to add a 90 deg. support for the motors to stay put. You can use a small piece of acrylic or a small strip of broken ruler, then superglue the support to the solar panel.

Step 3: Mounting the Motors

Picture of Mounting the Motors

Heat up your glue gun, it's time to mount the motors. Apply as much as you can, make sure the motor stays still. The high speed collision of this ultra fast vehicle is enough to break itself :DD

Step 4: Soldering the Motors to the Solar Panel

Picture of Soldering the Motors to the Solar Panel

Absolutely requires no circuit! Just solder your motors directly to your solar panel's positive and negative terminals. Your car is now ready to race!

Step 5: Glueing the 3rd Wheel

Picture of Glueing the 3rd Wheel

Like most racing solar cars, most of them are equipped with only three wheels. In my case I used the 3 wheeled orientation in order to reduce friction &amp; drag.<br> <br> The 3rd wheel illustrated on the picture, came from a recycled cassette player. The easiest way to mount this below the solar panel is by hot gluing the pulley.

Step 6: Sticky Wheel Mod (optional)

Picture of Sticky Wheel Mod (optional)

When the wheels slip too much you can surround it with 3M's sticky double adhesive tape. It's so sticky it can go down a wall without falling.

Step 7: Starting a Drag Race :D

Picture of Starting a Drag Race :D

Call your friends and build tons of these customizable solar cars, mod them and find out who runs fastest!&nbsp;

Step 8: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!
Next stop, a RC solar car prototype! 

If you haven't watched the video you might watch this, and see how fast it goes! :D


tiffany2000 (author)2013-11-04

whatt do you use to control the car?

ASCAS (author)tiffany20002013-11-05

Nothing, in the video the car just drifted back to me. You can position the 3rd wheel for steering.

coolcat54 (author)ASCAS2014-05-12

Oh, So that's how you did it.

mazzmn (author)2013-11-04


SahilK71 (author)2017-05-16

Instead of using a DVD motor, what else can I use?

Thank you

lizardegg (author)2016-12-11

I don't have dvd motor what can i use instead.Thanks.

T0BY (author)2016-01-06

Amazing car!

DanM37 (author)2015-08-16

Cute project!

YashR4 (author)2015-06-17

Can I use a 6v 100ma solar panel

jasmineflynn (author)2015-05-14


isaiaso (author)2015-03-17

How many Watts does your solar panel emit?

aaronhipolito19 (author)2015-01-16

where did you get your solar panel?

Manmeswar (author)2015-01-11

I used two 5V motors. It's working well but whenever I place on floor, it stops rolling. Please any ideas to power it up...

robbe.declercq (author)2014-11-08

where did you get your solar panel from? I really what to know because I really want to make a simulor car. ;)

lochi511 made it! (author)2014-11-04

one solar panel 5.5V-3.5W can use 2 motor 2400rpm like this??. Help me plz

lochi511 made it! (author)2014-11-04

one solar panel 5.5V-3.5W can use 2 motor 2400rpm like this??. Help me plz

Ploopy (author)2014-04-17


culverjds (author)2014-04-01

were do you get the supplies and is it cheap

culverjds (author)2014-04-01

were do you get the supplies and is it cheap

British Badger (author)2014-02-27

Its good but you shouldn't have the motor strait to the wheels it could damage the motors you need a gearbox but a gearbox may reduce speed

Kelly Smith made it! (author)2014-02-08

Thanx for the instructions. I've tested both my motors and they spin good. I put it together with an 8 volt cell though and it seems I have nothing going on. I haven't tried it in the sun yet. But I have other projects that I've done and they work under the false light :( Is my cell too big? Also, to be clear, in your picture the -/+ leads are on both -/+ on the cell? Is that to ensure the motors spin the same direction?

educe1 (author)2013-12-03

this is fun project

moimoipalamoi (author)2013-11-25

It is a great project, I didn't know that it could run that fast from just using ray of light. Hey, I have an idea about where you can play the drag race. Do you know Tamiyaa mini4wd ? I think that you know about it, it is quite popular in philippines, because one of its factory is located there. If your car size fits enough in the width of the track which is about 115mm and a height of 50mm. You could add some rollers at the side of the car to prevent it from bursting out the track. Here is a link from its official website about what it looks like.

Nice project and keep up the good work !

TREX ZoaR0K (author)2013-11-18

I'm getting 3 old computers today to get some parts from I plan on taking many components out I'm also looking forward to taking out the motors out and one of them is a laptop so I'm going to ta

ASCAS (author)TREX ZoaR0K2013-11-19

Be sure to look closely at the motor type. Some disc drives use stepper motors which needs a pulsing circuit. You'l need the brushed type of motors.

TREX ZoaR0K (author)2013-11-18

Take the screen off it and take gold out of all three

nibbler125 (author)2013-11-09

it really rubs me the wrong way when someone claims that something they have or have done holds a world record without actually having any proof. Unless you have a certificate from guinness proving that you indeed hold the record do not say that you do.

Chitlange Sahas (author)2013-11-06


tiffany2000 (author)2013-11-05

whats the point then I need a car that's cheap to make and that you can control.

ASCAS (author)tiffany20002013-11-05

That's my next project, but I'll publish that once a "Solar Powered Contest" appears again.

nerd7473 (author)2013-11-04

how much does this cost?

ASCAS (author)nerd74732013-11-04

Around $4, since I recycled all of my parts except for the solar panel. I stated than on the 1st step (INTRO) you didn't read, did you :)))

nerd7473 (author)ASCAS2013-11-04

no I didnt

xXSkymau5Xx (author)2013-11-04


About This Instructable




Bio: Hi I'm Angelo! I am a 18 y/o college sophomore taking my majors in BS-ECE at the DLSU. I use my course as ... More »
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