Today, I built a machine that’s powered entirely by THE SUN!
Okay, technically I just put the motor together, from a kit. And I don’t even know if it works because it was foggy and rainy all day. Not to mention that by the time I finished it was dark out. So, no sun.
Plan B was a 60W incandescent lightbulb. Which we discovered we no longer have in our house because we switched to CFLs long ago.
Much to our surprise, Chad and I had a hard time finding incandescent bulbs at Target, too. LEDs, CFLs, even halogens, but next to no incandescent lightbulbs. And the few we found were 40W or less, or “like 60W, but only uses 43W!”
Not sure if that last would work.
We finally learned why when we hopped over to Lowe’s: incandescent bulbs are being phased out. 100W were nixed last year. 75W say goodbye this year, and next year sees the end of 60W and 45W.
Despite the near-stymying of my scientific endeavors today (I did finally track down a two-pack of 75W bulbs at Lowe’s), I can’t help being happy about this. Oh, sure, there’s a part of me that feels a bit nostalgic for the lightbulbs that were really the only kind of household bulbs when I was a kid, but it’s kind of exciting to see technology progress in a more ecologically sound way. It makes me excited that maybe next we’ll see more practical, widespread use of renewable energy sources like solar power on a household basis.
As for my own solar-powered experiments, I’ve now got a couple of 75W bulbs to test my little motor with. And, who knows? Maybe tomorrow the sun will shine. I’ve got motors and LEDs and a battery pack for playing with squishy circuits, too. I’m already trying to concoct a way to rig the two together so I can power my squishy circuits with the sun.