Experimental Solar Bacony Setup

Running an experimental solar setup on my balcony

Around 2012 I wanted to see if I could pull off making my own electrical power in some shape. Since I could not see any use aside from my personal edification I wasn’t willing to spend a lot of money on it but also wasn’t that worried about the results. The basic plan was to get cheap solar panels from somebody re-powering their setup and making my own MPPT tracker. The power would be stored in some cheap lead acid car batteries I managed to get from a recycler.

Solar lights too

power managent in a simple application

While the firefly jars were nice they lacked the utility of a simple solar light. The way I had to use epoxy to fix the panels inside the jar was also a bit of an annoyance. A light would also need some diffusion to work well. I decided to trade a some of longevity for convenience and lower BOM and start using simple glass jars with metal screw tops. The glass should be milky and thus scatter the light of a few warm white LED to give the light a nice glow.

Firefly jars

Lets build solar powered glass jars that come alive with simulated fireflys at night.

Around 2010 I started to experiment with solar power. Since outside isn’t the best of environments for electronics I came upon the idea to do a solar firefly glass. A glass made for canning food would be completely moisture resistant and stable. Along the way I learned a lot about how to harvest energy from the environment and most importantly that hot-glue will melt inside a glass yar in summer.