Following a recent purchase of a $1 solar panel from eBay, I decided to try powering a graphing calculator with it. The 80x55 mm panel supposedly provides 1 watt at 6 volts. Here's the setup:

And here is the result:

I did use a partially broken TI-81 in case anything went wrong. Under direct sunlight, I was able to use the calculator with contrast setting of 2. The screen shut off as soon as I entered the shade, and the screen froze on whatever was last displayed when going back in the sun. Next to a 60 watt bulb, the display was on but extremely faint, and the calc did not power on under a 200 lumen LED.

Perhaps a TI-80 or a 3.3v calculator with a larger panel would fare better indoors, but I don't have any to test yet. I suppose that this would be more useful, though still unwieldy, if I can get it to run indoors.
Getting 1$ stuff from Ebay is a fun thing sometimes, because some stuff is great, and some garbage
Looks to be a nice sunny day to be doing some calculating!
Register to Join the Conversation
Have your own thoughts to add to this or any other topic? Want to ask a question, offer a suggestion, share your own programs and projects, upload a file to the file archives, get help with calculator and computer programming, or simply chat with like-minded coders and tech and calculator enthusiasts via the site-wide AJAX SAX widget? Registration for a free Cemetech account only takes a minute.

» Go to Registration page
Page 1 of 1
» All times are GMT - 5 Hours
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum