Introduction: Housing for a Solar Battery Charger
Hello there Tinkers!
As a Technology teacher at Alkira Secondary College, part of our curriculum goal is to integrate STEAM into our teaching programs. STEAM stands for Science , Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.
One of the projects that I thought would fulfill the STEAM criteria was to build a Solar Battery Charger.
Science = How does solar energy convert into electricity?
Technology = How do we construct the Solar Battery Charger?
Engineering= What are the design processes involved to develop a design of a Solar Battery Charger?
Art = How do we make the housing of the Solar Battery Charger look more appealing or attractive?
Mathematics = What sort of measurements are required to construct the Solar Battery Charger?
Due to the current pandemic situation, teachers were encouraged to use their computing skills to develop detailed, online learning instructions for their classes.This "Instructables" explains the Technology part of the design process. It is a step by step process that describes how to add features to an existing housing of a Solar Battery Charger. This activity is differentiated because a beginner will create their design following this "Instructables". The intermediate and experience students will either re-design or draw the housing of the charger from scratch.
I hope this "Instructables" will also help other educators new to teaching Technology.
If you would like to build the Solar Battery Charger = Supplies that you will need to source from a local electronics shop or from Amazon are:
1) One = Diode 1N914 / 1N4148
2) One = Battery Holder that holds two AA Batteries with Fly Leads
3) One = 17.5A 450V Terminal Block
4) One = Nuzamas 1.5V 0.65W - 60 x 80mm Solar Panel
5) A roll of Thick Foam double sided tape = 2 mm thick and 12 mm wide
6) A roll of Thin double sided tape = 0.1 mm thick and 12 mm wide
7) A 3D Printer with PLA type Filament
8) Vernier Caliper to measure the components
Step 1: The Set Up
What you will need to set up are the following:
a) Create a TinkerCAD account and log in to TinkerCAD (www.tinkercad.com)
b) There are two parts to the Solar Battery Charger. One is the Base and the second one is the Cover.
c) To access the template for the Base of the charger, click on this link: Solar Base Master File
d) The file name should be: “Solar base MASTER FILE 2019”
e) Click: "Copy and Tinker"
Step 2: The Problem
If you have a look at the Solar Base MASTER FILE, you will notice that the design is incomplete.
There will be 2 important features that you need to design and model before you can print and assemble.
The 2 important features are:
1) Hole for the Solar Panel wires to pass through
2) Two posts to locate the Connector Terminal Block
Step 3: The Drawing
The picture attached to this step is an Orthogonal drawing of the Solar Battery Charger.
Orthogonal drawings are 2D pictures showing all the key features of a product. Some of the views include top, bottom, left, right, front, back and even cross sectional views.
For the beginners = You can use the measurements of the attached picture.
For the intermediate and experience= You will have to measure the Solar Panel and Terminal block using a Vernier Caliper. Then use the measurements to draw your own Solar Battery Charger housing.
Step 4: Create a Hole for the Solar Panel Wires
Beginners = Using the dimensions of the Orthogonal drawing, create a suitable rectangular hole on the bottom base of the housing to allow the wires to pass through to the inside. The hole should be located close to the middle of the base. Make sure to give extra clearance to the hole for the soldered terminals and wires to pass through
Intermediate and Experience = Using your own measured dimensions of the Solar Panel, create a suitable hole on the bottom base of the housing to allow the wires to pass through to the inside. The hole should be located close to the middle of the base. Make sure to give extra clearance to the hole for the soldered terminals and wires to pass through
To create a rectangular hole using TinkerCAD, refer to the attached YouTube video.
Step 5: Create the Posts for the Terminal Block
Beginners= Using the dimensions of the Orthogonal drawing, model two suitable cylindrical posts protruding from the base of the housing. The hole in the Terminal Block will slide into the cylindrical posts.
Intermediate and Experience = Using your own measured dimensions of the Terminal block, model two suitable cylindrical posts protruding from the base of the housing. The hole in the Terminal Block will slide into the cylindrical posts.
To create the cylindrical posts using TinkerCAD, refer to the attached YouTube video.
Step 6: Create a Cover for the Housing
1) What you will need to set up are the following:
a) To access the template for the Cover of the charger, click on this link: Solar Cover TEMPLATE 2019
b) The file name should be: “Solar cover TEMPLATE 2019”
c) Click: "Copy and Tinker"
2) Either use the Text function on TinkerCAD to add a name on the cover or proceed to step 3
3) Watch the attached YouTube video on how to convert a 2D image to a 3D image and then add the image to the Solar Cover
Step 7: Printing and Assembly
Once you have completed the drawings for both the base and the cover, you can "Export" your pictures for either 3d printing in STL format or Lasercutting in SVG format.
If you have purchased the list of materials to put the Solar Battery Charger components together, stay tune for another "Instructables" on how to assemble.
Step 8: Samples of Housings
Samples of students' work
Participated in the
First Time Author Contest