Tutorial How to Build a Solar Vehicle Technology Engineering Ed. Ms. Thompson
Solar Vehicle Construction Materials Required 2 large, rear wheels 2 small, front wheels 2 axles Two straws Pinion gears (motor gears) Drive gear (axle gears) Motor Balsa sheet Solar panel Adhesive tape, double-sided Craft knife or scissors Hot glue gun
Solar Vehicle Construction Measure and cut the balsa sheet to the length indicated by your design. The balsa sheet will serve as the chassis of the vehicle. Personalize the chassis by painting it or adding stickers.
Solar Vehicle Construction Step one Step One Glue a straw onto each end of the balsa sheet to act as axle bushings.
Solar Vehicle Construction Step 2 Step 2 Measure motor and build braces to hold motor in place.
Solar Vehicle Construction Step 3 Step 3 Press an axle through the drive gear until approximately ¼ inch of the axle extends out the other side of the gear. Press one of the wheels onto the ¼-inch end.
Solar Vehicle Construction Step 5 Step 5 Insert the axle into the appropriate axle bushing (straw) until the end comes out the axle bushing on the other side. Press the corresponding wheel onto the axle end. Make sure the parts are not too tight or the wheels and gear will not turn properly.
Solar Vehicle Construction Step 4 Step 4 Assemble the remaining wheels and axle into the other axles bushing (straw).
Solar Vehicle Construction Step 6 Step 6 Push the pinion gear onto the motor shaft.
Solar Vehicle Construction Step 7 Step 7 Turn the motor so the pinion gear is on top of the drive gear and the motor is between the two rear wheels. Let the gears mesh together and roll the pinion gear forward until the motor mount rests on top of the chassis. The gears should still be meshed but not too tightly. If they are too tight, the gears will not work properly. Practice this until you are sure you can position it correctly.
Solar Vehicle Construction Step 8 Step 8 Use the double-sided tape to secure the motor in pace.
Solar Vehicle Construction Step 9 Step 9 Connect the wires from the solar panel to the motor terminals. Connect the black wire to one terminal and the red wire to the other. Expose the solar panel to light to determine which way the motor turns. Reverse the wires if the motor turns the opposite direction desired.
Solar Vehicle Construction Step 10 Step 10 Attach the solar panel to the car chassis at the desired angle to maximize the energy output of the solar panel. You might need to turn the motor in the mount so the connection clips do not stick up and interfere with the solar panel placement.
Solar Vehicle Construction Step 11 Step 11 Expose the solar panel to light and verify the parts move as intended and make any modifications required.
References Photos and instructions by Ms. Thompson