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# Solar Power: How Much Would A Solar Cell Cost And How Do They Work Exactly? (7/1/2012)

I was wondering how many solar cells you would need to power a small toy car. I don’t have a lot of knowledge about things like this, so if you could direct me to any websites or explain it, that would be great, thanks.(:

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Jon July 1, 2012 at 3:56 am

Well, first you need to figure out what your requirements are going to be, for example lets say 5v. Solar cells are cheap, these ones here are .55v http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062564. You see that metal strip up top? That is the – and on the opposite side that is the +. You need to solder some wire on both ends and that is kind of tedious if you are not familiar with soldering so you can always get one of these. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2131051 The wires are already soldered and it is in a nice little case too so it is protected.

The one I linked is 6v though and you need 5v (like I said earlier for example). Since solar panels do not give consistent power since it depends on how much light they get you would need a voltage regulator. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062599 That is a 5v voltage regulator, meaning no matter how much light the solar cell is receiving it will only put out 5v, unless it is getting less than 5v of course. So it might be a good idea to get two of those 6v solar cells and connect them in series (connect the + to – of the two cells so the voltage goes up to 12v). The amperage may be an issue but this will depend on the load requirement as well, if it is just a small motor those cells should work fine. Send me an email if you are curious how the voltage regulator is wired up. To recap:

1. Find out how much voltage/amperage your toy car is.
2. Buy solar cells for those needs.