solar power?

I want to get these 12v solar battery chargers they come with alligator clamps to hook to the battery. i want to get enough for 200 volts so how would i hook the solar panels in series, and do i need a controller for each battery? and how would i rig that up and how can I get it going into all the 12 volt batteries without any damage to the batteries etc. And can this be done for less than $400 if the solar panels are $30 each and the batteries are $14 each. THANK YOU!!!!  THANK YOU!!!!  THANK YOU!!!!  THANK YOU!!!!  THANK YOU!!!! oh and could you give me links for all the stuff I'm gonna be buying. THANKS!!!!

Question by jimmerforpoy 9 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


solar

Need DIY plans for a "auto sun tracker" for my solar projects. Once saw one using a bottle of propane. Does anybody else remember this?

Topic by larryloh 11 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Egg project ideas?

Hey guys my sister has asked me for some help with a project. She has to have a egg travel 3 meters using wind power. The vehicle has to be small and have 4 wheels. and made of recyclable material. When i heard of this project i immediately thought of instructables. I was thinking of a Styrofoam base with the 4 wheels, a sail with a recycled pc fan, maybe go over the top and make the fan run off a small solar panel? i think i can get one from radioshack.

Question by micha3l87 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


SOLAR POWERED LED

 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 9 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Help with a school project on solar power

Hi. I have a science fair coming up in May and I want to do my project on solar power but I really don't know too much about electricity. This is my plan, please correct me where I'm wrong and tell me if there's a better way to do certain things: I am going to buy a 10w 12v solar panel (I might be able to get a 40w for a bargain) which will charge a battery. Would it be better to get a 12v lead acid battery or a 12v lithium battery? Lithium batteries have DC jacks instead of normal terminals on lead acid batteries so how would I connect the battery in parallel to the 2 devices I want to power? A splitter like this would work but it connects it in series? Although I suppose it doesn't matter because I just need to show that it works at the expo but I'd like to use it now and then. The battery will connect to a 12v LED light and a 12v to 5v USB charger. What about diodes? Do I need them? How will I make sure that the device charging doesn't get fried? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it. EDIT: A charge controller isn't necessary, is it? I'd also like to add in a switch to cut off power to the USB ports, power to the light and power to the battery from the solar panel. This would cause a problem if everything was connected in series.

Topic by Charly_ZA 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Solar LED project

OK so I am new to this but I have an idea I want to take the solar panels off some of those garden lights and charge a small battery pack (AAs or 9 volt) to run a bank of white LEDs to use as lights in some basement rooms. Can anyone help? I am very new to circuits and think I have a good idea but don't know how to do it.

Topic by MBIOS05 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Solar Power Blinds

Im just posting this as a thought,cause I thought it would be cool if you had some blinds on say the south side of your house and you glue or attached strips of solar panels to the out side facing panles and you would turn them to the sun I know its possible and you could even lift them up  

Topic by RelientOwl 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


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 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


Solar power questions? Answered

I have this same solar panel 5 watt 12 volt panel  http://store.bruntonoutdoor.com/portable-power/panels-and-chargers/solarflat-trade-5-12v-orange/ And a 400 watt power inverter. What type of lightweight battery should i get? (12 volt, something amp battery)

Question by alpe_97 7 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Solar powered Cthulhubot

Cthulhu, one of the Great Old Ones, is now green.Etsy member tinyminds has made a solar powered Cthulhubot. It remains dormant while it soaks up sun rays, but when its had its fill of energy, it begins to flail its tentacles all about while the mere mortals scream and shout.Link via BoingBoing

Topic by Tetranitrate 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


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 7 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


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: http://www.amazon.com/Koolatron-W75-Wheeler-Cooler-36-Quart/dp/B00267SQVU/ref=sr_1_11?s=automotive&ie;=UTF8&qid;=1340659801&sr;=1-11&keywords;=thermoelectric+cooler  and the solar panel: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Moultrie-12V-Solar-Panel/16386235 Thanks!

