Let's Make Robots!

Solar Panel


I was thinking of creating a large solar panel composed of maybe 40 or so of these


then mounting them along with some light sensors onto a moveable panel which would which would adjust based on the readins of the light sensors to allow maximum sunlight for the solar cells. You could then add capacitors to store the energy for the motor/ sensors ect. while diverting the remaining energy to whatever you like. e.g. 9V battery charger, direct power for robot, you name it.

This would seem like a very usefull/ fun project as well as help to learn more about programming/wiring. Im still in the process of building my start here robot so i wouldnt expect this to come from me for a few months but i would love to hear your guys ideas about this. Any feedback or recommendations you have would be great, as well as any sites/ books where i could learn more about making PCB required in projects. 

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Myc Holmes's picture

Creating a solar powered bot is a great project and a lot of fun.

Buying 40 of the tiny solar cell is just not cost effective.  For $40 you will get 40 solar cells, each proving 1/2 volt at 1.9 ma in ful sunlight. You will need to wire 10 cells to get 5 volts at 1.9 ma. Your 40  cells in a seriall parallel configuration will only give you 5 volts at 10 ma in full sunlight.

Unless you are buying these for artsy / aesthetic reasons, the other Solarbotic solar cells are a much better deal. The 37x33 polycrystallline solar cell will give you 4.5 volts at 33 ma in direct sunlight for only $6

The ma specs are for direct sunlight, indoors you may only get 10% or less of the spec value.




iCon's picture
thanks a lot for clearing that up, this project wouldnt be so much practical as it would be a learning experience. After you pointed it out it seems much more effiecent to use the larger solar cells which i hadnt looked at before, thanks again.