Solar panels produce direct current electricity – a flow of electrons in one direction. Changing the direction of the flow of electrons will reverse the motor’s spin direction.
This can be an interesting thing when you connect two solar panels to the same motor, but with their test leads reversed. That is, with one panel having a positive lead attached to the same motor pole tab as a second panel’s negative lead. And on the other motor tab, the situation is reversed – so that the first panel’s negative lead shares with the second panel’s positive lead.
The solar panel receiving the most sunlight will be the one that dominates, and the motor will spin in the direction the more sun-lit panel is wired for.
If you place a perpendicular card between two solar panels aimed towards the Sun, with both panels attached to the motor, but with their positive and negative leads reversed, when both receive equal sunlight (pointed directly at the sun) the motor will be still.
If one panel is slightly shaded however, the motor will run in the direction set by the panel receiving the most sunlight, until both panels are receiving equal light again, at which point it will stop.
However, the Earth spins continually, and soon the Eastern-most panel will be shaded again. If the motor is attached to a wheel, and the whole assembly mounted on a turntable, the panels will slowly track the sun all day long. For example, see Mark Mateus’ Solar Home (shown).
“These kits are a lot more hands-on than the last group I purchased and I am sure the students will enjoy the project quite a lot more.”
“We had our *Bring Your Child To Work Day* last week. The kids (ages 7 – 13) had a great time learning about solar power and building their cars. Hearing the younger kids squeal with excitement as their cars began to move on the patio was priceless. Having the spare parts in the kits was helpful too. Overall the kits were GREAT!”
“I really appreciate your concern with quality. It will ultimately make a better experience for our students. Thanks again!”
“I’ve always appreciated how much your kits bring out the “maker” in kids! … I’m over the moon that we will get to be using them.”
“About our solar panels -By far the best that I have found”
“I am very pleased with the materials and have been showing the panels and motor to others already their reactions are consistently one of being amazed.”
“The solar cars worked GREAT. This activity was a huge hit with the campers and we were able to generate some excellent discussion and learning about alternative energy, climate change, etc, etc.”
“I just wanted to send a thank you for the fast shipping of the solar car kit I ordered. It is a blessing to get good value and fast service.”
About our customer support: “Thank you so much for using your valuable time to help us even though we were unprepared. You do not know how much of a difference you made in our project. We think that your products are FABULOUS!!”
The Solar Team
The car kits did arrive in time. The workshop was a hit! Kids had a great time assembling the kits with their parents. After the workshop, we brought the cars outside and the kids experimented with adjusting the solar panels and changing the direction of the car. It was great to watch their young minds at work! Thanks for a great product!
On building a solar boat: My friends are amazed at the power and motor speed of solar.
“Hi…just want to let you know that the school project was a big success! He got an A+ on it… especially because it was an original idea.”
“By the way, I really appreciate your well designed SolGear kits – they are proving very useful with our education programs teaching solar PV and electric motor efficiency.”
“Your cars are incredible, they are so much fun and are a really effective way to show how an electric circuit works with a solar panel as the power source.”