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by Joshua

Introduction

Build your own solar data gathering tool for the classroom or use as a science faire project. Record local solar data using the build in solar panel and volt meter.

Tools

Parts

Video Overview

Featured Document

  1. Cut the red and black stranded core wires in half.  These are the two long wires in the kit. Strip both ends of all the stranded core wires.  (The ones you just cut)
    • Cut the red and black stranded core wires in half. These are the two long wires in the kit.

    • Strip both ends of all the stranded core wires. (The ones you just cut)

    • Do the same for the solar cell.

    • Optional: If you're using a battery holder, also strip the wire on it.

  2. Add velcro the back of the solar panel and the wooden mount.
    • Add velcro the back of the solar panel and the wooden mount.

    • Weave wires from the solar cell through the two wooden pieces shown in the diagram. (The ones with the big holes in them.)

    • Using the velcro, stick the solar cell to it's wooden mount.

  3. Screw the red and black Banana Sockets to the wooden face. Attach one of the stripped wires to each of the Banana Sockets.
    • Screw the red and black Banana Sockets to the wooden face.

    • Attach one of the stripped wires to each of the Banana Sockets.

    • If they're not staying in place, try putting the wire between the two screw nuts and tightening them down.

  4. Move the small white switch so that it is next to the negative terminal. Using your remaining stranded core wire, wrap the exposed metal ends around two metal terminals on the USB circuit.
    • Move the small white switch so that it is next to the negative terminal.

    • Using your remaining stranded core wire, wrap the exposed metal ends around two metal terminals on the USB circuit.

    • Tip: If you're having issues, use your wire strippers and expose more wire. This will make things easier for wrapping.

  5. Cut the Solid Core Wire in half and use it to secure the Volt Meter into the face. Using the screws, assemble the main body of the project.  (Don't use the solar cell part from Step 2 yet.) Use foam tape to secure the USB circuit into place.
    • Cut the Solid Core Wire in half and use it to secure the Volt Meter into the face.

    • Using the screws, assemble the main body of the project. (Don't use the solar cell part from Step 2 yet.)

    • Use foam tape to secure the USB circuit into place.

    • Your Science Station should look like the the third picture, with the wires hanging free.

  6. Start by connecting all the Black, Negative wires, together.
    • Start by connecting all the Black, Negative wires, together.

    • Follow the example diagram above, and put two black wires on one side of the terminal block and two on the other. They're now connected.

    • Do the same thing with all the Red, Positive, wires. (And the white wire from the Volt Meter.)

    • Attach half to one side of the Terminal Block and half to the other side.

    • Note: You won't be using the two middle spots on the Terminal Block unless you're using a battery holder.

  7. If you're using an optional Battery Holder & Rechargeable Batteries you'll want to follow this diagram.
    • If you're using an optional Battery Holder & Rechargeable Batteries you'll want to follow this diagram.

    • Note: Be sure to pay attention to which way your Diode is facing. The black bar should be on the same side as all your Red, Positive, wires.

  8. Screw your remaining parts together.
    • Screw your remaining parts together.

    • Take this project outside and test in bright, full, sunlight. The LED Volt Meter will automatically power on when enough sun is shining.

    • Note: You need real sunlight. Artificial light does not work.

Conclusion

Try taking basic data readings throughout the day. Try recording voltage readings at 3-4 angles and at each cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West). Do this over several days. Graph your data.

Attached Documents

Joshua

Member since: 11/16/2017

48 Guides authored

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