1. Solar Panel (2)
2. Light Meter (1)
3. Car Chassis (1)
4. DC Motor 2V, 145mA (1)
5. Toy Car Chassis (1)
6. Scissors (1)
7. Hot Glue Gun/Tape (1)
8. Cardboard (1)
9. Stopwatch (1)
Design of A Solar Powered Toy Car.
- After gathering all the materials, the first step is to connect the DC motor to the car chassis such that when the DC motor moves, it will be connected to the gears of the car chassis such that it will make the wheels move.
2. Wait for about 2 minutes for the hot glue gun to heat up. While waiting, confirm the position of where the DC motor is supposed to be at.
3. After the hot glue gun is heated up, put some glue on the area where the DC motor is supposed to be positioned at on the car chassis.
4. After the hot glue gun is heated up, put some glue on the area where the DC motor is supposed to be positioned at on the car chassis.
5. Quickly yet carefully place the DC Motor in the position it is supposed to be on the car chassis and wait for a few seconds for the glue to sink in and harden to stick the DC Motor and car chassis together.
6. Turn the hot glue gun off.
7. Check that the DC Motor is secured into place and make sure that when the wheels of the car chassis move, the gears on the DC Motor will also move accordingly.
8. Add cardboard to secure the DC Motor into place so that it would not move easily.
9. Next, cut a piece of cardboard, about 10 cm in length and 5 cm in width. This cardboard piece will be the one supporting the solar panel.
10. Cut a small rectangular hole about 3 cm from the end of the cardboard piece. Make sure that the small rectangular hole can fit 2 wires through it.
11. Turn on the hot glue gun and wait for it to heat up again.
12. Using the hot glue gun, use glue and paste the cardboard piece on the car chassis such that it goes from one end of the car to the other end and the cardboard piece is above the DC Motor.
13. Taking the wires that connects to the DC Motor, put it through the rectangle hole which was being cut out earlier.
14. Now, take the solar panel and put it on top of the cardboard piece (basically the top of the car)
15. Connect the solar panel wires to the DC Motor wires in such a way that (+) to (+) and (-) to (-)
16. Secure the solar panel by taping it on top of the car (cardboard piece)
17. Place the car under the sun, the DC Motor and the wheels should start moving.
18. Take the light meter and put it under the sun to check the light intensity.
19. Let the car run as you take data collection of the time it takes to travel a certain distance and calculate the speed.
20. Cut cardboard strips in a manner that it will cover the cardboard 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%,70%,80%,90% and 100%
21. Take data on how long does the solar powered toy car take to travel a certain distance with it 10% of the solar panel covered and so on with the rest of the cardboard strips being cut earlier. Remember to calculate the speed.
22. Compile everything into tables and graphs before analysing the data collected.
2.4 Risk Assessment and Management
- As this experiment involves wheels and gears, students are advised to keep the workbench as neat as possible as accidents may occur if one of the students accidentally step on a wheel which had dropped on the floor.
2. As this experiment requires cutting using scissors or pen knife, students are reminded to take extreme caution when handling with sharp objects and to seek for adults help if unable to cut or saw any of the materials in the experiment.
3. As this experiment involves of using glue, students are to avoid consuming it or sniffing it.
4. As this experiment involves using of hot glue gun, students are to be very cautious while using it and refrain from touching the tip of the hot glue gun as it is very hot. Students should seek for adult’s advice or help if they do not know how to use it.
5. As this experiment involves using of hot glue gun, students are to ensure that the hot glue gun is switched off after they are done using it. Failure to do so might lead to accidents or even a fire.
6. As this experiment involves connecting of wires, students are to ensure their hands are dry before touching any electrical items. The copper wires are very thin and sharp hence it may cut you so wear a glove when handling the wires.
7. As this experiment requires outdoor activities, students are to behave and ensure their safety while being in public places. eg. If the toy car had run off across the road, students are to look out for their own safety first before confirming it is safe to get the toy car back.
8. When the solar panels are connected to the DC motor, DO NOT touch the wires that connects them both as there is electricity running through them.
9. As this experiment includes various flammable items, students are to not put the vehicle near any source of fire as the motor and the solar panel.
2.5 Data Analysis
- Collect data and insert into table in order to calculate the average speed of and also see the relationship between the percentage of solar panel exposed to sunlight and the speed it is traveling at.
2. Tabulate the data and compared the data of the total time taken to travel distance and the percentage of solar panel exposed to sunlight.
3. Collate all the data and using graphs, compare the speed of the vehicle with the percentage of the solar panel exposed to the sunlight with the light intensity
4. Repeat the process for each car design. Compare the 3 different graphs and from there, we can find out which car design can travel the fastest (highest average speed), consumes the least energy (more percentage of the solar panel covered)