Topic by lmccrazy 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


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 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


solar powered cooler

Using these ideas as a starting point:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icy_Ballhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein_refrigeratorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas-absorption_refrigerator"Another variant uses air, water, and a salt solution. Warm air is passed through a sprayed solution of salt water. The spray absorbs humidity from the air. The air is then passed through an evaporative cooler. Humidity is removed from the cooled air with another spray of salt solution. The salt solution is regenerated by heating it under low pressure, causing water to evaporate. The water evaporated from the salt solution is recondensed, and rerouted back to the evaporative cooler."Directions on how to make an icy ball. URL works occasionally.http://crosleyautoclub.com/IcyBall/HomeBuilt/HallPlans/IB_Directions.htmlhttp://blog.modernmechanix.com/2007/07/19/refrigerator-uses-solar-energy/Is a non-flammable, non-toxic, and low pressure version possible?

Topic by beforethought 10 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


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 5 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


solar powered throwies

In case you didn't know, a throwie is an LED with a small battery and magnet attached, that can be stuck to any metal surface. would it be practical to make a throwie with a long lasting lithium battery? or a small solar cell? just a thought

Topic by Antimatter500 11 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


LED project

I am looking to create  an array of LED's attached to switches. There will be 14 LED's in total. 3 green LED's attached to a single 2-way switch, 8 red LED's attached in pairs to 4 3-way switches, and 3 white LED's attached to 3 more 2-way switches (3 seperate 1 switch:1 LED set ups. Nothing wierd or fancy there). I'd like it all to run off a single power source, light powered would be best, but if that turns out to be too complicated I'll settle for battery powered. My questions are: What kind of power source will I need to use? How is the best way to wire it? and What sort of equipment will I need (resistors, capacitors, etc)?

Topic by T-Prime 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


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 11 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


solar outlet

Would anyone know how to create a solar outlet? I have seen many projects that use small solar panels and car chargers or USB ports, but some electronics that might need charging or power  dont have car chargers or USBs. Is it possible to make a portable solar outlet?

Topic by lethereberock009 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Change polarity to motor on power on?

I have just got myself a set of electric blinds and wanted to make my own controller for them.  To control them I would like to use an X10 Appliance module. So at dusk, the X10 module turns on and lowers the linds then powers off 45 seconds later. Then at dawn the X10 module powers on and raises the blinds, powering off 45 seconds later.  So, I am looking for a DPDT to latch in opposite directions each time there is power applied.  I've looked high and low and cant find a simple solution, and was wondering fi somebody could help please? Many thanks in advance

Question by merseybear 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


USB power? Answered

I have a 1.2 V nimh battery and a 3.7V li ion (no protection circuitry) battery, which would add up to 4.9V if put in series. However, I want to turn it into a temporary USB power supply (5V) so ignoring all the things regarding putting 2 batteries of different capacities together, is there a way to kick the voltage up a tiny bit? I was thinking something like filtering the output of a joule thief, possibly. I also have a solar panel (4.5V, ???A) and was wondering if that could help, but I don't want to rely on it too much.

Question by .Unknown. 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Solar powered led problem? Answered

I have an issue with my solar powered lights. I have this solar panel... http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001D6GYLO/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc;=1 and a radio shack 12v 5ah battery. The leds arent even pulling 1amp and I have only used them 2 or 3 times. The solar panel claims to have discharge and overcharge protection but after not using them for about 2 weeks the battery is reading only 6-7 volts....I tested the panel in the sunlight and it read about 18v output... I have the polarity correct and the panel is hooked directly to the battery and from the battery it is hooked directly to the lights with a switch. Now maybe that is my problem? Im not sure. Most projects I see have a charge controller in between but they have higher watts..so idk. Would really like some insight into my issue if I have one besides maybe the panel being bad. These are my lights.... https://www.instructables.com/id/Patron-led-hanging-patio-lights/

Question by ARGMISTER 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


How to charge rechargeable batteries for a project? Answered

I am going to build a solar powered USB/ Ipod Charger and I have a questions pertaining to it. A solar cell will charge 4 AA rechargeable batteries (NiMH) in a battery holder and these batteries will power a device through a Minty Boost. Now, I have little experience with creating electronics. So I was wondering if I can connect the solar cell directly to the battery holder (with a diode of course) or do I need to connect it to another component and then to the battery holder. Thanks.

Question by dom13marco 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Diy solar panels Answered

I saw the power4home.com 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 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Need help for project with Arduino Answered

So I've to make a multi-functional garbage container, which would be solar powered, and it must have an arduino . The idea is that the container will have a servo controlled cap, which will be controlled by the arduino . The trigger for that cap should be a motion sensor. I'm a noob with the arduino, so i need your help for what parts i will need and how to write the code. All those things are gonna be made for a school project and our budget is about 300$ I already have an arduino uno - so no need to buy another i think? From the parts shop, they told me that the servo would drain more power than the solar panel i capable produce - is this true? I know it depends on how often the servo would run, but could someone help with that? Thanks in advance!

