My arduino needs four AA batteries.
Really? Isn't this 2012? Where's my jetpack?!!
Here's a way to the future -- a way to make a solar panel, from scratch, that can power any arduino off of sunlight or even light in your house. Sort of a peel-and-stick power source for your projects.
Time to complete: 15 minutes
No soldering required
Difficulty level: Easy as pie (key lime)
Loss of skin during assembly: moderate
This is one of the first entries in the Solar Pocket series of projects that Alex (this guy) and I are posting over the coming weeks. For more about Solar Pocket Factories and DIY solar check out our just launched Kickstarter campaign (Aug 15 - Sept 14):
Here's what it's all about in 3 minutes:
Step 1: What you need
++ Copper tape (single-sided adhesive): This is easy to find at most hardware or electronics shops.
++ 8 to 11 solettes: these are small pieces of monocrystalline or polycrystalline PV silicon that are typically hidden under an epoxy blob in off-the-shelf panels. You need the raw stuff for this instructable -- this will give you the flexibility to power any arduino with varying current demands for different projects. You can get this key material here for now: http://goo.gl/C25he But there will be a kit on Kickstarter that makes these readily available soon.
++ Superglue aka cyano: the thin stuff, like crazy glue. The gels don't seem to work well.
++ 5-minute epoxy: this is the encapsulant that will cover the entire panel. Epoxy is only good for 2 years in the sun, but it's the easiest stuff the find off the shelf for a quick project. Fear not, better encapsulant is on the way (soon, soon...)