Solar Car

Worksheet for Educators to be used in-class.

Materials Required:

No Material Qty Vendor
1 Cardboard 1  Scrap
2 Gear Motor 2  Mumbai: Lamington Road
3 Wheels – Big 2  Mumbai: Lamington Road
4 Castor wheel 1  Mumbai: Lamington Road
5 Solar Panel (6V; 100 mA)  2  Mumbai: Lamington Road
6 Either a Solar Lamp (300 W Bulb) or Natural Sunlight 1  Hardware Shop
7 Tape 1  Local Stationery
8 Scissors 1  Local Stationery

Steps to Make the Solar Car:

Step 1: Designing the car

1. Design the Solar car on the paper.
2. Cut the cardboard according to your need. Make sure it is big enough to fit two motors and two solar panels.

Step 2: Making the Chassis for Car

1. Tape motors on the cardboard and attach the wheels on both the motors.
2. If the cardboard is unable to take the weight of the motors, attach wooden sticks or metal spokes under the cardboard so that the cardboard has enough support to hold the weight of motors and solar panels.

Step 3: Check for the direction of rotation of motor

1. The motors have two output connecting points, let’s call them point A and point B for simplicity.
2. Solar panels have two output terminal, Positive (Red wire) and Negative (Black wire).
3. For each motor/ solar panel pair, connect the red wire to point A of the motor and the black wire to point B. Take 300 watt bulb and shine it on the panel. Observe the direction of rotation of motor. Make sure the motor is rotating in the forward direction (clockwise).
4. If it’s not rotating in the desired direction, you can change the direction of rotation simply connecting Red wire to point B and Black to point A. Do not remove the connection between solar panels and motors.
5. Make sure both the motors are rotating in the same direction.

Step 4: Front of the car

1. It is important to balance the Car so that it moves in the desired direction with minimum friction.
2. You can attach two more wheels in the front with spoke.
3. Another option can be of using castor wheel. You can come up with your solution as well.

Step 5: Now shine the light on the solar panels and see it move.

Concepts Explored:

  1. Solar Energy

Reasons why the Solar Car may not work:

  1. The motors may not be working. Please test.
  2. The solar panel may not be working. Please test.
  3. The wiring between motor and solar panel may not be proper.
  4. There should not be friction between the wheels and the cardboard piece.
  5. The car may be too heavy. Try reducing the weight.

Further External Resources:

  1. Video – How to make a Solar Car
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