Question by mkeranov 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Solar Powered Drip Irrigation

Hi. I am in the process of designing and building a balcony garden with drip irrigation for multiple 3' x 1' planter boxes. The idea is to automatically water with a reservoir pump attached to drip line. There is no water or electrical outlet, so it has to be off grid. This being my first solar project, advice and assurance would be much appreciated. The pump would be turned on for about 1 hour every other day or so, this being hot Miami.  Diapragm Pump (12 Volts, 3 Amp draw): should generate enough PSI for the drip line http://www.ebay.com/itm/100PSI-DC12V-4L-Min-Solid-Electric-Diaphragm-Water-Pump-Self-Priming-for-RV-Boat-/281366070408? UPG UB1250 Sealed Lead Acid Battery (12 Volts, 5 Amps): http://www.amazon.com/UB1250-Sealed-Lead-Acid-Batteries/dp/B001DL9IBC/ref=zg_bs_389574011_9 ALEKO® Solar Panel (5 Watt, 17.5 Volt VMP): http://www.amazon.com/ALEKO%C2%AE-5W-5-Watt-Monocrystalline-Solar/dp/B0046HE62G/ref=sr_1_7?s=lawn-garden&ie;=UTF8&qid;=1450573836&sr;=1-7&keywords;=5+watts Docooler Solar Charge Controller (20 Amps, 12 Volts): http://www.amazon.com/Docooler-Controller-Battery-Regulator-Protection/dp/B00L37KZI6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid;=1450580867&sr;=8-3&keywords;=charge+controller Main concerns: Will the battery and other electronics be able to function through the 100+ degree days of Miami? Does the system have a good power supply? Is the equipment good quality to last 3+ years? Thanks for all the input and insight!

Topic by bzand 3 years ago


The electronics for powering a pump via solar power

So I've been tossing around the idea of making a automated garden that uses solar panels, much inspired by a vermiponics instructable I saw but I have some questions of theory and practice I'd like help with before I go into it. I've worked with simple electronics and have a fairly good grasp on the theory but nothing quite this complex or with components I'm not familiar with, so I'm looking for advice. 1) Solar panels must need something like a capacitor or battery to store the energy for the motor to use, and how would I get this reservoir to trigger at a high enough voltage so that the motor can actually spin and I don't just end up with a motor charging a battery that is discharging across a motor at a low enough current that it doesn't spin. 2) preventing the battery from discharging back into the panel, I assume one would use a diode for this but I'm curious if there's anything additional that is required 3) If I wanted to try adding further automation by adding an arduino with a mess of sensors, would powering the arduino from an additional battery charged by the same panel work (I assume this would slow down the charging of the motor's battery). 4)  Safety features to implement so I don't do things like overcharge the batteries/ suggestions encouraged. The arduino is currently gravy for the project, worst comes to worst I can set up some simple level switches.

Topic by squirrelchaser 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


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 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


SOLAR HOUSE????????

My power bill is through the roof. how would i solar my house??? THX SO MUCH !!!!!

Question by zombeastly 7 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Solar - PV versus Solar Oven with Peltier

