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Wouldn’t it be cool to charge your cell phone with the power of the sun instead of simply plugging it into a socket? In this workshop we will built a Heliostat, which is a device that reflects and follows the sun’s rays continuously in a fixed direction, in the manner of a sunflower for example.

Our heliostat is able to store solar energy which then can be used e.g. to charge a cell phone.

Properties of this workshop:

Timeplanning: Total: 5h

1. Introduction on solar energy: 15 minutes
2. Part 1: Construction of the solar - USB charger: 65 minutes
3. Part 3: Construction of an analog control for the tracking of the solar cell: 2h20 minutes
4. Part 2: Build the mechanics of the Heliostat and test the functionality: 30 minutes
5. Testing the heliostat: 30 minutes

The Workshop consists of three little parts: Part 1: In the first step we will built the “solar-USB charger.”

Part 2: The second part of the workshop focuses on the tracking of the Heliostat: Via a motor and light sensors, the solar cell now, can be optimally adjusted, in order to capture sufficient sun light.

Part 3: In a last step we’ll focus on the mechanics of the Heliostat. At the end of this step, we will have the fixture the Heliostat is placed on and a rotating plate.

Recommendation for performance of workshop: Part 2 contains soldering and thus takes up most of the time. You should calculate with around 1 ½ -2 hours for this second part, including testing and troubleshooting of the soldered PCB.”

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