lezers bijdrage

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

A primary building block in BEAM robotics is the Solar Engine, a very simple two transistor circuit originally designed by Mark Tilden, which allows energy to be stored in a capacitor, until the charge is sufficient to briefly run a tiny motor. This means you can easily make a solar powered mechanical device `live` with

lezers bijdrage
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

just a small solar panel in far less than direct sunlight - as long as you don`t need continuous movement. Powered by a Solar Engine, your device will be active in short bursts, with pauses in between. The length of a pause is determined by the available solar current. The original Solar Engine has the advantage of extreme simplicity, but also a few disadvantages. One of them is the way it achieves reset. This happens only when the load almost completely discharges the capacitor. Depending on your type of device, this may waste energy because the motor stops long before the capacitor is fully discharged, or reset may not be achieved at all, because the device is incapable of discharging the capacitor to a sufficiently low level. I used a circuit much like the Solar Engine to switch the Photovore on and off, the most important change being a reset independent of load. The Canadian BEAMer Ken Huntington took my circuit and changed it into a more efficient Solar Engine. Below you find his diagram and his description of it. He also supplied some oscilloscope images of the circuit in operation. Enjoy! A `micro power solar engine` has been a goal since my introduction to BEAM Robotics. I believe that if there wasn`t one before, I there is one now. What I`m presenting to you looks very similar to one of the circuits found in Steven Bolt`s web pages. As you will see, I made only minor changes to that design and not without help. My...

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