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"Muffin" Tin Solar Panel
I built a small solar panel to charge batteries using a muffin pan and 12 small solar lights that cost just $2.87 apiece. It works great, says Eugene Taylor, Topton, N.C.
  He turned the muffin pan upside down and used a grinder to cut out the bottom of the pans 12 holes. He removed the batteries and LED bulbs from each solar light, leaving only the small solar panel. He used clear silicone caulking to glue the lights into the holes. After that, he connected the wires from each light together.
  I started at the top and connected all the wires together negative to positive, working across one row and down the next until I reached the bottom, says Taylor. This left one negative and one positive loose, one at the top and one at the bottom.
  I bolted the pan to a rectangular sheet of metal and welded a length of pipe onto the back as a stand. I also welded a small wheel rim onto the bottom of the pipe as a base. The panel is placed at an angle so it catches more sun.
  He says the panel puts out about 12 volts in the sun. It also produces some power on cloudy days. I use it to charge a 12-volt car battery.
  He says his total cost to build the solar panel was less than $40. If I did it over again Id paint the muffin pan with some kind of rust proof paint.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Eugene Taylor, P.O. Box 85, Topton, N.C. 28781 (ph 828 321-4204).  

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6