Solar engine for a solar boat Answered

 Here of some of my queries.  we need to run a solar powered boat on a 1.4meter long water track in a shortest possible time( max time 5 min given)........ so i would be glad if u let me know the correct solar engine circuit to it..( i mean the capacitor selection , solar panel specifications etc etc) also there are many slar engine circuits online..which one do u prefer (1381,FLED,millers,zener based etc etc)           waiting for ur reply....... thanx in advance........

Question by abdul moiz   |  last reply

Solar Section? Answered

What happened to the "Solar" section of the Instructables site? I haven't been a member long. Was it just a temporary?

Question by DELETED_explosionist   |  last reply

Solar Energy

If you have any idea about solar cooker than share with ME... 

Topic by ramoliya_ankit   |  last reply

solar question

Do solar panels have to be in direct sunlight? I'm looking to make a "Sun Jar" and was wondering if it would work on my balcony. The only thing is our balcony doesn't get direct sunlight to it as it's inset into the building and covered by the above apartment's balcony.

Topic by mrshow555   |  last reply

Solar Charger?

Hello, I am looking to build a solar charger in a 4x3x1.6 inch (or smaller) box to be as portable as possible. My only problem is, I would like to mount the solar cell on the box. However, all solar cells are far too large to fit this box, I plan to use a rechargeable 9v battery for power storage. I was wondering if I can use a 6v solar cell, and still use a standard LM7805 5v Voltage Regulator to drop 6v to 5v, or if someone could find a 2.5x3.5 inch solar cell (9v) online somewhere (for cheap) that would really help (I've looked everywhere...) Thanks.

Question by Tuckoguy   |  last reply

Solar light?

I want to build and install three lights about 10 watt each in my house garden. Powered by solar panel (80w),100ah dry battery. Instead of using energy saver bulbs , i want to use LED of 10w or more which give light equal to one LED. Can any gentleman help me to design this system with 8 hours battery backup. The lights should be turned at dawn.Thanks

Question by Sarfraz ahmad   |  last reply

Solar Cells? Answered

Is this a good set up for a series/parallel configuration? when I test it with a multimeter the voltage was around 2.5 v each cell produces 3v@40ma. so something is wrong here.

Question by dominick.j.pezza   |  last reply

Solar Charger?

Hi everyone! i want to build solar powered charger... i already build ups system using old computer system ups... configuration : 650va ups with 12v 35ah  battery. The battery is deep cycle one and should be charged in 8 hrs of good sun light.... so how many solar cells i need to buy and describe the calculation? Best online shop to buy a cheap and best cells ? Thanks in advance...

Question by arshanmugam   |  last reply

Solar "Generator"

Since I've always wanted to do something like this and I found this site, it's about to happen! I found a smaller version with what I wanted to do at Popular Science but I want to do something on a larger scale. I do have some questions though that I'm hoping someone can answer or point me in the correct direction.I'm going to describe what I'm doing with what and what I have questions with.I'm going to be buying this solar panel and charge controller kit. Sunforce Solar Panel With Charge ControllerA deep cycle 115 AMP Hour 12 V marine battery from Wal-Mart with Plastic Battery caseSalvaged wood Toy BoxMeter Question: How to meter how many amp hours I have left or how charged the battery is? What kind of meter to buy? Where? (not too expensive <20 bucks or so) how to hook it up.A 12 V accessory outlet with on off switch Question: I'm putting an inline fuse before the switch, 15A the line fuse goes on the + (positive) side correct?A 700 Watt 6.25 AMP DC to AC converter with 4 outlets connected to it. Question: can I put a breaker or fuse between the 4 outlets I'm going to be plugging into on the outside and the plug being plugged into the DC to AC converter? If so how?USB ports for charging with on off switch. Question: how do I convert the 12V to 5V in an easy way? I've seen some creative ideas on here for charging VIA salvaged USB ports but I don't want to have to hook it up to my power inverter if I don't have to. Cooling/ventilation for the entire thing. Any ideas how I might cool/vent it? Currently I'm thinking of using old computer fans and put them on both sides of the toy box and have 2 blowing and 2 blowing out. Having the fans run off of the solar panel during the day and either have a switch to change it to battery at night (if it's too warm in the house) or maybe photo sense it? Temp sensor to turn it on and off? Or a switch to turn it off completely. I'm just looking for idea's to keep the battery (and to expand to be more than one battery) cool/ventilated. If you have examples or detailed description on how to do it that'd be great. I'm not one to steal ideas so I'll credit the idea's I'm given if I use them =)I'm going to see how much I can run off of this and how long. Hopefully save some big time energy also!Thanks all!