I was browsing the site as I am often wont to do, and spent quite some time revisiting old 'ibles covering various solar projects, almost all of which are heat related. I understand from general consensus that PV (photo voltaic) solar systems are very inefficient and one of the worst ways to harvest solar energy (when considering the cost of construction and the energy transfer capacity, etc.) Almost everyone who knows what they are doing suggest that the best (and easiest) way to harvest solar energy is to collect the heat - be it to heat air or water, cook food, or other such purposes.Now, I have recently been fascinated by a discovery relatively new to me, peltier units. These devices, for those who don't know, can work in one of three ways. They can harvest and/or produce either heat, cold, or electricity.Basically, if an electric current is run through a unit, it produces heat on one side and an equal amount of 'cold' on the other. Yes I know you can't produce cold - but for the layman, that is what we call it.Or, if one side is heated while the other side is cooled, the unit produces an amount of electricity from the difference in temperatures. One example I have seen and plan to make use of is in vehicles - if you place one or more of these on your exhaust manifold, or any other location where the engine produces waste heat, and airflow can reach it to cool the other side, you generate electricity from the waste heat energy that would otherwise just be . . . well, wasted.But it occurred to me today, if you had a unit attached in the middle of a solar collector, focusing sunlight on one side of the peltier unit, and isolate the other side of the unit in some cooling medium (perhaps even just air with a heat sink of some sort - more likely a cooling liquid though), how effective would this be at harvesting solar energy (heat) into electricity?Actually, I have been using the more common name of peltier, but I believe that for this application a seebeck unit (which is nearly the same, but different) would be required. As I understand it, Peltier units are used more as coolers and are almost always constructed with Bismuth Telluride (Bi2Te3) and used around room temperature and below; while Seebeck units are good for power generators are often constructed of PbTe or, SiGe as well as Bi2Te3 and are used at much higher temperatures.From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect :The effect is that a voltage, the thermoelectric EMF, is created in the presence of a temperature difference between two different metals or semiconductors. This causes a continuous current to flow in the conductors if they form a complete loop. The voltage created is of the order of several microvolts per degree difference.((more info can be found at the referenced wiki page on formulae etc.))Just curious on if this would ever be a decent way to harvest solar energy into electricity. I have also thought up using a thermal siphon solar heating system in which the liquid flows past one or more water wheels which power a small (and obviously slow) generator - but at that point I believe it would be so inefficient and limited in use as to just have absolutely no practical application. The peltier unit (used as a seebeck unit) would probably do better, but I am not certain, which is why I post the question.

Topic by karossii 11 years ago  |  last reply 10 months ago


longboard led project?

I have a very basic knowledge of LED's and such, i know how to wire them, but i still get a bit confused as to what power supply and stuff to use. Anyways, i'm wanting to do a project similar to this instructable "https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-skateboard-longboard-riser-lights-angled-riser/?ALLSTEPS" except that i want to have about maybe 10-12 led's on the bottom of the longboard pointing down (flush against the bottom) kinda like cars with the neon lights underneath...so my question is, what do you guys suggest i use as a power supply and where should i put it on the longboard so that it doesn't get destroyed while riding?, can i just parallel all of the led's or is this unwise? also, do i use 1 resister for the whole thing? or in between every parallel? like i said, obviously i'm not very knowledgeable about led's yet...i'm getting there though lol.

Question by miqt 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Solar panel help

Hi, i'm buying a small 6v 160mA solar panel for a project I'm working on. I'd like to power a small motor with solar power. How do I "store" some electricity generated by the panel so the motor doesn't stop in short periods of shadow? Thanks, Francisco

Topic by whs 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Solar Panel Problem? Answered

I have a solar panel which can turn a 6 volt DC motor with efficiency, but when I tried to use a 2.5volt ordinary motor, it did not turn. Can you give me any help in identifying the possible defects?

Question by tanyutsharma 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Record Solar Powered Flight

UK-built solar-powered plane has set an unofficial world endurance record for a flight by an unmanned aircraft.The Zephyr-6, as it is known, stayed aloft for more than three days, running through the night on batteries it had recharged in sunlight.The flight was a demonstration for the US military, which is looking for new types of technology to support its troops on the ground.Craft like Zephyr might make ideal platforms for reconnaissance.They could also be used to relay battlefield communications.Chris Kelleher, from UK defence and research firm QinetiQ, said Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer advantages over traditional aircraft and even satellites."The principal advantage is persistence - that you would be there all the time," he told BBC News. "A satellite goes over the same part of the Earth twice a day - and one of those is at night - so it's only really getting a snapshot of activity. Zephyr would be watching all day." The latest flight was conducted at the US Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.The Zephyr flew non-stop for 82 hours, 37 minutes.That time beats the current official world record for unmanned flight set by the US robot plane Global Hawk - of 30 hours, 24 minutes - and even Zephyr's own previous best of 54 hours achieved last year.However, the Yuma mark remains "unofficial" because QinetiQ did not involve the FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale), the world air sports federation, which sanctions all record attempts.The US Department of Defense funded the demonstration flight under its Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) programme. The 30kg Zephyr was guided by remote control to an operating altitude in excess of 18km (60,000ft), and then flown on autopilot and via satellite communication.It tested a communications payload weighing approximately 2kg.At first sight, the propeller-driven Zephyr looks to be just another model aircraft, and it is even launched by hand. But this "pilotless" vehicle with its 18-metre wingspan incorporates world-leading technologies.Its structure uses ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre material; and the plane flies on solar power generated by amorphous silicon solar arrays no thicker than sheets of paper. These are glued over the aircraft's wings.To get through the night, the propellers are powered from lithium-sulphur batteries which are topped up during the day."A lot of effort has gone into power storage and light-weighting the systems," explained Mr Kelleher. "Lithium sulphur is more than double the energy density of the best alternative technology which is lithium polymer batteries. The engineers from the Farnborough-based company are now collaborating with the American aerospace giant Boeing on a defence project codenamed Vulture.This would see the biggest plane in history take to the sky, powered by the sun and capable of carrying a 450-kilo (1,000lb) payload.US commanders say the design must be able to maintain its position over a particular spot on the Earth's surface uninterrupted for five years. QinetiQ is the public company that used to be the British Government's military research department, before they privatised it.BBC articleQinetiQ's page on Zephyr

