Let's Make Robots!

A solar powered (blank)

I am going to participate in a solar powered challenge. To sum it up, the challenge is to build what ever my team wants using solar panels. My school has 6 85 watt solar panels, they are pretty large. I still need to get more specs on them but i also need ideas for what to make. My first thought is a solar powered wireless weather station. Im just wondering what your thoughts are on this and any ideas you have because i need a good one urgently. Does not have to be a robot, but it can be. 

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Well first off you'll need power management, and I would suggest using a bank of batteries to be charged by solar power, but I hope this was fairly obvious. You could build a weather station that could wirelessly send data back to a computer that could display data for the entire school to see, an "off the grid" power source, where it could have each solar panel independently track the sun throughout the day then power itself and the batteries.

My alma mater installed a set of solar panels over parking spaces at the edges of one of their parking lots. This had the dual benefit of keeping the cars in the shade and collecting solar power. I'm not actually sure what they are using the power for, as I was just on campus for a visit and noticed when I walked by. I imagine that they could be powering security lights and/or cameras for the parking lot.

With six big panels, you could probably build a proof of concept over one or two parking spaces. Plenty of sunlight in Florida, so it could be a really good fit.

You could build a mini solar powered weather station that runs on a very small solar panel. Those 85watt panels would be overkill.

I have a smal panel that outputs 125ma that can power 2 picaxes, a bluetooth transmitter and a couple sensors. It also had a charging circuit for a lipo...though you might want to consider something that is a bit more heat tollerent....

 

Very true, i guess i need to think bigger.

maybe something like this http://www.solartrike.com/