Topic by oddie1212   |  last reply

solar resistor

What reading solar resistor should i use for transfering sound on a laser for my project?

Question by Aditya3870   |  last reply

Solar charging

Hi, pls suggest me for the following A 20Watt ( 20V , 1000 ma) solar panel is connected to charge a 12V, 80AH battery . What is the value and wattage of a Current limiting resistor to be added?

Topic by khhrao   |  last reply

solar cell

Please i dwell in Nigeria which hardware device can i get copper sheet

Question by yomite   |  last reply

Solar Concentration?

I wonder if anyone has tried this, using either a solar cell, or joule thief powered LED in something like a torch head fitment  with a solar cell capping the end of the torch head such that the maximum amount of vsible light is falling on the solar collector and none is going any where else. Although direct sunlight may be ok to power a PV, because of local weather it could still be described as diffuse and tricky to get a constant intensity of light where it is needed. If it were possible get a gain in efficiency this way it also could mean that you are not constrained by the amount of area you need to lay out panels to catch sunlight, the collectorsand lights could be stacked vertically in enclosed units.Apparently PV'sare most efficient in the visible light spectrum which reduces concerns of radiation (UV or IR) If efficiency and power could be increased in this way small units could be joined in series or in gradually  increasing size to power requirements.

Question by Nowandthen   |  last reply

Solar power for a laptop

Hello everyone I have an idea to build a solar power suppl for a laptop using a 12"x12" solar cell. M question is this, if I solder the leads from a power inverter to the solar cell, it should be able to power or charge a laptop correct? Is there something else I would have to do?

Topic by DaMadProfessor   |  last reply

how to convert to solar?

I recently purchased a normal set of white LED christmas lights for my apartment. But recently I saw similar units that run on solar energy. I was wondering if there was a way to convert the sets that I have into either battery powered or solar powered.

Topic by mrshow555   |  last reply

damaged solar cells?

I have constucted a solar panel however I am getting no volts out. I have inspected the cells and I have found a few that are split across from one side to the other and I was wondering if this is effectively a break in the pos neg circuit?

Question by smiler84089   |  last reply

solar cell amperes

Lets say I have a solar panel that gives off 5 volts at 30mA. if I were to put a ten ohm resistor in series with it would There be basically no effect because a 10ohm resistor woulkd limit it to half an amp, which is way more. Or does the solar panel act like ~ 167 ohm resistor, and adding a ten ohm resistor will limit it to 28mA?

Topic by guyfrom7up   |  last reply

Solar powered cooler

I'd like to make a solar powered cooler, however, I am extremely new at this.  I was thinking I could just purchase an electric cooler and a solar panel with the voltage needed, and simply attach the wires.  I feel like that is way too simple to work but I don't know what else to do!  If anyone has any suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate it! The cooler I was thinking of using is here:;=UTF8&qid;=1340659801&sr;=1-11&keywords;=thermoelectric+cooler  and the solar panel: Thanks!

Topic by lmccrazy   |  last reply

Solar cells and the environment

Question about solar cells. Since solar panels are encased in glass or polycarbonate, does exposure to the elements degrade solar cells? And if so, in what fashion? Corrosion of the traces? water infiltration? etc. etc? Or is it a matter of the fragility of the cells?

Topic by Tool Using Animal   |  last reply

need solar panels

Need solar panel contact if you have any extra laying around, may be willing to pay depending on price asked

Topic by singhjr 

Photodiode as solar battery

Hello!I'm trying to build "Solarsound modules" However, it is quite hard to decide what to use to drain power from light - the device has to be small and give 2.5V. Are photodiodes suitable for that, or do I have to buy a solar panel? What PD or a series of them would be the cheapest solution?Thanks a lot.

