The Solar-Power Pin




Introduction: The Solar-Power Pin

About: I am a maker. As founder of MakerBlog, I enjoy sharing my creations with others.

In any disaster, arguably one of the most important resources to the average human being is electricity (after food, water, and shelter, of course.) This wearable solar panel does not hold electricity, but can provide electricity in the case of emergency. It is designed to accompany the Solar-Power Ring, and is a classy, potentially "useful" conversation starter. It is difficult to actually power anything off of it, but it can be a fun, easy project, and could be useful to the hobbyist, maker, or geek that gets stuck in an apocalyptic disaster.

A while back, I wrote this instructable, detailing how to build a wearable solar panel ring, for use in case of emergency. Someone commented,

"You are going to need a fist full of these rings to power anything besides a headache. It's a concept that would be sensible if solar cells had a marginally larger efficiency. Something this small is only going to be a drop in a bucket; a hand-full of electrons when you need a truckload, if you will."

I realized that what he said was true. For this to be useful you need to have more on hand, so I designed the Solar-Power Pin. This is designed to accompany and compliment my Solar-Power Ring. This pin does not have any built-in purpose, other than the fact that it is a solar panel. It is designed to conform to the users needs at any particular time. Several people have commented that my solar ring does not have a built-in battery. This is also true. It is very difficult to fit a battery, diode, and solar panel, all into a compact, classy ring or pin. All of that said, I hope you enjoy this project! Please comment, and show me how you've improved on my design. Thanks!

Step 1: What You'll Need

For this project you will need the following:

  • A Mini Solar Racer Buy Here
  • A Hot Glue Gun Buy at your local craft store
  • A 3/4" Safety Pin Buy at your local fabric store

For the alternate method you will need:

  • A Mini Solar Racer
  • A Hot Glue Gun
  • Two 1/2"-3/4" Rare Earth Magnets

Step 2: Assembly

First, disassemble your Mini Solar Racer. Desolder the solar panel from the motors, after marking the positive and negative contacts.

Original Method:

Use your hot glue gun to leave a thick strip of glue longways across the solar panel. While doing this make sure not to cover the contacts. Take a 3/4" safety pin and press it firmly into the glue before it dries. Wait for the glue to dry, and reinforce with a little bit more hot glue. Wait for it to dry again, and you're done.

Alternate Method:

Glue one of your magnets firmly to the back of the solar panel, making sure not to cover up the electrical contacts. Wait for it to dry, and you'll be done. To wear this, simply place the solar panel (with the magnet backing) on the outside of your shirt, and clip the other magnet onto it from the inside of the shirt. This method's main benefit is the fact that it does not leave holes in your shirt.

Step 3: Instructions

To use this you will need:

  • Wire or some other highly conductive material
  • Tape, glue, etc.
  • Your Classy Solar-Pendant

Glue the wires so that they touch their contacts. Connect the wires to whatever you want to power (within reason.) Set up the pin so that it is angled toward the sun, as shown.

Admittedly, this pin cannot provide much power, and is overall impractical, but alongside your solar ring it can be a very classy, business-like fashion statement. Enjoy!

MAKE ENERGY: A US-Mexico Innovation Challenge

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MAKE ENERGY: A US-Mexico Innovation Challenge

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Guerilla Design Contest

Apocalypse Preparedness Contest

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Apocalypse Preparedness Contest

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    using a concentrator will increase the power output i.e operating under 10x suns also using a simple cooling system would also boost efficiency.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very pretty.
    Improvement suggestion-

    Create a plug or linking mechanism to hook these up together for more current.
    If that's how such things work. I'll defer to someone with more electrical design experience....