Topic by Kiteman 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


solar resistor

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

Question by Aditya3870 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Solar panels LED powering/street lamp

Hi im given two components to include in a project i need to build but the problem is not sure which project to built and how the solar panel and lcd will fit....was thinking to link the solar panel with the logic probe/frequency counter i built last semester but i'm struggling, please HELP!!!

Topic by moleko 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Self-Solar Powered LED Flashlight? Answered

I know it would not be 100% efficient, or even close for that matter. But I was wondering how much battery life could be "recycled" by directly projecting the light from the flashlight onto the solar panel(s)? Say at a 45 degree angle beneath the light. Obviously this wouldn't be a high output LED, and another question at that.. Would a Red LED be more efficient or would the PV cell not do so well with Red LED? Thought this would be a neat idea even if it would only recycle 5-10% battery life. I would love for someone to implement this idea into a project and see how efficient it is.

Question by xSoFx 8 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Solar Powered Electric Wheelchair

I would like to put a Challenge out there for anyone to come up with. You see, I am in a wheelchair and I would love to go hiking with my son, but my chair can only go so far before it needs to be plugged back into a socket. I hate this, because it keeps me from going most places I want to go outdoors. But it dawned on me that if I had a Solar Powered Option to my chair, nothing could hold me back from being outdoors again. Ok yah,  it would help if I could redesign the platform & wheels too, but that's not the most important part... I NEED POWER. So, if anyone feels like taking on a new challenge and you are into Solar Power perhaps you could help me in this way. Thank You for your time in reading this, I hope to plant seeds of inspiration with all of you! May Love Light Your Way, Blessings! 

Topic by CherishJames 2 years ago  |  last reply 8 months ago


Solar powered wireless webcam

Hello, I would like to make a bird box that has a wireless webcam attached and transmits to a nearby android tablet.  My problem is how to power the webcam because I cannot have electrical leads trailing around the garden.  Has anyone ever tried to connect a webcam to a solar panel.  What type of panel would be needed?  how would they connect? Is it even possible? I'm more used to building the actual bird boxes. I haven't a clue about webcams and solar panels, so any advice would be really welcome. Thanks.

Topic by artworkmonkey 4 years ago


WANTED: Supplies for a school project

I am making a green watering system for a vertical garden at my school. The design involves a 55gal. drum with an autonomous solar pump unit designed to water the plants on a regular basis. I have a pretty good idea what is involved and what supplies I need, the list is as follows. X1 - car battery (for power storage) X1 - watertight box (to hold battery and other electronics) X1 - DC water pump (to power the drip system) X1 - Electric timer (to control when the pump comes on) X1 - solar panel (sufficient to charge the battery) X1 - charge controller?  Also: Some lumber and PVC Feel free to ask any questions or make a suggestions.                                  Thanks, CKGarside

Topic by ckgarside 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Help with my project.

