Solar Lawn Mower





Introduction: Solar Lawn Mower

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Discover Green Science Fair for a Better Planet

this Instructable will show you how to mow you're grass using solar power to charge the mowers batteries

Step 1: What You'll Need

-battery operated lawn mower
-12 volt solar cell
-wire (red and black)
-multi meter
-multi tool (I used my leatherman)

Step 2: Wiring

you'll need to cut off the cigarette lighter plug in and then strip your wires .you will also need to cut two lengths of red wire and two of the black and strip both ends of those .when using stranded wire its best if you pull the insulation away slowly as you twist it to keep the wires neat

Step 3: Connecting the Wires

locate the positive and negative terminals on each battery and connect the wires accordingly .it uses two 12v batteries connected in series circuit and you have to undo that connection .and wire it in parallel circuit to charge .then you must undo that and reconnect it to mow

Step 4: Bring Out the Solar Cell

now that you have those connected you will need to connect the red wires together and connect the black wires together

be sure you disconect the the jumper wire so theres no short and the solar cell is able to charge the batteries

once thats done you'll need to connect the solar cell to leads

Step 5: Charging

once you've hooked it all up all you need to do now is set it in the sun and let it do its thing .it doesn't have to be a cloudless day for your solar cells to work but they do work best in direct sun .it takes about 4-6 hours to charge depending on how clear the day is and position of the sun in reference to the solar cell .and it is about to cut thick grass for 20-30 minutes on the mulch setting so that time would be greater if you were collecting it in a bag

the solar cell does not stay connected for use of the mower (it is only for charging) .and the batteries have to be hooked back up to the manufacturer's specs .but for free power the 3 minutes it takes to do that is worth it

.it only took me about 45 minutes to complete this project since I had all of the stuff just laying around (my father is a "junk" collector)

I'm sure you will be able to locate a battery lawn mower online .my dad bought this one on clearance for somewhere around 75 dollars ,and you can purchase a 12 volt solar cell for around 65 dollars from harbor freight

I hope this is helpful and I would like any feedback and criticism you would like to offer as this my first instructable



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Questions & Answers


And my only question is, do you still have to push it? Just kidding. Great job.

such a cool mower, you made it awesome. amazing huh.

It needs a solar charge controller.

Uncontrolled charging ( hooking the solar panel straight to the batteries) can heat the batteries up and could set them on fire or even could make them explode. Besides, uncontrolled charging will reduce battery life a lot.

you know a lot for a baby

I think most the comments were very constructive regarding this instructable. We need more of such maturity on this website. I was once told, "Those who do not fail are not trying hard enough". This by no means is a failure, I think it is great. It is great when someone has the courage to make an Instructable and others are helpful with suggestions and it continues to be "tuned". I will throw my two cents in as a trained horticulturist. As far as mowing, the average homeowner mows once a week, perhaps twice during peak growth, dependent on irrigation and season. (Allow the ignorant to dream) What if this idea could be combined with some others such as low power/high torque motors for propelling the mower? Removal of the solar panel(s) making a charging station. Combine that with the tech used in such as the "robot vacuums" or "invisible fence". I dream more, when the electric power reaches a near depleted level the "mowing unit" if you will, returns to the charging station until recharged yet only mows during a set time period. Finally, what if the charging station had a rain sensor as well as the mower. If it is raining it does not mow during the set times or if it starts it goes back to the station. IF these techs could be combined in one unit you would have a "robotic mower". I do not have the skill nor tech knowledge. I am just casting out an idea. Please be kind in your comments.

been done, its called a sheep. 8-)

I'm dreaming of this too. I hate mowing my lawn!!

I've been tinkering for a while with the Arduino microcontrollers which will serve nicely as a 'brain'. I've also just started out with stepper motors coupled via an EasyDriver stepper driver, which as the name suggests, is VERY easy to hook up.

It'll likely be less of a mower, more of a 'grazer' I think. ;)

Beardy, Exactly, "Grazer" is the concept I was trying to explain. A solar powered robotic mwer that does not mow the whole lawn at once but continually grazes maitaining the grass continuously. The effect would be the grass never grow over the set mowing height, never giving that "needs to be mowed" look. I wish you luck and would love to hear about your progress.

I want to make something like this sooo badly but it would be stolen in days around here :-(

add a GPS to your micro-controller... :)