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

Posted by whs 9 years ago

Solar Panel Charging Station

Hello everyone, I am doing a project for my class and it is a solar lamp project. I was wondering if anybody knew how to make a simple solar charging station. I want to use  3 of 1.5 W/4.5 V solar panel from radio shack as a charging station. I was just wondering how I would connect this together and charge the rechargeable batteries from the solar panel charging station.

Posted by RedXNaruto 4 years ago

Solar Boat Solar Panel Boosting

Hi. I am a student who yearly participates in a solar boat regatta, and is wondering how he can boost his panel's rate of energy... collection. I have thought of trying reflectors, and am wondering if this would work. anyone know, or have a better idea?

Posted by DELETED_craz meanman 9 years ago

small solar panel, motor and propeller

I have constructed a desktop solar helicopter that I have on  I am trying to make a small very light solar helicopter that I can fly on the desktop and is tethered on 4 corners. I will make it out of very light plastic or styrofoam or bulsa wood. I need to find the right panel, motor, and propeller. Any suggestions will be appreciated.   bob

Posted by solartoys 2 years ago

Question about solar panel circuit

I'm putting together a solar powered cell phone charger and I need some advice from someone who knows a thing or two about photovoltaics. I've spent the better part of my free time the past three days or so absorbing as much information about electrical charging over USB and solar cell output as possible. I've seen a lot of helpful DIYs, and they would be great if I was following their method exactly. Unfortunately my project has serious space and power constraints. It's not for trickle charging an additional battery, it's for providing direct power to a USB phone. Here are my specifications. I need 5V and preferably ~500mA. Anything over 400mA should work fine. I *think* I've come up with a way to get that within my space requirements but I'm not positive it will work because I'm mixing two different size solar cells in one circuit. I can't seem to find a definitive answer as to whether or not this is OK, and what the results will be. I've attached a diagram of my plan. Two 5.5V/70mA solar cells wired in parallel with seven 1.5V/50mA cells. If I'm assuming correctly, this will give me an output of 5.5V (before the regulator) and 490mA. I don't know how or if the lower voltages of the smaller cells will effect the output. Can I use a combination of high voltage and high amperage cells in one circuit to get the output I need? I've talked with people in the Science and Tech forums and I've gotten a long way on the electrical circuit aspects and USB issues, but I'm hoping someone here will know a thing or two more about solar cells to tell me if my plan is viable as it is or if I will have to modify it. Thanks for any help.

Posted by HittingSmoke 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!!!

Posted by moleko 4 years ago

Movable Solar Panel:- Sizing limits.

Hi folks looking to build a tracking solar panel for North and South directions. I have a few drawings made up but im stuck for the maths side of things as I have a size limit I need to stick to in. I need the panel to move by 15° towards north and towards south. So a 30° movement in total. What I have in mind if an arch where the panel will sit on which can be moved with a single piston placed on the South end of the panel. This is to contract and expand to move 15° up and 15° down. My size limit is the panel must not exceed 200mm or 20cm in real money when at its maximum positions. I have assumed a 2 meter long panel (or array of panels in a frame) So because of this im a bit unsure about how to tackle the maths side of things to work out the arch's profile to meet this criteria. Anyone got any words of wisdom? The 200mm limit is the max UK law allows me to play around with the panels maximum position.

Posted by apmaman 3 years ago

Kyoto trough 2 wing concept. Try it in a panel cooker?

