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# Setting Up a Simple Solar Panel Kit

❶Tips Make sure everything is secured with glue.

## Paper Solar System Mobile

This activity forces the students to consider the correct scale of the Solar System by having them mark off accurately scaled distances on a roll of toilet paper. This activity is a companion lesson to Solar System Sentence Strip. I ask the school's custodian if I can have have a lot of rolls of toilet paper several weeks in advance.

He is able to give me several rolls a day, he just doesn't feel comfortable giving them to me all at once. I typically need ten rolls per class for five classes 50 rolls total. An alternative to that could be to ask a big box store like WalMart or Costco. I recommend you do this well in advance so that you have a back-up plan if that doesn't work. If you ever want to see your students' heads explode, tell them that once they finish they have to roll up the toilet paper back the way you they found it.

To ease frustration it might be beneficial to have your students practice writing on a few squares of toilet paper before you begin this lesson. Students need to learn how delicate toilet paper is while at the same time how much pressure they should apply to their pens without causing tears.

They begin by labeling the first sheet of toilet paper as the Sun. There are two versions. The simplified version has only the average distance to each of the eight planets and is meant as a short activity. The extended version the one I use has not only the average distance to each planet but also the minimum and maximum recorded distance.

This show the students the eccentricity of the orbits. For example, for the planet Mercury they have to map out Mercury's minimum distance from the Sun, Mercury's average distance from the Sun, and Mercury's maximum distance from the Sun. An additional page includes distances to the outer objects in our solar system Kuiper Belt objects, outer dwarf planets, Ort Cloud and the nearest star Proxima Centauri.

I don't hand out this additional page of the extended version because the distance to the nearest star is measured in millions of toilet paper squares.

Crafting a model is not possible with the material the students have or the time. I've included them because I deliberately want them to feel exasperated with these distance so they can appreciate the great distances that stretch out across our Solar System and our local galactic neighborhood.

Don't skip this part - it conveys important information. I explain more about its meaning and purpose in my reflection. The students had to recreate this model in their notebooks. They had to include a title, draw a portion of the Sun on the left side, attach an additional sheet of paper to their notebook, draw a straight line across their paper, and label the eight planets along this line.

In order to get credit for this assignment they had to position the planets at an accurate scale distance from the Sun. At this point I'm not yet teaching the scale size of the planets. Sign Up Log In. It also includes all of the parts you will need: Everything is included for a ground level installation. On the other hand, a roof top installation will require some brackets — something we have not purchased yet.

The installation was simple. We just followed the instructions in the manual and things worked. Okay, truth be told, Shelly the Survival Husband does not always read manuals thoroughly so he put the frame together goofy and had to start over. And then he could not find the power switch on the inverter and thought it was defective.

I found it, turned it on and had immediate power. When assembling the frame, make sure the top bar marked front actually faces front. Otherwise you cannot install the legs. There are two sizes of screws with wing nuts. The bag with eight screws are shorter and are the screws to be used when assembling the frame. When attaching the three panels to the frame, it is easier to attach the middle panel first. Other than that, just follow the instructions. After completing the frame and panel setup, follow the directions by attaching the 3 leads from the panel to the splitter cable.

Add the extension cable and plug into the charge controller. Next attach the battery terminals on the battery to the charge controller to confirm that you are receiving voltage from the solar panels. There is a large LED display on the front of the charge controller indicating the voltage so that you will know right away if everything is working okay. You need to use an inverter to convert the power to AC. In that case, you need to attach the included cables from the inverter to your battery terminals.

Note that the USB port is only 5 volts, okay for cell phones, Kindles and tablets such as an iPad but not for devices or electronics that require higher voltage. The battery is not waterproof so you will need to keep it covered and protected from the elements. The Quick Start guide is well laid out and intuitive with accurate, easy to understand diagrams.

Plus, all of the manuals are available online so that they will always be handy, even if you lose the originals. The first thing I tested was my crock pot. If the grid was down and I wanted to eat but I did not want to build a fire, a working crock-pot would be a godsend. It uses just a modest amount of steady power and can be used for soups, stews and even for baking quick breads.

I ran the crock-pot for quite some time with no problems. My next test was more challenging — a hair straightening iron. If my hair iron worked, then I not only would look good, but I would be able to re-seal the Mylar bags I opened to get to my stored food items. From there I moved to lighting and to my alkaline battery charger. Again, everything worked perfectly and I was pleased. Using the Harbor Freight solar system was almost to easy — definitely a set it and forget it operation although the directions indicate you should not leave a charging battery unattended.

I am not done testing yet. The way these things work is that more batteries equals more amp hours equals more current. Or, in plain English, more battery juice means you can run more stuff for a longer period of time.

## Main Topics

- Solar System Humans live on a small planet in a tiny part of a vast universe. This part of the universe is called the solar system, and is dominated by a single brilliant star-the sun. The solar system is the earth’s neighbourhood and the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are the Earth’s neighbours.

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Here is something for astronomy geeks: Our solar system as a DIY papercraft kit. The set contains all eight planets, sad little pluto who not too long ago got demoted to ‘dwarf planet’, and – of course – our home star, the sun.