Little help with my project.  I think ya'll could help me with my project. I have no experience in electrical engineering other than 1 high school electronics project. That I messed up, but still have that project & it works due to teacher tinkering with it. So now I'm attempting to tinker with electronics. I've taken a Paper Jamz amplifier that was powered by 4 aaa batteries and modified it to be powered by a 6v 300ma ac/dc wall wort w/o destroying either. Whoa who!! Now time to try something a bit harder. This project is to make a attractive desktop Solar USB charger, dual stereo amplifier, mp3 player system (Pandora's Box). Seeing Joshua Zimmerman of BrownDogGadgets.com's heavy duty solar charger in a tin & USB charging circuit I believe that my project is possible. I will probably be purchasing both of them and hack together a Dual USB solar charger with 2 AA batteries.  Looking over this post could someone draw a schematic in "English" with missing parts added? So I've started to tinker. Here is a list of all the things I have. Got pictures of some of them but not sure if I have to go pro to post. (* Not married to some of these parts) 2 Paper Jamz amplifiers 8ohm 1w stereo speakers (each powered by 4 aaa batteries) 1 5v 200mA solar panel * 1 Paper Jamz battery pack * (4 aaa batteries) Not sure what batteries to use. Can power both amps w/ 1 pack. Coby 1gb USB mp3 player (playback functions powered by 1 aaa battery) 1 Micro USB MALE - USB A MALE cable cut and stripped. Breadboard, hookups for wiring. To avoid soldering. Audio hookups: 4 3.5mm M - M, 2 3.5mm F - F coupler, Stereo Y adapter 3.5mm M - 2 F  Y adapter Cigar Box enclosure. Internal dimensions (open no lid space): 2.25"h x 7.5625"w x 6.1875"d. external closed: 2.6875"h x 8.375"w x 7.0625"d So I've powered both of the amplifiers with one set of AAA batteries. I'm thinking that they can be powered by the 2 AA batteries from the solar charger. Let me know if I'm right here.   I would like to attach my USB micro male whip to a circuit, through box to charge my BlackBerry PlayBook. I think it needs 5v 1.8a for charging. Don't know if it also needs fake data voltage for charging. I've tested my phone with the USB micro whip, AAA power pack & it charges. For ease of construction I'll be using the breadboard & hot glue circuit parts together. Seeing that the mp3 player only needs power from the equivalent of a aaa battery, what is the best way to reduce the amperage from the two AA batteries so not to burn out the Mp3 player? Going to mount it against side of box with USB MALE adapter going through back wall. Use dowl rod pieces for buttons on side, battery hookups faceted inside. All components sending/receiving audio via 3.5mm audio patch cables.  Paper Jamz amps wired in parallel through breadboard to power pack. [power pack, breadboard (not mounted)], audio ports, speakers. Speakers mounted to sound board suspended from lid. Would like to mount solar panel on outside of box lid. Nothing mounted is set in stone but the audio ports & speakers are fixed in place.  Thanks in advance hope ya'll can help here. & if your going to Maker Fair Detroit this weekend have fun. Thanks again,  Okaybye! Josh Kalbow Remember to Zombie proof your projects. 

Topic by Zombie_Tinker 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Biofuel Solar Power Plant

PG&E; has a signed a deal with a Portuguese firm that is building a hybrid biofuel solar power plant in the Central Valley area of California. The plant will combine solar power with agricultural waste to produce energy--a very enterprising solution to get energy from an abundant, eco-friendly source.Link

Topic by joshf 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Solar powered outdoor outlet???

Hello, we are trying to figure out how to install some solar powered lighting for the outdoor porch overhang, something with soft pleasant lighting for enjoying our back yard at night. There are no outlets available and we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do something green. For this application we are considering mounting 18 ft of rope lighting in the eves of the poorch and were wondering if there is an inexpensive way to solar power this type of lighting to charge during the day and come on at night that would provide enough energy to power it throughout the night, possibly in a mountable outlet form. This must be an outdoor application that is fairly easy to contain and may be mounted on the outside end of the porch where it can recieve the most sun exposure. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, especially if there is a product already on the market for this application.?

Question by qman672003 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


First Solar Powered Speedboat

Via The UberReview"It is not too often that we associate solar-powered with anything fast and or furious, but perhaps it is time that we start. The Czeers MK1 is a 10-meter vessel covered in photovoltaic cells that is capable of hitting speeds of up to 30 knots (55.5 km/ph to you non-nautical folks out there). While there are certainly faster boats on the water, those tend to use obscene amounts of fuel. The solar-powered Czeers MK1 is naturally going to be a lot quieter than its gas guzzling cousins, which would make it great for sneaking up over fish (though there is limited space to put them if you catch them. I would like to see a similar model with little bit more space for passengers, even if it did mean sacrificing some speed. Speedboats are so limited in what they are able to do, but if this had a little extra space, it could do so much more."