Topic by wasia1   |  last reply

Solar Cells Coating? Answered

Hi Guys! A few weeks ago I found an auction on ebay, bid, and won myself some big old pack of solar cells. Now these panels are wafer thin, no coating or covering. Additionally, I need to put the wire collecting ribbons on myself. The only problem with these is that they are incredibly fragile. What can I coat them with to protect them? Is there any spray or acrylic or resin that you use to protect them? Thanks

Question by transistorguy   |  last reply

Solar Power Kits

Another Big Update! We've come a long way since 'How to Build a Qwik-Solar' (Over 9,000 views - Awesome!).  Qwik-Solar has now 'grown up' and become the iPower Station, producing more power - with easy to assemble frame kits and complete power packs. They can charge any power  pack with a 12 volt outlet and include key safety features (switches and fuses) for worry free use.  We've made it one of the best portable solar generators which can be used for cookouts, camping, tail gate parties, and emergency power. For industrial mobile solar power - We've teamed up with McGivern to provide solar Work Pods - with up to a 1,000 watt array! Last, we have Suntigo micro-grid kits for homeowners (with exciting news coming soon on new systems!)     iPower Stations are available from 45 Watts up to 85 Watts, with or without a power pack. Find all our solar generators here: Solar Mak And Thanks to everyone that's made Qwik-Solar such a success!  

Topic by Jonlo   |  last reply

Arduino Solar Capabilities

So I went and bought a 1.5 Watt 9v solar panel from radioshack today. It gets ~10.5v and ~80mA in full California sun, and ~10.2v and ~75mA in afternoon light. Does anyone have any experience with running an arduino only on solar power? If so how much load can it take at this power level?

Topic by martzsam   |  last reply

Is this solar setup flawed? Answered

I have a 12V 10W solar panel that I'd like to use to charge a smartphone and/or a battery pack (5000mAh-15000mAh). I realise it's not a large panel but smartphones aren't that greedy and my use would be moderate. I was hoping that I could just attach the panel I have to a car lighter receptacle and use a double USB plug that I already have. Is this a sensible arrangement? The advantages, to me, are that all I'd need is a $5-$10 receptacle and I'd have a very simple setup (no inverter or charge controller, well, I suppose the USB plug would be a controller, perhaps). Would this system work? Even if it did work would it be an efficient set-up? Would there be any danger of damage to smartphone or panel? Also: will I need to earth anything or are the devices I charge capable of earthing? Would I need a diode to stop charge flowing back to the panel when there was no sun? Thanks for reading, I'd really appreciate any input on these questions.

Question by faintingcabbage   |  last reply

Solar panel question

Hello i am long time lurker of and i love the site and its inspired me to build a few things. that said onto my question.  i was at my local Dollar Tree Store (Dollar Store) and noticed the solar powered walkway lights. so i bought a few and decided i could salvage the solar panels.. so a few screws and some applied pressure later i have some small cells 35.6mm by 29.6mm with a model number (SC3630S-4N) and everything so i googled it and i get this website as the only one listing voltages and mA's but there are two sets and i am unsure which set i need to be aware of and exactly what it all means. so any one can explain to me what the 4 values mean i know (V) is voltage and (mA) is amperage but why list them twice.

Topic by jgosselin   |  last reply

Solar Panel Construction

Hello Everyone, this is my first forum post!I had a question and couldn't think of a better place to turn to than this.Basically, I am constructing, or planning to rather, an outdoor picnic table. I want to add some gadgetry to it and make it more multifunctional. Sorry to be vague, but a lot of it is still being worked out and since I'm going to post the project on here anyway, I'd like to wait to present the entire project as a whole.My question involves the use of solar panels as a table top surface. I have a basic understanding of how to create a solar panel powered system ( or But my question is this: does covering the solar panel with a piece of acrylic hinder its power collecting abilities? I'm thinking of covering the entire table top surface of my table with solar panels. Aside from the obvious downfalls of people using the table and blocking sun, I thought there would be enough time when its not in use to collect power. But obviously I can't have people eating right on the panels and damaging them. Any guidance would be GREAT! I just want to know if I should even entertain this design idea or separate the panels from the table altogether. Thanks!