Panel cookers are simple solar cookers that are made by folding cardboard. When folded, sunlight shines on the panels and gets reflected to the cooking pot. (Normally the cooking pot is painted black and it is often covered in an oven bag to keep heat in better). But, I have never seen a picture of a panel cooker with the side folds in towards the cooking pot instead of out away from the pot. My tests indicate that it will cook for a longer time if you face the side panels in. Anyone want to try it? Also, the tests in software show that a normal panel cooker might give better if it was made with a long tail in line with the path of the sun. Would you like to make small ones and compare this to a normal panel cooker? Small ones heating pint jars of water might be very good for comparison. I have too much cloudy weather to do this. Also, do not worry too much about parabolic. A part circle is just as good for solar cooking and the important thing is to have the axises of curve (Perhaps there is a correct word?) of the troughs or panels at right angles to each other. Brian

Posted by gaiatechnician 9 years ago

FIXED: New solar panel icon doesn't align with new SOLAR category tab

The new solar-panel icon, advertising the sponsored Solar pseudo-category, does not properly line up with the tab with which it's supposed to be associated. UPDATE 17 Nov 2010:  The positioning has been fixed, by replacing the image-only link to "Gifts" with something shorter.

Posted by kelseymh 7 years ago

What can I do with a scavenged 9" TFT panel?

Over the last several years I have been through three different pairs of portable DVD players.  Since they don't work anymore, I yanked the displays from them.   What can I build with these bad boys?  Is there any way to use them without the controllers from the players?  If not, where can I get a controller?

Posted by bodie 7 years ago

I just made this panel of solar cells...

I was bored and I had this laying around from taking apart cheapy solar lamps. I did have them wired previously for 4.5 volts in series but I decided to put them together with some basal wood and wire it in parallel, I plan to get some more cheap solar lights and wire them in three's aswell and then wire the panels together in series to get a higher voltage. I tested the ma shortage current on them and it was only 5ma, is that right? Then again the lamp I was using is kinda crappy, I'll try in the day time outside.

Posted by Punkguyta 8 years ago

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.

Posted by jgosselin 6 years ago

Instal a light panel behind an ipad.

Hi guys, I'd like to make a light panel to put on an ipad's back. Natural light or kindof would be better. But I haven't seen anything like this on the web. Maybe you have some suggestions ? would it be possible? Could it be sufficient to make beautiful photos in a dark room ? Thank's :)

Posted by thecatishappy 3 years ago

12 Volt 5 Watt Solar Panels- $19.99

UL Solar has 12 volt 5 watt solar panels for $19.99. I bought a couple of these about 2 years ago. The price has not been this low since then. Luxstar is not affiliated with UL Solar.

Posted by luxstar 5 years ago

Solar panel mounting and tracking.

I have a new video about equatorial mount for solar panels. If equatorial mount is turned slowly at the right constant speed, then the panels point at the sun all the time. I also have a diagram about something to get that constant slow speed. I have it done this way to avoid wind damage. I think if you did it this way and had a sump pump to pump the water back up every morning the thing could be  automatic, cheap  and very accurate. Brian

Posted by gaiatechnician 8 years ago

Making a mold.

I am trying to make a fascia panel for a car. In order to do that I need to make a cast of one of the voids in a panel, from a vehicle console, since it can't be measured easily. I want to make the cast so that I can then make an accurate template from which I can make the panel I need. I am looking for a material that is non-destructive to the plastic panel that contains the void. That will create a rigid solid replica of the void. I know nothing about making molds and casts. Thanks in advance.

Posted by ucs308 3 years ago

How do I put labels in a front panel?

I have made a multiconnections box for my computer that fits in a 5-1/4 bay. It has four USB ports, 1 Firewire, mic and earphones and several card readers. The front panel of the box is made of plastic and painted with spray paint to cover putty patches. I want to put logos for every connector, the USB logo, the Firewire logo, a logo of a mic, a logo of an earphone and the identification of each card slot (CF, SD, MS, etc) What are the ways of doing it with a factory-like finish? ¿custom decals? ¿Screen prints? ¿Is there any instructable about the matter?

Posted by jedikalimero 7 years ago

Touch panel for 17" LCD

Hey guys, I have an old 17" Laptop with an awesome screen and good speakers, but it's WAY too slow for any of the production work I do, and a little too damaged to be worth anything. So I was thinking about turning it into a stationary tablet computer for the kitchen. The type on a stand with nothing but a touchscreen. Problem is, I can't find any 17" touch overlays :( It's wide screen, 36,9x23,2mm Does anyone know where I can find one? Would be cool if it's a complete kit with USB output. It can be an external overlay or just the components, and it doesn't have to match 100%, a few mm off doesn't matter.

