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homemade solar power
Old 09-27-2009, 06:14 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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homemade solar power

How do solar panels work? I know photons hit something and make something happen, but I have no idea what it is. My boss has chartered me to make him a solar powered laptop charger from scratch, cause he knows I like to invent things.
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:57 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
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I can't help you with the specific details, but here are a few references that might come in handy. Be aware that the project will be more detailed and expensive than you might think. It takes a decent power source to provide enough electricity to charge a laptop. Even with mass production, the least expensive commercial unit I could find was around $140 and available at this site;

Solar Charger

A few other important facts can be found here;

How To Make Electricity

And lastly, if you want to try your hand at an alternative, just to get some experience, you could try the USB power supply described in this video;

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Old 09-27-2009, 07:08 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
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Sounds more like a school project question than an early retirement question.
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:34 AM   #4
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Photovoltaic effect is the phenomenon.

There is a very good discussion here...
Solar cell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You are welcome to skip the equations.

I would look for something COTS, as this wheel has already been invented.
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