Posted 1 year ago by Kami
If you are looking for a fun science project that will teach your kids about how solar energy works, then this article is specially made for you.
This guide will show you how to make a solar car that combines learning the value of solar power and the enjoyment of building a car yourself.
Don’t worry this is a step by step that will lead you to build a solar powered car yourself even if you don’t have any previous DIY experience.
The size of the motor depends on how big we need our project to be.
For this exact project, we will make a tiny solar-powered car so a 3-volt motor with a speed of 15,000 rotates per minute (RPM) and a 0.29 A Current will be good enough.
We started with the motor because it’s the engine of our project, we consider it as the heart of the car.
The motor will consume the energy from the solar panel and use it to spin the wheels and move the car.
You don’t have to buy a new motor, just search for any old broken toy and you will find one.
After choosing the motor, now it’s time to know how much power we need.
Here is how to calculate it:
Power of the motor X Number of working hours per day = Power needed each day
So: 6 X 0.87 = 5.22 watts.
After doing the calculations, now we know that we need a solar panel that generates at least 5.22 watts per day and a battery that can store this energy, so you can use your solar car whenever you want even if there is no sunlight.
After choosing our motor it’s time to choose a solar panel suitable for this motor.
Let’s show you how to get the best solar panel for your project :
The power needed per day / The number of hours the panel gets per day = The power of the solar panel
Then, 5.22 / 2 = 2.61
So we need a 3-volt solar panel to do the charging process efficiently
If you want to make your car work at night you will need batteries
So let’s know how to pick the best batteries for our project
Battery capacity = power generated by the solar panel per day/battery voltage
So: 5.22/3 = 1.7 Ah = 1700Ah
Therefore, we will need a 3- volt battery with 1500-2000 Ah.
Note: make sure that the battery isn’t too heavy for the chassis that it will prevent the car from moving.
If it’s too heavy try to change to opt for a higher RPM motor and a new solar panel suitable for this new motor.
The job of the diode is to make the current flow in one direction, which prevents the solar panel from any damage.
We are using this switch to control our car, by attaching this switch with the panel we can control when we can make the car move or stop it.
We are using it as the body of our car, you have to cut it in a suitable length using a hand saw or a cutter.
If you don’t have any rubber wheels you can use bottle camps, make sure that all the bottle camps you have are the same size.
it plays a very important in the project because it connects our body with the wheels, and it holds the shaft which connects the two wheels
connects both the back wheels with each other and the front ones too
To make the car move forward, the plastic wheel gear must be connected with the wheels and the shaft of the car, when the motor starts rotating that will cause the car to move.
It connects the motor with the plastic wheel gear, so when the motor start rotating it causes the gear to rotate too so the car is moving forward
You can use another bottle camp and glue the panel on it, you can also use a ball hinge and it will be useful so you can direct the panel in the direction of the sun.
In our project we are using cardboard so you have to cut it in a suitable length( how long you need your car to be), then it’s time for emptying the sides for the wheels. We can also use popsicle sticks instead of cardboard.
Cut two pieces of a drinking straw in a suitable length depending on how long your chassis, insert the wooden stick through the shaft.
Use the wooden stick to connect the two front wheels and another one for the two back wheels, then glue them in the chassis.
Insert the plastic wheel gear to the wooden stick, and then insert your rubber wheels or the bootle camps.
Glue the motor to the solar car chassis, then connect the motor and the wheel gear using a rubber band.
The 1N914 Diode has two ends, the red one and the black one.
The solar panel also has two sides: the red one and the black one.
Connect the two red ends and the two black ends.
Attach all the red wires for the motor, solar panel, and battery, Repeat the previous step but for the black wires this time.
Glue it to the side of your body in a suitable place where it can be easily reached.
connect the positive wire of the solar panel to the first terminal of the on/off switch, and then connect the second terminal wire of the switch to the positive terminal of the DC motor.
Now you have attached everything so it’s time to try it on the road, just hit the ON switch and enjoy your car, make sure that you are at a sunny place.
A passionate solar energy engineer and environmentalist who loves to create content.