DIY: How to Make a Flower Pot that Harvests Solar Energy

solarshrubSome people find solar panels to be less than pleasing to the eye. Some people just like to tinker. If you belong to one of these groups, consider this cute flower pot that secretly generates solar energy. Check out how to make one below:

 

1. What You’ll Need

  • 7805 Voltage Regulator
  • Heat sink for the 7805
  • Red LED
  • SPST mini toggle switch
  • 22uf capacitor
  • .01uf capacitor
  • 220 ohm resistor
  • 4.7k ohm resistor
  • 3.3k ohm resistor
  • USB extension cable
  • Blocking Diode
  • Round Proto Board
  • 8 Round Solar Cells
  • 8 Wire Clothes Hangers
  • 2 Rolls of 22 AWG wire, one red and one black
  • Assorted Shrink Wrap
  • 10 Small Wire Ties
  • Green Spray Paint
  • 6″ Clay Plastic Self-Watering Flower Pot
  • 2 Metal Angle Brackets
  • CD
  • 2 Plastic Standoffs

A soldering iron, solder, wire strippers, side cutters and a dremel will also be needed to get the job done.

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2. Power Circuit

The next step is to build a power circuit so that there is a 5-volt regulated power supply with a 2-volt divider. This is because Apple products have different voltage requirements than most devices that charge through a USB.

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3. Making the Flower Pot

Drill holes in the bottom of the flower pot so that the components can stick out. There will need to be a space for the switch, LED, and USB connector. Connect the USB using the angle brackets, tie wraps and double-sided tape. Two holes in the base can make room for the nuts and bolts. Place the CD over the electronic components to protect them. Feed the wires through the top and drill two holes to add the stems and leaves.

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4. Building Flowers

To make the “flowers”, cut lengths of red and black wire all between half a foot and a foot in length. Solder these to the solar cells. Protect the wires by wrapping them in shrink wrap and push in the coat hangers to give them shape.  Spray paint these green without getting paint on the solar panel part. Stick the flowers into the holes on the CD.

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5. That’s It!

Connect the output wires and make sure that everything is stable. When neighbors ask where that exotic plant came from, they’ll be amazed upon hearing it’s actually home made.

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Images (c) Instructables user mikesoniat

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