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?
Posted by larryloh 11 years ago | last reply 6 years ago
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........
Asked by abdul moiz 9 years ago | last reply 9 years ago
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.
Posted by mrshow555 11 years ago | last reply 3 years ago
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.
Asked by Tuckoguy 4 years ago | last reply 4 years ago
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 LEDs.one 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
Asked by Sarfraz ahmad 8 years ago | last reply 6 years ago
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?
Posted by lethereberock009 8 years ago | last reply 8 years ago
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...
Asked by arshanmugam 5 years ago | last reply 5 years ago
I think this is where this belongs but everyone... i been looking for a good solar charger (obviously good), charge devices fast, holds alot of power, multiple slots to charge multiple devices, and atleast $50 online... or atleast $130 in stores (ya, i doint have much money), i thought i found good ones but i dont know whats actually good... so hope someone here can help me if it helps, devices i have i can charge are... hp touch pad, psp, smartphones, ps3 controllers, ect. a laptop too but i realize or would understand that theres not really a solar charger for that (that ones not to important)
Posted by saiyankev 6 years ago | last reply 4 years ago
Hi there. I am just new to the site, I have been wanting to practice solar cookery for a while when i stumbled upon this site. Guys I am amazed at what i have found here. I live in Noosa, Australia and its a very eco minded community. I have wanted to go and build a solar oven for a while but i live in an appartment so space is limited. we have a balcony which gets a large amount of sun in the morning till about 1pm. So i have an idea to build a water heater of sorts which i would like to be able to used to preserve food in the form of jams chutneys and any jared preserve basicly ( I'm also a chef so i have a know of alot ot things i can preserve including meats ) . I think my only issue is reaching high enough temperatures to be deemed safe ( above 78 C for long periods) . My idea to do this is to use a larger sized container say around the size of a 5 litre bucket and set up a heat sink to help the temperature to get higher longer. For the heat sink materials i was thinking of using aluminium cans and perhaps to line the bucket with it too ( perhaps just foil instead for ease). I would like to set up and array around the bucket to help collect as much sun as possible for as long as possible and seal the entire container to help condense the water pressure to sustain the heat. I guess i question is will a large abound of heat sinks help to heat the water significantly. any advice would be welcome and yes i wull document this when i make it on my next days off work.
Posted by jramsay1 7 years ago | last reply 7 years ago
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!!!!
Asked by jimmerforpoy 8 years ago | last reply 4 years ago
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!
Posted by oddie1212 11 years ago | last reply 8 years ago
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.
Asked by Nowandthen 8 years ago | last reply 8 years ago
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.
Posted by karossii 10 years ago | last reply 7 months ago
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?
Posted by DaMadProfessor 11 years ago | last reply 11 years ago
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 | last reply 9 years ago
There should be a solar energy contest, I'm sure there are lots of awesome ideas out there. I'm thinking solar powered coffee machine, kite wind generator, ..... Maybe categories like small gadgets, garden, home power, cooking? Prizes like a 100w photovoltaic panel, solar cell phone chargers, Stirling engine for the coffee cup.Lets put our heads together on this.
Posted by robbtoberfest 11 years ago | last reply 11 years ago
Do all panels in an array have to be matching watts, amps, or types (film, monocryst.,etc.)? I do know that volts are a specific- 12, 24, etc. Thankful for any info as I am new to this and am considering a wind and solar system. Just would like to know as I have access to some odd and end solar equipment. Thanks! DonnH
Asked by DonnH 9 years ago | last reply 6 years ago
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.
Posted by mrshow555 11 years ago | last reply 11 years ago
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)
Asked by alpe_97 7 years ago | last reply 4 years ago
I am planing to build this https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-your-own-flat-panel-solar-thermal-collector/but instead of using oil-based plastic https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Potato-Plastic!/?ALLSTEPSAny tips?
Posted by catprog 11 years ago | last reply 11 years ago
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?
Asked by smiler84089 8 years ago | last reply 8 years ago
Hi, I have seen so many solar instructables, but none on Solar Chimney. I am not a good DIYer so I have no idea which materials to use and how. I don't know If I myself will do this or not, but I thought the great DIYers on this site might find it a great funand usefull project. So I post it here in the forum. Happy DIYing! :-)
Posted by kamathln 9 years ago | last reply 8 years ago
Hey everyone, first post here. I am a novice at electronics. I am putting together a solar powered boombox. I have a 30w panel, a 10A charge controller, and a 7Ah SLA battery. I will be using this to run a 12v Lepai amp. Do I need something in my circuit that disconnects the amp when the battery drops below a certain level? I have read the if a SLA battery is completely depleted it will be ruined, is this true? My charge controller only has a spot for solar in and battery out. Should I exchange it for one with a spot to hook the load?
