LEARN TO MAKE A SOLAR BOTTLE BULB
Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of everevolving technologies, such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, and artificial photosynthesis. It is an important source of renewable energy and its technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on how they capture and distribute solar energy or convert it into solar power. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic systems, concentrated solar power and solar water heating to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favourable thermal mass or light-dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air. Here, we will tell you how to make a solar water bulb for adding light to a temporary structure or a playhouse for kids.
Steps to Make a Solar Bottle Bulb
- Take empty plastic soda bottles. Remove the label and thoroughly wash the inside and outside of the bottle. Keep the bottle cap.
- Take a gallon of distilled water and a gallon of bleach. The water helps to scatter the light, and the bleach prevents algae from growing inside the bottle.
- Take household industrial sealant as you will need to seal the bottle to metal sheet.
- Purchase metal sheet—enough to surround the bottle and lay along the top of the roof, and pick up a small handsaw.
- Measure the circumference of the top two-thirds of the bottle and transfer the measurements to your structure’s roof.
- Cut a hole in the roof using your handsaw
- Transfer the same measurements to the extra piece of sheet metal. Draw a circle for the bottle measurements and then draw a large square around the circle. Cut out the square and the circle on the metal sheet . Test placing the bottle through the circular hole. The bottle should fit snugly, allowing two-thirds of the bottle to hang down through the bottom of the sheet metal.
- Fill the bottle almost to the top with distilled water. Do not overfill as you will need to add bleach.
- Top off the bottle with bleach, approximately three tbsp. Allow the bleach to permeate through the distilled water without shaking the bottle.
- Add the cap to the bottle and tighten.
- Slide the bottle into the sheet metal and add sealant around the base of the bottle. Make sure you add a liberal amount of sealant in order to avoid having rain or other outside elements escape through the hole.
- Drop bottle through the hole in the roof and allow the sheet metal to keep it in place. If possible, add sealant or, if it is not available, M-Seal to the sheet metal to adhere it to the roof.
Note: A solar bottle bulb is not like a regular light bulb. It is just a lens that spreads solar light around. If there is no sunlight, then no light will be refracted.