Posted by ELF 8 years ago

Solar panel uses??

Hey guys I'm needing the expert opinions of everyone here in the tech section. See I just mounted this 0.5 watt solar panel outside on a L bracket today (not just a couple tiny ones I pulled out of solar lanterns (does anyone want to see what it looks like mounted outside? I didn't think to take pictures until I got inside). Anyways, I've mounted it, ran the wire along the ground and in through my window (drilled a small hole below the window). Connectivity checks out good and I get about 20-21v and the full sun hasn't even hit it yet. The only thing is here though, this solar panel is meant as a trickle charging panel for car batteries and whatnot, and as such I only seem to be getting about 10-15ma (seriously wtf). I just resoldered this charging board from a solar lantern I had laying around, however I have a couple questions. I'm not entirely sure if this little board will handle the current/voltage (however it should as it's fairly low current from the solar panel) I've rigged up the board mostly like it was inside the solar lantern except longer/stronger wires. I have a switch on the positive line of the batt+ to the board. I soldered some thicker wires to the SOL connections on the board. Now I've seen a few of these and some are rather simplistic control boards and some actually have a bit of circuitry to them. This one appears to have resistors to current limit the LED (would be good so I don't blow it), however after following the traces on the board the led get's it's positive from that black transistor thing with 5 legs on it (what is that a power regulator?) The idea behind all of this here is that I can maybe charge up my cell with it or usb devices for example, but to have that come from a battery pack of AA's (to work as a buffer sorta-speak like a capacitor bank). I am a little miffled as how to make this work right the way I want it to. I would assume that once I get the battery pack situated I can disconnect the LED and use that connection for a charging cable, but then it would only provide power when theres no sunlight out (when you turn it on it turns the led on if there is no current coming from the solar panel). How can I do this guys I'm sorry to ask such stupid questions as I know to some of you's it's probably fairly mediocre but I'm a bit dumb.

Posted by Punkguyta 8 years ago

Need some help choosing wire for a project

I'm making this It says to get magnet wire and 12 gauge paired AWG wire.  Home depot said they didn't have it.  Can I reuse any wire from lamps that I plan to get rid of? I found magnet wire on ebay but which one do I choose? Is this the 12 AWG wire? or this? Videomom

Posted by mazelady 2 years ago

need solar panels

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

Posted by singhjr 8 years ago

wanted: solar panels

May be willing to pay dependin on price asked and condition and specifications of the panel. if you have any laying around unused please contact

Posted by singhjr 8 years ago

DIY clock panel

HI, I work for a church and we have a major problem of losing track of time, we've been looking at buying a large digital timer, but there expensive. Does anyone know how to build a panel that is pretty large (1'x3') that can be controlled, or start/stop/reset?

Posted by drew240 7 years ago

Solar panel and battery charging/discharging

Hi, I am trying to power some LED decoration from a small 6v solar panel. However, I would like the LEDs to be also on during the night, so working from batteries during night time. I have connected in parallel 3 x AA batteries (800mAh each) to my solar panel (6v, 500mAh), with a diode in between to avoid the battery discharging to the panel. Voltage is fine, and LEDs are working, but I am not sure if during the day, the solar panel is powering the LEDs and charging the batteries, or if the batteries are discharging all the time. If the solar panel is providing more current than required by the LED, does the excess current go to the AA batteries? Is it harder to charge AA batteries compared to AAA, apart from the capacity (mAh) being higher and therefore taking longer? Do I need more mA to charge AA batteries? Thanks, Seb

Posted by SebastienO 3 years ago

Why is that little solar panel sneaking about...