Posted by jmitchell51 4 years ago | last reply 4 years ago
Hey, does anyone has an instructable on how to make a nano crystalline solar cell? i am currently interested on doing it, but do not know exactly whereto make a good start, especially with the materials. So, can anyone help me out? Thank you very much.
Posted by brainwash 10 years ago | last reply 9 years ago
Hey, I have got 3 computer fans, and first I would like to see if anyone knows how much volts they normally take to run, I wouldnt guess to much since they're simple and small. And I was trying to think of ideas of what to try to make with them, running with solar panels. I wanted to try to think of something more than just runnings fans. I'm open to all ideas thanks!
Posted by rpvanpatt 10 years ago | last reply 10 years ago
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?
Posted by Tool Using Animal 9 years ago | last reply 9 years ago
Setup: 330mAh@6V solar panel charging 4xAA Nimh batteries (series connected). Iphone is connected to the batteries. Can I simultaneous charge of nizn battery and iphone? what is the direct source of power charging the iphone? Do the batteries act as voltage regulator?? Any ideas to prevent iphone from drawing more then 500mah?? Thanks, Huzefa
Posted by huzefa 8 years ago | last reply 8 years ago
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
Posted by Tetranitrate 10 years ago | last reply 10 years ago
Tried hunting through the 'ables, and also hunted for it elsewhere. Has anyone done an Instructable on making a Solar Ice Maker? And if not, will anyone do it? I've got some ideas for trying to use it as part of a home cooling unit, but I don't know how to make it yet. Thus, modifying it seems kind of out of the question. Thanks for any help in advance.
Posted by Grey_Wolfe 10 years ago | last reply 2 years ago
Hello!I'm trying to build "Solarsound modules" http://www.ralfschreiber.com/jade/solar-sound-modul./solarsound-modul.html. 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.
Posted by wasia1 10 years ago | last reply 10 years ago
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
Asked by transistorguy 6 years ago | last reply 6 years ago
Making maple syrup is a great activity for those of us lucky enough in the north, but it's also very energy intensive. A wood fire is not the worst of the energy choices to reduce the sap, but there must be someone out there with the creativity to come up with a DYI solar evaporator. any ideas?
Posted by alanrb 8 years ago | last reply 8 years ago
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!
Posted by Jonlo 7 years ago | last reply 5 years ago
I saw an instructable for a solar-charged ds lite (the solar panels soldered right to the top) and I was wondering if it would be possible on a larger scale for a laptop. Would this be terribly tricky to do? Would it hurt the screen? Any information at all would be awesome, many thanks.
Asked by Nekkyo 6 years ago | last reply 6 years ago
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.
Asked by faintingcabbage 4 years ago | last reply 4 years ago
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.
Posted by MBIOS05 10 years ago | last reply 10 years ago
Hello i am long time lurker of instructables.com 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. http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm/432233432-solar-cell-Embeded-Modules-Outdoors-wholesalers.html 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 7 years ago | last reply 7 years ago
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 (http://www.rain.org/~philfear/how2solar.html or https://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Power-System/). 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!
Posted by jchorng 11 years ago | last reply 9 years ago
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
Posted by RelientOwl 8 years ago | last reply 8 years ago
I was thinking: If you used a post hole digger and made 2' or 3' holes throughout the garden, then dropped an old pant leg or other scrap fabric down the hole, filled it up with soil while leaving some fabric exposed above the soil, covered the fabric with an inverted clear plastic or glass bowl, would this draw enough moisture through the fabric to irrigate the plants near the bowl? I'm thinking the sun would heat things up for condensation on the glass which would drip down the sides to the soil while capillary action would draw deep soil moisture through the fabric to the surface where garden plant root zones are. Anybody try this before?
Posted by robbtoberfest 11 years ago | last reply 10 years ago
Ok so I see a few solar setups online. now I have been researching for a while on this and no one can give me the answers so here i go on here. So i want an UPGRADE-ABLE solar setup. right now I have 2 150ah 12v batteries. I have multiple 50 amp charge controllers. so when I buy the solar panels I can plug in and get batteries going no problem.... My issue is the mains voltage side of things. I want to have something like a fuse box, this will have my main breaker and then the independent safety switches. the issue is to do this I need to make sure all my power is on 1 line. so if I buy a few small inverters I will not be able to piggyback them as they tend to go bang. so what type of inverter can I get that will be able to go in parrallel to allow me to get more amps if needed? I am hoping there is one that is infinitely upgradeable just in case. TLDR what type of off-grid inverter allows parrallel connection to other inverters??
Posted by plucas1 1 year ago | last reply 1 year ago