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How do you make a solar powered model house

You first have to decide what kind of solar you wish to use.

Solar Electricity.

Solar Hot Water (not necessary for a model house, but good to consider for a real house.

Solar heating (passive or active).

Each of the above solar systems have some things in common and some things that would be different. The solar heating probably should be integrated into the home design, but there are a few “soda can” solar heating designs that you might consider.

Ok, now decide what kind of house you wish to use/build. Perhaps you can find an existing dollhouse that would have a little character.

Solar-Electric will be the most spectacular. You might want to do a little testing in the environment where you will display the house.Solar cells usually give about 0.5 volts per cell. An LED requires about 1.5 to 2 volts to run effectively. Too much power and it will burn out, too little and it won’t light. However, your power generation of an individual solar cell will be significantly less inside a building than it will be in the direct sunlight.

Most solar-electric home systems use one of 2 types of power. “Battery off grid”, or “Grid Attached without batteries”. The grid attached gives you power 24/7 no matter what the weather is like. Battery off grid will run out if your batteries run out. A 1.5 volt rechargeable D battery or a pair of them should be sufficient to run LED many lights (possibly requiring a resistor if using a pair), but they would be able to be turned on with or without solar light. For Demo purposes it might be more interesting to build without the battery.

Wire your house with phone wire & LEDs or something similar. Determine the size and number of solar cells you need. Use serial connections to increase voltage and parallel connections to increase power (amps/watts). Resistors can be used for fine adjustments of volts to protect your LEDs. Mount on the roof, with a toggle switch for cutoff.

Solar hot water panels would be “dummy panels”) Probably painted black. Weave single stranded electrical wire on the panel to look like pipes, then paint it all black & mount.

If you wish to make a soda-can solar panel, representing the cans with smaller materials might be difficult. Maybe you could find some small rollerbearings and tear them apart and assemble. Talk, to your local mechanic and see if he has some extra wheel bearings that you could play with. You’ll need quite a few of them.
A full sized model of the soda-can solar panel would also be a fun demonstration to have on hand, and would be relatively easy to make.

Good luck with your project.

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