Topic by laminterious 11 years ago


Solar-powered laser (supposedly)

 I was in this other forum about the Mythbusters' "Archimedes' Death Ray" thing. Our discussion went off topic, so I made another topic! According to Google, a laser is a device that produces monochromatic, coherent beam of light. We have established the coherent part of it by focusing the Sun's energy on point which has a mirror so theoretically, that focused part of the beam should reflect off the mirror. Our design(s) is/are based on multiple parabolas (or Fresnel lenses) to collect and focus light. The light is in turn reflected off mirrors to be combined on a mirror (or lens) which will be used to aim the light to the target. Unfortunately, I forgot the "monochromatic" part of the laser, but that's not a problem. All we have to do is put filters on our parabolas. That should be a cool enough part to filter the light without melting the filter(s) itself / themselves. What would be an idiotic thing to do is put the filter right in front of the last mirror, because it would melt it (unless off course, that filter was a pane of glass).   Any suggestions/comments/design ideas please put them up here. If your idea is just downright stupid (sorry, I don't know what else to use (other than idiotic, or crazy, actually crazy's better than stupid (back to topic))). If it is stupid, I will not use offensive words against you (unless you were swearing on my face); you will, instead, be facing the following words: "Sorry, your (insert suggestion/comment/idea) is not feasible. Please try again". I know it's a bit funny; part of it is for your entertainment, part of it is for your knowing. Again, please post any suggestion, comment, or ideas. By the way, if it's only a bit stupid, you won't be needing to face the words... Have a nice day!

Topic by nutsandbolts_64 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Solar Powered Dehumidifier Help

Hey guys. My dad, my brother and I have been pondering the idea of a solar-powered de-humidifier. So, it would charge using the sun's rays, and then use its power in the dehumidifier. This is something that could be used in parts of Africa with 100% humidity, and not alot of water. It is the perfect tool for anyone to use to obtain fresh water, by harnessing the sun's rays. We have a dehumidifier, and we really want to make it Solar Powered. We just need help in the way to power it.Would we charge a rechargable battery using the Solar Rays, or would we run it on solar power alone. The solar panel that I have been looking at is the Sunforce 50022 5 Watt Solar Battery Trickle Charger. Do you think that that Solar Panel is good enough? It is 5 Watts, so how would we connect it to our dehumidifier? This was the solar panel in the most recent PopSci used in the How 2.0 section. It is used to charge personal electronics. Thanks in advance.

Topic by Brennn10 11 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Space power plant

International project. Space station. Geostationary earth orbit. Solar energy flow. Microwave oven generator of big power. Transfer to Earth of energy in the form of a beam (microwave oven beam, microwave oven energy). Geographical point for reception of a beam - the desert. On Earth of the microwave oven energy will be transformed to electric energy. It is offered to discuss this project!

Topic by Vladimir2016 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Solar Benches

I just saw this on digg and I thought I would post it here. These benches look pretty cool, but I wonder how well they would work.http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/05/solar-powered-bench-is-eco-and-geek-friendly.php

Topic by Gjdj3 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Creating a solar powered clock

Im currently trying to make a solar powered watch the size of a gauntlet. at max i want to use 2 AAA batteries. The biggest problem i have right now is how do solar panel recharging work and what not. I know and fully understand the straight through setups with a simple diode to avoid the battery bleeding at night. and for power to go from the panels to the batteries the voltage has to be higher then the batteries voltage. but how do i make the battery recharge higher then the clock drainage on the battery and avoid extreme over charging where 1. i kill the batteries 2. avoid having the users arm blow off. i was thinking of making a bleed off where if the battery reaches a certian voltage the power is drained a little. Iv also heard from some that a small solar panel can recharge a battery but would never damage it cause it only only charge at 12 hours max and with the clock the drainage will be enough. does any one else have more information on this. like how do i obtain high enough voltage to recharge a battery but very very slowly. thanks

Topic by megaclaw 12 years ago


Project Help

Hey everyone I was hoping someone could help me with a project that I'm working on. I'm relatively inexperienced with electronics so this might just be a simple solution, but here it goes. I have a 4.8V, .9A power source and I would like to connect the power source, a toggle switch, a LED, and a USB port in series. A pretty simple idea. I don't know too much about LEDs, but I do know that you have to use a resistor with it. And I've heard that the LED and resistor have to have a voltage drop equal to the voltage of the power source. My main question is this though: how can I use the LED along with the USB port? Will there be enough voltage left for the USB after the LED is lit? Thanks for any advice!

Topic by msh21 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago