Convert a House Clock to SOLAR POWER for $5 !




Here's how in 30 minutes and only $5 you can convert a simple house clock to solar power so you never have to replace the batteries again.

instructions in the video, very basic electronics knowledge needed, basic soldering needed.

mini-solar panel from Ebay:|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

search on Ebay for "mini solar panel".

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    9 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is a very good idea, It gives me the idea of using solar cells, And rechargables in my smoke detectors, Because I will never remember to change those batteries till their dead.

    The only problem I forsee, Is you didnt use a blocking diode to keep the battery from draining through the solar cell, Or perhaps its built in, I cant tell.

    But overall, It's a great idea. 

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    hey there, i almost forgot i uploaded this little instruct able :)

    you can pretty much solar power lots of little things in your home, the only thing limiting you really is where to place the panels wiring considerations (length, resistance, aesthetics,etc).

    as for the blocking diode, yes normally this would be good practice, in this hack, the energy balances result in the panel providing more than enough to compensate for inefficient energy design :)
    the solar clock has been running in my house for over a year and just for kicks i periodically meter the battery to see how it's's constantly full !

    this indestructible was mainly thrown together with assembly time and parts efficiency in mind.

    too increase efficiency, i would work out the maths for exactly how much energy the clock needs on a 24hr basis, then i would get a battery that would provide that much energy in that time (could probably use a watch battery or something equally small).
    the next thing to optimise would be solar panel, this just needs to provide enough power for the 24hr period, so it could be REALLY small as the current one provides too much power that is never used.

    in all an updated, more efficient version of this clock would have a watch battery and solar panel (with diode !) so small that it would all fit flat on the back of the clock and i would then use suction pads to mount it on the window!

    maybe a follow up indestructible is on the way for V. 2.0 :)

    A cheap (possibly free) source for the stuff you need for these projects are damaged, broken and inoperative solar yard lights that most throw out when they stop functioning.

    this is a really good idea for my project proposal...wew.....thank you...uhhmmm..i know it's too much..but could i ask for all the materials needed and the complete procedure for this project? please?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Do you need to have your clock next to a window to run the whole time, or does it work well and recharge the battery just off of basic household lighting (200-400) lux?

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    my partner does take it into the shower often to help her keep track of time, and leaves it there for days. 

    the battery alone lasts for months and probably takes a few days at most to charge (haven't done any strict testing, just observations).

    you could increase the size of the solar panel and size/number of batteries  to harvest enough energy if you want to put it somewhere where there is no window sunlight


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    without the battery, or any "storage" mechanism, the solar panel would would only be able to power the clock in the daylight time. in the night, the solar panel would be useless and the clock would die.

    so we need a way to "store" energy. in this case a simple rechargable battery is used. in this example i could have even gone with a AAA or even a "coin cell" battery as it's only needed for such a small amount of energy until the solar panel fills it up again.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    not 10 mins after i make that last comment i find THIS:

    can you believe my prophecy :)