Topic by jchorng   |  last reply

solar garden light

I would like to make a 3w solar led garden light to illuminate small tree. I was going to use an 18V 5W solar panel (Peak Voltage: 17.2V Peak current: 0.29A Open circuit voltage: 21.6V Short circuit current: 0.33A) to charge a 12v battery (Capacity : 4800mAh Rechargeable Li-on battery Input voltage : 12.6V Output voltage : 10.8~12.6 DC Output current : 1 - 2.4A) . I have found a charge controller which I think will do what I want (3A 6v/12v PWM solar panel light controller battery charge regulator The led I was going to use is 3W Voltage: 3.4-3.6V current: 600MA. I know I will need a voltage regulator to get me to the led forward voltage, but other than that does this look possible? Would an led driver be required? If there are any parts which someone would advise changing I am very happy to take advice, any help very gratefully appreciated.

Topic by earton   |  last reply

Solar Panels in Parallel? Answered

I know that you can wire solar panels together to combine the amps. But I've only ever seen this done with 2 identical panels. Would there be any problem with wiring up 2 panels with different A values? More specifically these 2 panels.;=390312612951&ssPageName;=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_10141wt_1165;=320381449459&ssPageName;=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_10175wt_1165

Question by madmanmoe64   |  last reply

photovoltaic or solar thermal? Answered

I've been designing a high tech, off grid, self sufficient home over the past few months as a hobby. So far it consists of an artificial island floating on recycled plastic bottles and other buoyant devices (see: Spiral island) with an average sized house made of recycled shipping containers and plywood with a greenhouse. I basically want it to be a more high tech version of Spiral Island, but I have two questions. 1.) I'm trying to decide on whether or not I should use a Solar thermal generator or an array of Photovoltaic panels, but which has a better efficiency rate in terms of power and cost? 2.) Does anyone have any suggestions on plumbing? cause so far all I've thought of is a self composting toilet, but it would be really cool to have running water.

Question by tieguy   |  last reply

Solar Boombox Upgrade

Ok so im looking to upgrade my DIY portable boombox for the 2nd time and one of the things i want to add is a solar panel to supplement the battery power from my 12v 7ah sla battery, that by itself will currently run the thing for about 3hrs at full blast. The new version will have Directed CSX-650 component speakers: (bottom of this page) and the amp will be one of these:;=43 , so what id like to know is what tech spec should i be looking for in a solar panel that would be capable of charging the battery while the boombox is not in use and will supplement the battery power to extend the run time while it is in use? Also will i need some kind of circuit/component to prevent overcharge of the battery? Oh and is there some kind of simple light/gauge i can wire in to show the charge level of the battery?

Topic by ambientvoid   |  last reply

Solar - Powered Batteries

Check out these cool batteries! Their creator is Knut Karlsen.See what he said:At home i always have some batteries lying around, either rechargeable or normal ones. Usually they are empty, but i'd like them to be always fully charged. I could use a normal charger and there is a lot of solar devices that charge rechargeable batteries. I wanted it simpler; why hasn't anyone made a battery with integrated solar cells? The idea of the "SunCat" batteries where born. The batteries should just bask in the sun like a cat and left for a while, in a sunny window, they would slowly recharge.For more details visit this site.Thanks!Stanislav

Topic by comodore   |  last reply

Arduino with solar panel

How can I charge 12V Li-ion or lead acid batteries using a solar panel? I also wish to interface the three, i.e. the Arduino, the solar panel and the battery, together so that the Arduino is basically driven by the battery but as the battery discharges, the solar panel would charge it. What circuitry do I need? Also tell the specifications of the solar panel.

Topic by DeepayanB2 

Solar power & battery? Answered

Hi everyone, I would like like to power a circuit that requires 6v from a battery charged by a solar cell. Could someone recommend a battery & cell specs? Would like the circuit to run at night for at least 3 hours. Battery needs to be quite small. I've picked Powerfilm solar cells, just need to know what voltage & amperage to use for a small 6v rechargeable battery. Thanks! 

Question by BlondeJamesDean   |  last reply

Solar help please!

I want to charge rechargable batteries with one solar panel and use the batteries to run fans in my home to save on summer cooling costs. The central air can handle night cooling. What will I need and how do I set it up ?

Question by    |  last reply

Diy solar panels Answered

I saw the has simple solar panel instructions, but it is an expensive book. I did not see his dvd series on youtube, but if you can find that that seems easiest for me. If there is something close enough online free I will appreciate those links also. THANKS

Question by jbaker22   |  last reply


 I am trying to design a project for homeless people.  I need to attach an inexpensive solar panel to a bag.  The panel would somehow connect to a (cheap) battery, storing energy to power a waterproof LED for use in the dark.  Is this possible?  I have seen waterproof LEDs here.  But how about the solar power to battery to LED part?  I am electrically-challenged, so make this easy, okay?  Thanks a million.

Question by Laughing Whitefish   |  last reply

Build PV solar panels from broken solar cells

The sun's energy may be free, but solar panels can be quite expensive.  Still hoping to get off the grid? VIRON has a great Instructable, How to make PV solar panels, teaching how to make your own from broken or surplus solar cells! From the introduction: In essence, this involves ways to connect cells, which may produce more or less than one volt, and not only try to increase power output but also decrease the load, that is, efficiently conserve the energy whether it is meager or significant. For example, even the weakest solar panels can run watches, calculators, radios, charge batteries, and if a computer were specifically designed to, it would be as solar-powerable as a calculator. Check out the Instructable for info on finding and foraging usable solar cells, instructions on preparing different types of broken cells, tips for getting more power out of your panel, and instructions for wiring the whole thing up to power your devices. Inspired? Planning to try piecing your own solar panels?  Already off the grid, and planning something even better?  If you do, be sure to post an Instructable so the rest of us can learn something new. This post has been sponsored by Pepsi. The Pepsi Refresh Project celebrates the people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive effect on our world.

Topic by canida   |  last reply

how to make solar diy cell?

How to make siliconcell solar power?

Question by tayzar   |  last reply

Solar Cell Phone Chargers

Solar Cell Phone Chargers Since we all walk many hours in the sun each day, does anyone have knowledge of a functional solar charger for phones or cameras?

Topic by weijing3333   |  last reply

Solar Panel 12V regulator

Currently i am working on a 12V solar panel. the solar panel will be charging up the battery of 12V7AH. The problem is that by using the solar panel,the voltage often to be fluactuating down until 10V. How can i make the voltage remain constant at 12V?

Topic by haizad86   |  last reply

How to make a easy solar cell?

Some ideas anyone

Question by cwilks1   |  last reply

How can we make solar cell?any one guide me?

I wanna make a solar cell...

Question by mjarwar   |  last reply

Can anyone help with a solar circuit?

Hello! I'm trying to build a solar powered night light.  What I would like is to have it charge during the day and automatically come on when it senses darkness.  Here is what I've gathered so far, any suggestions are appreciated: 3AA rechargeable batteries (3.4V) 1 4.5 volt solar cell 1 phototransistor 1 transistor 4 White LEDs (20ma) This is my first posting and I'm a (near) complete novice to electronics!  Can anyone tell me if the photo-transistor or transistor needs a resistor and if so which one??? What resistor do I need for my LEDs??? How do I wire it so that my solar cell can recharge my batteries but not ruin my LED??? Thanks again and please feel free to chime in with your two cents =)

Topic by jayshields   |  last reply

how much solar power is required to run a motor?

Is it possible to run a motor of 1KW power with a solar power of 400W.No battery should be used .Suggestions will be greatly appreciated

Question by k.manid   |  last reply

What type of light cause a solar cell to work? Answered

Is it the uv's or the infrared or the visible light or dose it use the radiant heat to work

Question by dizzydog598r   |  last reply

Alter a small solar water pump to run off battery ?

I bought a small smaller pump off amazon (1.2 Watt Solar Power Water Pump Garden Fountain - for fountains, waterfalls and water displays)  the solar panel is crappy and very finicky ( cheep) and does not hold a charge .. I was hoping to alter the power source to another solar panel or add another panel that comes off those solar lights that holds a change .. Alternatively modify to use a battery source with a on off switch ..  I know I don't need to alter the pump just want a continuous  power supply. Current Specs that cam  with the unit : solar power supply 7 v 1.2 w ( if that !) power of pump 7v , 1.1 w/ max lift 100 cm / size of solar panel ( 100mm x 100m x 25 mm) / max outflow quality of pump 180lh max water height 30 60 cm ( if that!) 

Question by Raszpberry   |  last reply