Power – Solar Panels

Standard Panel

Our standard solar power configuration consists of 7 polycrystalline silicon solar panels wired in series. We use this panel for our spring and summer launches.


  • Voltage: 3.5 v
  • Current: 40 ma
  • Weight: 4.5 – 4.7 grams
  • Length: 122 mm
  • Width: 110 mm
  • Height:


  • Inexpensive
  • Parts are readily available
  • Easy to make in quantity
  • Moderately durable


  • Solar panels are very fragile
  • Requires sun to be above the horizon to power the tracker

Link to build instructions and bill of materials.

Low Sun Angle – High-Power

This version was used for an Antarctic balloon launch that required capturing low sun angles above the horizon. It uses flexible panels to provide 360° coverage and is durable enough to survive the trip to the Antarctic and the extreme cold.


  • Voltage: 8.7 v
  • Current: 94 ma
  • Weight: 16.70 grams
  • Length: 143 mm
  • Width: 143 mm
  • Height: 114 mm


  • Horizon sun angle to power tracker
  • Can handle extreme cold
  • Durable


  • