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.