One a billionth of the energy from the sun hits us, but you can do a lot with it! Here are some great gifts and projects for the maker in your life who like solar! Brighten their holiday, literally! Ra ra ra!
Mousebot kit - a fun solar robot kit! Price: $39.95 Buy: Maker store – Link.
Herbie the Mousebot is a very quick, easy-to-build, light-chasing robot kit, perfect for beginners. Herbie is such an elegant, clever design using very few parts, it’s been featured in as a construction project in “Junkbot, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels”, “Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Robots” and “MAKE” Magazine. Enhanced with functional whisker and tail sensors, it doesn’t get stuck in corners while it chases around. A very cool 9-volt battery-powered (not included) robot that loves to chase flash light beams. These little robots are so quick, you have to run to keep up to them!
Solarspeeder kit - Zooooom! A racey solar kit! Price: $25.00 Buy: Maker store – Link.
The SolarSpeeder Kit is a very quick Solaroller that can cover 3 meters (10 feet) in under 40 seconds in direct sunlight. Uses small solarcell for power. Simple to construct and a great project for beginners!
This easy-to-construct kit takes light energy and turns it into bursts of motor movement. Complete with a hackable cassette mechanism, the instructions detail several projects you can turn your Solarengine into. Rapid fire, SCC2433-MSE version. An upgraded version is also available.
Others: Solarbotics Solarcell_A – This epoxy-encapsulated monocrystalline solar cell generates a nominal 4.5V / 18mA (sunlight) from a 24x33mm package. And has an integrated solarengine circuit board! – Link.
Solarbotics Solarcell_B – This epoxy-encapsulated polycrystalline solar cell offers 6.7V and 31mA in a 37x33mm package. Simply solder the components to the locations on the back, flip it over into the light, and watch it run! – Link.
MAKE 12 – Subscribe to MAKE! We heart solar! Price: $29.95 Buy: Maker store, use code CMAKE for $5 off USD – Link.
In MAKE 12 we show you how to make a solar-powered xylophone!
Fuel cell car kit – save the world with a tiny fuel cell car Price: $124.95 Buy: Electronickits – Link.
This kit takes model cars to the next level: with it, you can build your own experimental reversible fuel cell car that runs on water. The kit includes a solar panel, which provides the electricity needed to activate electrolysis. The resulting fuel is then stored in the fuel cell. The kit also comes with all the materials needed to build the car, the complete reversible fuel cell, a digital multimeter, and a lab manual with 30 experiments. Cheapskates that they are, water is not included. Great for kids, but the parts are comprehensive enough that they can be a great building block for further experiments.
Solar power house kit - learn about solar and alt power with this home kit! Price: $124.95 Buy: Electronickits – Link.
Power House: Experiments in Future Techniques provides an engaging introduction to regenerative energy sources while learning basic concepts and principles in physical science. The kit focuses on the heat and light energy from the sun, the energy from the wind, as well as with electrochemical and plant energy. You will learn how to transform and use these forms of energy.
With this Thames & Kosmos Power House kit you can build a model house complete with solar panels, windmill, greenhouse, and desalination system. You can build and operate an electric train, windmill, solar cooker, solar hot water tank, hygrometer, electric motor, power hoist, sail car, and more! Plant watercress, prepare sauerkraut, and make chewing gum. Learn how plants convert sunlight into energy for your body and your engines.
Solar educational kit - one for the mini-makers! Price: $19.95 Buy: Electronic kits – Link.
Now you can experiment with solar energy…the energy source of the future. The solar educational kit is designed to let you build you own solar models.
The solar cell modules, when placed in direct sunlight or close to incandescent light bulbs, generate power similar to batteries. Discover by yourself how to harness the energy of sunlight and apply it in countless practical applications.
Build your own solar panel kits – featured in MAKE 12 Price: $48.95 Buy: Silcon solar – Link.
Solar Panel Kits enable you to make your own solar panels for less. Each kit includes all necessary interconnection components including: soldering iron, solder, tabbing, flux, solar cells, and instructions on how to connect cells together to construct your panel. Recommended by several Universities and personal buyers; never sold online before.
Order 200 watts, and receive a price of $2.95 per watt. Customers have constructed up to 1.5kw solar panel arrays. Included are easy to comprehend instructions.