Solar Science Kit is a tool set or a collection of materials for visual demonstration and many possible experiments with solar energy. The solar panel in this kit receives the energy of the sunlight and converts it to direct electrical current. The produced direct current (DC) electricity is accessible via a pair of red and black wires in the back of the solar panel. You can then use this electricity to do the following experiments:
- sound a buzzer
- Light up a light bulb
- Light up an LED (Light Emitting Diode)
- Run an electric motor and connect a propeller to use it as a cooling fan.
This solar science kit includes an experimental size solar panel that can demonstrate many applications of solar energy. It can run motors, light bulbs, LEDs, and buzzers. This kit also includes light bulbs, LED lights, buzzer and 3 motors that can be used to demonstrate how a solar panel can work as well as many other experiments related to light and radiation.
Students in 7th grade and above can use this kit for varieties of research projects or science projects. Teachers may use this set to demonstrate the importance and the use of solar energy.
Printed instructions are included and provide a link to more detail online instructions.
This kit includes:
6-Volt Solar panel with attached wires (Part# SOLARP3.3W)
DC Motor (model RE140RA) with propeller (Part# PROP4B56MM)
Toy Motor with alligator clips (model RE140RACLIP) and propeller (Part# PROP4B56MM)
Solar motor (Part# RE300CA) with propeller (Part# PROP4B56MM)
Buzzer (Part# BZRW3R)
Two lamp bases (Part# B10E21)
Two Light bulbs (part# E0359)
two LED lights (Part# 8CR2V20MA)
20 feet project wire or insulated copper wire (Part# PCAWG24)
Identify the materials in your kit
Use this section to identify and learn about the components of your kit. The instructions in this page refer to each component by name and will not describe each component again.
The Solar Panel in your kit is a photoelectric device. We call it photoelectric because it converts light to electricity. The word ‘photo‘ comes from the Greek word for light. This solar panel can produce up to 6 volts DC (Direct Current) in direct sunlight.
Solar panels only produce energy while they are exposed to the sunlight or any other strong light. They do not store energy. You can however use solar panels to charge rechargeable batteries and then use the electricity stored in batteries at night.
The solar panel is the most valuable, delicate and sensitive item in your kit. Great attention is needed in protecting it. Do not drop it and do not pull the wires. Doing so can damage the solar panel and make it unusable.
This solar panel has two wires. The red wire is the positive wire. The black wire is the negative waire. The ends of both wires are stripped (insulating plastic shield is removed) so that they can make electrical contact.
The white round buzzer in your kit is an electromechanical buzzer that operates with about 3 volts DC (Direct Current). We call it electromechanical because it uses electricity to vibrate a plate inside the buzzer. Vibration is a mechanical action that creates the buzzing sound.
This buzzer has two wires about 6 inches long (each). The red wire is the positive wire. You should connect that to the positive pole (red wire) of the solar panel. The black wire is the negative wire, You should connect that to the negative pole (black wire) of the solar panel. The ends of both wires are stripped so that they can make electrical contact. Stripping a wire is removing the plastic insulation of the wire.
Low current motor in your kit is a DC motor so that it requires Direct Current to operate. This motor is also known as solar motor because it requires very low current to operate and it works in a wide range of voltages from 2 to 9. While many other motors fail to operate with solar panels, this one is almost guaranteed to work every time, resulting a successful demonstration in classrooms and science fairs. This motor comes with a pair of connection wires about 5 inches long each. The ends of the wires are stripped (plastic insulation is removed) so that they are ready to be connected to the solar panel wires.
High Current Motor in your kit is a DC motor that usually requires batteries to operate. Many small solar panels do not create enough current to operate this motor. The large solar panel included in your kit however, does create enough current and voltage to run this motor as well when you have enough sunlight. This motor does not come with any connection wires. You may use other connection wires in your kit while trying this motor. You may also connect the solar panel directly to this motor. In the back of the motor there are two contact plate with a hole in them. You can insert each wire of the solar panel into the holes of the contact plates. You may also use a tape to keep them in place. (Part# RE140RA)
High Current Motor with Alligator Clips in your kit is another DC motor model RE140RA; however, this motor comes with connection wires with alligator clips on their ends. Alligator clips simplify the process of making temporary electrical connections. They create a firm connection and you will not need to use a tape to keep them in place. The large solar panel included in your kit may create enough current and voltage to run both motor when you have enough sunlight. (Part# RE140RACLIP)
Plastic Propellers in your kit are designed to fit the shaft of any motor in your kit. The diameter of the motor shafts are 2 millimeters. The hole in the propellers are slightly less than 2 millimeters so that they can make a snug connection with the shafts. We use propellers so that we can see the operation of a motor. Motors with propellers demonstrate some real applications of motors and electricity. They are often used to blow air as a cooling fan. They are also used propel boats and hover crafts. Since your kit includes 3 motors, you are also receiving 3 propellers. One propeller for each motor.
Light Bulbs in your kit are low current light bulbs. Solar panels do not produce enough electrical current to light up a regular (high current) light bulb. These light bulbs have a very thin filament so that they can produce light with low currents.
When trying your solar panel with these light bulbs, you must use extension wires (included in your kit) so that the solar panel can be outside and the light bulb can be inside. The amount of light is not high enough to make it visible under the sunlight. It is however high enough in a dark room in order to find your way around the room. Part# LB359G or LB359MS or E0359.
Lamp Holders in your kit are used to connect the light bulbs to the solar panel. You can screw each light bulb in a lamp holder. Each lamp holder has two large legs (with mounting holes) and one small contact plate with a small hole in it. To connect the electrical wires to the lamp holder, connect one wire to one of the legs and another wire to the contact plate.
Connection wires in your kit are used to extend the reach of electricity from solar panel (in a sunny spot) to a low light room where you perform your experiments.
The ends of connection wires are not stripped. You must remove about 1/2 inch of the insulation so that you can connect them to the solar panel and any of the other devices in your kit. To do this you may use a stripping tool; however, experienced adults can also do that using a utility knife or a pair of scissors.
LED Lights in your kit are used to produce light using the electricity produced by your solar panel. L.E.D stands for Light Emitting Diode. LED is an electronic light source that requires low current to light up. Because of that LEDs are suitable for Solar Panels.
Each L.E.D. has a long leg and a short leg. The short leg is the negative leg and the Long leg is the positive leg. You must connect the short leg to the negative wire (black wire) of the solar panel. You must also connect the long leg of the LED to the positive wire (red wire) of the solar panel.
L.E.D. is a one directional device and will not lit if you connect it in reverse direction.
Diode is any electronic component that allows the flow of electricity only in one direction.