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Tips for Solar Experimenters

Tips for Solar Experimenters

Tips for those just getting started with solar energy:

    • The amount of light falling on the solar panel is important. Most of our small solar panels will work well with a 100-150W household incandescent bulb for short experiments. Any lower wattage will probably give poor results. The solar panel should be about 12" from the light source at most. The heat of the bulb for long periods (or at a closer distance) can damage the solar panel.


    • If you are trying to use your solar panel indoors with sunlight through a window, you'll get the best results by opening the window and screen - some window glass blocks a significant amount of light, and screens will shade the panel


    • Be sure to angle the panel at approximately 45 degrees and set it to face the sun.


    • Make sure your solar panel matches the voltage and current requirements of the device you want to run. For example, use a 1.5V solar panel to run a 1.5V LED, and use a 3V solar panel to run a 2.7-3V LED. Some motors require a start-up current to get the motor running, so make sure the panel you choose can supply that current. For example, if a motor requires 200 mA to start, your solar panel must have a current output of at least 200 mA.

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