Today’s method of flexible solar cell manufaturing, is based on highly purified silicon compounds, which is an expensive procedure. MIT came a step closer to cheaper flexible solar cells, by using organic (carbon-containing) compounds to make lightweight, cheap and flexible cells.
The main problem why carbon did not work so far, was that graphene repels water. Typical procedures for making an electrode on the surface, by depositing the material from a solution do not work. But the MIT team added some impurities onto the surface (doping) and this changed the behavior of graphene, making it possible to bond tightly. Moreover, this doping increased the conductivity of graphene.[via]
MIT is a step closer to cheap organic solar cells - [Link]
This device allows solar cell arrays to be connected to either conventional lead-acid, sealed lead-acid, or lithium storage batteries without fear of overcharging. It allows two different electrical loads to be driven from the batteries at two different charge states to maximise power usage efficiency.
Photovoltaic Solar Battery Regulator and Load Controller – [Link]
This project shows how to build a 63W solar panel using plain materials. It will guide you through everything from building the frame to soldering the solar cells. The frame is build of plywood and solar cells is better to be soldered using a low wattage soldering iron. Finally you add the plexiglass and your panel is ready. Check construction details on the link below.
DIY 63 Watt Solar Panel – [Link]
This is a blog that documents various Arduino projects. The author is living to a Solar Powered home that offers a wealth of ways to use Arduino’s and connected sensors. He shows how to use a Xbee module and how to make an Arduino Solar Battery Monitor.
TropicArduino: Arduino projects – [Link]
This is a solar powered robotic mobile that combines solar energy and Bluetooth module. It’s another kind of art by Mark Malmberg.
Solar Powered Robotic Mobiles - [Link]
This project is a solar powered Arduino based weather station and digital thermostat. Device is able to display temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and time/date. The sensor used is a SHT21 Temperature Humidity sensor. It is also equipped with a RGB led to display how comfortable the conditions are.
Solar powered Arduino based weather station / digital thermostat - [Link]