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Mini Dremel Table Saw for Cutting Solar Cells

Mini table Saw for cutting Solar Cells

I've been making solar powered lanterns to hang in the tress on our property. I just love the idea of capturing light during the day with solar cells and batteries and then releasing it at night to create a fairy tale ambiance. Unfortunaeately most of the commercial solar powered lights are weak and short lived.

It turns out that you can buy broken 3" x 6" (actually more like 80mm x 150mm) solar cells for about $30 for 100. These can then be cut into quarters to yield the right size cells for small 9 and 18 volt panels (the voltages you need for charging 6 and 12 volt batteries, respectively. These cells are paper thin silicon and the easiest way I found to cut them was with a diamond wheel on a Dremel tool.

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Mjöllnir Lamps for the Roadster

Some projects take a long time. Sometimes I start something and then put it aside, in this case for more that two years! When Make:TV came out to the workshop to shoot a profile of me in July of 2008, one of the projects that I worked on for them was a coach lamp for my car. I built one lamp for them and just finished the other lamp today. Watch the video for the beginnings of the project and then click through to see some details of the construction and the completed lamps. 

I've named them Mjöllnir Lamps because my fellow SPWS contributor Annie (who is a Viking) says that they reminder her of Thor's hammer.

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