Revisiting Mendocino Motors

From the article:

Why Does it Spin?

There’s a great technical explanation about how and why these things spin in our original Mendocino Motor article.  Here’s the short explanation:
  • Sunlight hits the solar panel, which generates a voltage.
  • The solar panel is hooked up to a coil of wire, which now has a current running through it.
  • With a strong magnet or magnets nearby, the coil is sitting in a strong magnetic field.
  • When a current is run through the coil of wire that’s sitting in a magnetic field, a force acts on it.  In these setups, it’s a brief burst of torque turning the rotor in the moment that sunlight is shining on the panel.

This explanation is true for both the vertical and horizontal motors we made.

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