That little solar panel that popped up behind robot, it was a link before but now it's in a sensible place...  Actually it was a little advertising easter egg earlier but now it's sitting there in its rightful place all smug and whatnot, lording it over me like some kind of photovoltaic fuhrer, thinks he's so good with his ability to turn photons in to voltage differentials, like I can't do that when I try. 

Posted by killerjackalope 7 years ago

Battery / Phone Charger with 6v Solar Panel

Hi everyone, I am currently working on building a Solar powered USB (iPhone) charger. I am hoping to do this by using the 6V 50mA solar panel to charge 2-4 AA Batteries, the batteries will then in turn power the USB port. I know that I need a voltage regulator to get it all down to 5V for the USB. I have attached a sample wiring schematic and I am wondering if I am missing anything or if anyone has any tips or if I'm about to try something exceedingly stupid. Any help / comments are appreciated! Hoping to upload complete guide if it works! Thanks!

Posted by Brendan09 9 years ago

Completely uneducated in solar

So...I've been looking at making a solar panel, but have no idea about where to start whatsoever. I'm a big "go green" person and want to try solar panels now(even moreso now that my electric company has gone crazy with their charges) I've browsed the instructables on making your own, but I get confused easily with the directions(Yes..I need it broken down like a 5 year old). I found an old glass storm window in my basement and was it possible to convert that into a solar panel for starters? Or does it have to be a specific kind of glass? Apologies if this has been asked already, but I can't browse through the hundreds-thousands of posts to double check. Thanks in advance! -Xavier

Posted by XMReshadore 6 years ago

Help me with choosing proper diode for my solar panel battery charger

I am have two of these solar panels: VCurrent22 mAVoltage (oc)5.9 VCurrent (sc)30 mAI have connected the two in parallel for more current. I am making a charger for 3.7V mobile battery. What would be the most appropriate diode to use?Thanks for your help.

Posted by huzefa 9 years ago

Voltage regulator for solar panel

I have built a solar panel as a fun little project, now it has come upon a big problem. The solar cells that I am using seem to have a higher amperage output and a lower voltage output in high intensity sun while having a high voltage and low amperage output in medium and low intensity sun. This poses a problem as my batteries were able to recharge during late winter and early spring but now are not able to recharge when there is the most energy to be captured during the summer. The average voltage during high intensity is about 11 while the voltage during medium or low is around 12.5 and 13. I want to know if there is a way to create a transformer to step up the voltage or create a voltage regulator that can withstand 13 amps so the battery can recharge properly. A link or any suggestions would help.

Posted by menace 9 years ago

solar battery amp hours and panel which one ?

Hello, I am working on a project that is solar powered. I am not sure what kind of solar battery i should get and equivalent  solar panel to charge it.. and regulator --- The parameters are: The 'show' will take place every hour for eight hours during daylight hours.. Each hour every 10 mins the system will switch ON and power will be needed to operate 25 automatic car antennas that draw about 0.8amps for about 1 minute show time. So every hour I will be drawing 25*0.8*6 = 120  ? -- I am new to this so i figure my calculations are wrong as 120amps seems a lot -- the system will also be powering an Arduino board which will be controlling the overall timing and puppetering of the work ie some coil relays or transistors for lower power consumption. this project will be installed in Germany in the summer with average sunlight conditions .. From my reading up on the subject I understand that it is not good to drain a battery, ideally half drain is max...could someone please advise what values i need for battery and solar panel.. thanks in advance .. Cc

Posted by carloc 6 years ago

Testing LED light strips

More questions regarding this: I've added my 30 led strips and have soldered them in place.  The video says it's a good idea to test your strips at this point by connecting them to a power source. I presume it means to connect the two paired wires on the back of the panel to a power source.  However, I don't know electronics so I'm not sure how to do this. I have a 12v AC adapter as well as some other power adapters from old laptops.  How do I connect this to the wires? Is there a link to an existing instructable that might explain this for a newbie? Videomom

Posted by mazelady 2 years ago

Solar charger in altoids tin for 9v??

