Building a solar panel out of LEDs 

Building a solar panel out of LEDs

  • Things you need:
  • Different types of LEDs
  • PCB 
  • Battery 
  • Voltmeter
  • Soldering tools 

It always fascinated me how a solar panel generates an electric field with the help of sunlight. So DIY lovers, today we are going to learn how to make a solar panel by simply using LEDs. 

So hang in there, we are just getting started. 

LED is also known as a light-emitting diode, everyone knows that it lights up once a power supply is provided. But something you might not know about is that, if the source is removed and the LED is exposed directly into the sunlight then the photons will heat up the PN junction of an LED and generate electron-hole pairs and finally the LED will generate electricity. Pretty awesome, right? 

The question is what if you expose thousands of LEDs to the sun, will it be able to charge your smartphone? 

Let’s find out. 

  • Step 1:

LEDs come in different sizes and colours so it might be a little difficult to choose the right one for this project. So what you can do is collect several different kinds of LEDs and start testing them under the sun, if it is a cloudy day the sunlight won’t be constant and it would be a bit difficult to test the LEDs in that case you can also use a 135 V constant light source to get similar results. After testing each LED one by one, we have created two bar graphs: 

  • Genetic voltage 
  • Genetic current
  • Step 2:

As you can see the yellow LEDs generate what is the maximum amount of output, and so we bought around 3000 yellow LEDs to make the solar panel. A single yellow LED generates around 1.6 volts, so the plan is to connect three LEDs in series which will give us around 5 V and connect the rest of them in parallel to increase the current. 

Now start soldering the LEDs to the PCB board, connecting thousands of LEDs in series and parallel is a very tedious task. Be very attentive and careful.

  • Step 4:

Next, you need to connect them all together and check whether it is working successfully. Once everything is good to go you can now store the energy into a battery and later use it to power a light or a low power fan or maybe to even charge your smartphone up to a few percentages.

Hope you had a fun experience DIY-ing this cool project.

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