Goal:  Design, build, test solar battery charger\


  • Must charge 3 AA batteries from class
  • Must use solar panels from class (JSS project)
  • Solution must be weatherproof (unit will be placed outside in courtyard for 3 days/2 nights)
  • Solution must be ‘semi-permanent’  (soldering of circuit)
  • All work must be done in class, but knowledge can come from web research, parents, relatives, experts, etc.
  • Must have both a ‘sketch’ of the circuit and a ‘picture’ of the circuit
  • All solutions must include a ‘switch’ to turn off electricity

Conclusion of project

  • Batteries will be taken out of charger and connected to a 3V motor (from JSS) that has a propeller attached.  All groups will start their ‘fan’ at the same time.  The last ‘fan’ turning gets the ‘A’.


  • Groups must complete a Google Slide presentation that includes the following:
    • A journal of progress
    • Technical information about the ‘solution’ and parts that make up the solution
      • battery, wires, containers, solar panels, diodes, and anything else related the group finds important
      • Data on panel angles and azimuths and power output at times of your choosing
    • Pictures
    • Results / conclusions

Relevant Questions to Ponder

  • Solar Panels
    • What’s the voltage, wattage, and amperage rating of each solar panel?
    • What if you hook up the panels in series?  Parallel?
    • What will hold the panels up at the correct angle?  What IS the correct angle?  Does it change during the day?
  • Diodes
    • What is a diode and how does it work and what’s its purpose in this circuit?  Where should it be placed in the circuit?
    • What exact diode should be used (part number?) and what’s that based on?
  • Circuitry
    • Series or parallel?
    • Need to ‘prove’ circuit using a breadboard?
    • How to use prototype board / soldering iron to test your circuit
  • Waterproof housing
    • What will you use to keep water from shorting out the circuit should it rain or snow while it’s out in the courtyard soaking up the sun?

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