5 random experiments with solar electric energy, ranging from charging smartphones and making hydrogen powered bottle rockets, to sparking plasma arcs and even starting a fire.
Solar panels provided by Verengo Solar: http://bit.ly/IBVerengoSolar
Watch for a giveaway video coming on November 14th where I’ll give 3 panels away to 3 of you!
For more project videos, check out http://www.thekingofrandom.com
WARNING: These experiments and results are portrayals of my own attempts and experiences, and are accurate to the best of my knowledge. Your results may vary depending on your location, experience, and modifications to project ideas. There are risks associated with some of these projects that require adult supervision, and possibly others that I’m not aware of. Use of this video content is at your own risk.
Music by Scott & Brendo (“Kitten Air” – Instrumental)
Project inspired by: Comments on a previous video (http://bit.ly/WaterFuelConverter ) suggesting I try the gas generation with renewable energy.
About this project:
Verengo Solar (http://bit.ly/IBVerengoSolar) sent me some solar panels so I could get my feet wet with using energy from the sun. I tried a bunch of experiments, which you’ll see in the project video. One of my favorites was hooking up my hydrogen generator, from a previous project, and generating this “earth friendly” fuel with renewable energy.
I’ve always wanted to hook my hydrogen generator to solar panels and see what happened, so that was the first order of business 🙂
I expected that gas production would be low, but was surprised to even get around 1 liter every 5 minutes. Imagine if you ran the generator all day. You could collect copious amounts of the fuel and it wouldn’t cost a penny. Perhaps 100 liters for 8 hours of sunlight? That blows my mind .. and my ear drums.
The fuel is made by electrically splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen gasses (2H20 = 2H2 + O2)
This gas is perfectly balanced for a powerful reaction, and when ignited, turns back into water. There are no by-products that are harmful to the environment. The process can be repeated over and over, and the gas is very powerful.
Rather than using a charge controller to charge a battery bank, I wanted to see if I could hook the panels directly to a cheap inverter to power devices on the fly. It seemed work just fine for charging my phone, but I did have to hook the inverter to a car battery to get it to power anything more substantial, like the battery charger for my cordless drill.
It really surprised me to see the juicy electrical arcs between the terminals. I wasn’t expecting to see a sustained plasma arc just from 2 panels in parallel. I’m still not exactly sure how it did that with such low voltage, but it was really cool to witness.
Overall, I’m a lot more interested in solar power now that I’ve been able to play with it a bit. I can see the value in it, and now that my feet are wet, I’m a lot less apprehensive about getting deeper into it in future projects.