Started by a School Science Teacher
tree frog

Solar Grasshopper Robot


Build a solar-powered grasshopper robot
Manufacturer: OWI
Price:$12.95
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Eyes jiggle, legs wiggle, and antennas sway to-and-fro is the combo tango-jitterbug-frightened-grasshopper dance. It is unmistakably an attention-grabber. Pint-sized and power to pack a punch, this enticingly amusing solar bug will surely capture your heart. Turn on its power switch (the sun) and you will smile like there is no tomorrow. This frolicking fancy is easy to assemble and demonstrates an alternative energy principle. No batteries and tools required and less than ten parts to snap together. SPECIFICATIONS Solar Panel Output : 1.1V x 50mA Assembled Size : 49mm x 26.8mm x 15.7mm Unit Weight : 5.5 g Solar Cell Life : 2 yrs in normal use Motor : DC Power Consumption : 1.2V x 10mA No Batteries Required

What are Photovoltaic Cells Made From?

Silicon is the major material in the cells. Pure silicon crystals are poor conductors of electricity. Other elements are added to the silicon, such as, phosphorus and boron. When the energy from the sun hits the cell, the electrons in the elements begin to move around. The sun causes the panel to have a positive and negative side. This electrical difference causes electrons to flow through a diode.

What Factors Affect the Production of a Solar Cell?

The factors that most affect the production of a solar cells are the angle of the panel in relation to the sun, the peak wattage, the light intensity and the hours of sun exposure.

How is Wattage (or Power) Calculated?

The formula for power is   Power=Current X Voltage. Power is measured in watts, current in amperes and voltage in volts.

The Solar Science Kit has a small motor, photovoltaic cell and disc that works well in demonstrating this in a classroom or home setting.

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