Well, if you have seen the altoids solar battery charger, and the altoids 9v usb charger, then you must have thought, "why not put em together???". Now, Im not electronics buff, but I'd be willing to bet that since the 9v charger instructable is so small, that it could be incorperated with the solar panel kit. Now, my question is, would i have to do anything ridiculous to convert the solar charger (which is ment to charge 2 AA batterys) into a 9v usb charger w/solar panel while still being inside an altoids tin. PS: I still don't know why I have this wierd fascination with altoids tin DIYs, but I do...

Posted by altoidsrox 10 years ago

DIY Projector and Almost complete Multimedia Desktop computer

> For Sale or Trade<=The descriptions for the ads are in the craigslist ads provided. Everything that I'm selling is in great shape, no scratches, etc. I can answer any questions you have and I am more than willing to negotiate.I would prefer pickup but if you want me to ship I want to get exact shipping/packing prices so it may take time.

Posted by Starstryke25 9 years ago

flat plate evacuated solar panel

Hello, I am trying to figure how to make an evacuated flat plate solar thermal panel ( sort of this one: ). Main problem so far is how to keep air out (vacuum) . What sort of o-ring should I use ? Would it be possible to use Arduino to control internal vacuum and act a vacuum pump to keep it balanced in time ?

Posted by gabdab 8 years ago

How to make solar cells?

Hi All, Instructables is a great site which offers lots of handy tutorials. While searching for ways to make solar panels I came across many tutorials that explain how to make a solar panel from solar cells. I'm looking for a tutorial on how to make these solar cells at home as I don't want to purchase them. Anybody has an idea? Thank you. Ciao Frank

Posted by cShellPro 6 years ago

Solar charger schematic using mppt

I am facing problems with my solar charger circuit using mppt. The main problem is the mosfet switching followed by the dc-dc converter. When i connect my circuit to MSP430 to give PWM at gate voltage drops across the solar panels. I am using a pnp and npn combination to drive the NMOS IRF540. Please help me with the schematic ..

Posted by akash1994jain 4 years ago

software to build/layout control panels

I was wondering is there any free software,that helps layout to build my own control panel. i want to layout instruments on panel etc.

Posted by lobito 10 years ago

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.

Posted by DeepayanB2 2 years ago

How Do I Make A ''Solar Panel''

OK I really need to know how to make a solar panel i just dont know how, the reason being is that i need to make or rather, i want to make a solar pool heater so if you know how to make a solar panel teach me please!!

Posted by rickick 10 years ago

electroluminescent panels: can i run one from one or more CR2032 batteries?

I need to add some lighting to a project with very limited space. i dont think i can fit a large enough led in there so i want to cut a small disc out of an el panel slightly larger than a CR2032 battery, bend some contacts around from the edge of the panel onto its back and attach one battery to make as thin and light as possible. i also need a panel about 15 inches by 5 inches, again would it be possible to run it off one or more of these batteries for a couple of hours?

Posted by ambientvoid 5 years ago

Solar cells in series sum voltage and current?

I am very confused! I built a 10-cell panel (laid out on corrugated plastic for testing). They were rated at 1.8W and .5V. In the sun, putting the volt meter on a SINGLE cell yields about .55 V and 136mA. This is the same for every one I tested, on the panel and individual cells. What the heck? Shouldn't they be about 3.6A? So I soldered 10 in series and put the leads across the final terminals- sure enough I get about 5.5 volts! But I also get about .96A. And current is negative. WHAT THE HECK?! Am I understanding it wrong? I have to be. I thought putting cells in series adds voltage but current is going to be the same as whichever cell is producing the least. Somehow I'm going from .55V/ea to 5.5V/panel. and 136A/ea to .96A/panel. 10 cells. Should have had an 18W panel. Each cell should be giving me 3.6A. "This should be fairly simple" I thought.

Posted by Phoenix17 4 years ago

There is an problem in my account/control panel.

Normally I can see my statistics in my control panel. There were some different sections in contrast to image showed. Last days, sometimes I couldn't reach my control panel, today there is nothing to see my statistics . What is the problem, I couldn't get it.

Posted by JeoleX 1 year ago

photovoltaic CIGS solar cells DIY ..

Hello, I have been reading this document lately: CIS(CIGS) thin films prepared for solar cells by one-step electrodeposition in alcohol solution and I have been wondering ever since if such procedure might be handled by a DIYer ,without any lab machine (as Graetzel cells are made) . Non toxic materials handled and high efficiency levels would be plus.

Posted by gabdab 8 years ago

Creative Commons Salon: July 6th

Our friends at Creative Commons are running a salon this Tuesday, July 6th in San Francisco.  The discussion centers around online sharing and collaboration that spills over into the physical world, something we're especially excited about at Instructables.  Details below. Creative Commons Salon: We Love to Share At Creative Commons, we love to share. And while CC is primarily known for its work enabling openness and collaboration in the digital world, we're interested in how the culture of sharing is changing offline life as well. Join us at the next CC Salon in San Francisco, where we'll present three projects focused on how sharing ideas, knowledge, and even physical space can revolutionize the way people create, work, and play. The evening's presenters are Jack Herrick, founder of the collaborative how-to manual wikiHow; Clément Alteresco, COO of innovation/strategic development agency faberNovel, which founded collaborative workspace pariSoma; and Neal Gorenflo, founder of Shareable, a new magazine and online community dedicated to sharing. Date & Time • Tuesday, July 6, 2010 • 7:00-9:00 PM • $5-10 suggested donation (no one turned away) • Beverages provided • Plenty of street parking available • pariSoma is located up two steep flights of stairs, and unfortunately does not have wheelchair access at this time pariSoma Innovation Loft 
1436 Howard St. San Francisco, CA 94103
 About Creative Commons: Creative Commons’ mission is to provide everyone in the world with easy, free, and legal access to knowledge and culture. Our signature tools are called Creative Commons licenses, which are free copyright licenses that creators can use to offer certain usage rights to the public, while reserving other rights. Millions of people, companies, and institutions throughout the world have used CC licenses to make their work – everything from academic coursework and scientific data to art, music, and journalism – available for free and legal sharing, use, and adaptation.

Posted by canida 8 years ago

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?

Posted by haizad86 8 years ago

anyone know how to make solar panels

Please tell me how to make solar panels

Posted by magiver 11 years ago

Needing information on solar panels!

Plz add info for me on solar panels because im doing a project and i need lots of info! :)

Posted by PMAK55 11 years ago

linear strip photovoltaic panels

Hi, I was wondering if anyone knew where I could find strip PV (photo voltaic) panels. I have small pv panels 3in by 3in but i am looking for longer strip pv panels maybe an inch long by however thanks Jon

Posted by gwydionn 6 years ago

Laptop LCD Panel for sell Retail and wholesale both replacement Laptop LCD Screen Panels and original Laptop LCD Screen Panels for all the major brands like Acer, Apple, Compaq, Dell, IBM, Toshiba, HP, Sony etc. Please refer to above icons of the major brands which are clickable for you to choose the specific models of the Laptop LCD Screen Panels. All the replacement Laptop LCD Screen Panels and original Laptop LCD Screen Panels offers are brand new and the quality of the Laptop LCD Screen Panels be guaranteed. The quality warranty period range from 6 to 12 months depends on the specific models of Laptop LCD Screen Panels. The LCD Panel can be shipped from USA to all over the world, very fast. More information :

Posted by atomtop 7 years ago

new microsoft office panel !

School installed office 2007 with the new panels i really like it ! i want the same thng on my linux boxes at home ! are there any applications like power point and word which are for linux and free and with panels as in microsoft office ?

Posted by 11010010110 9 years ago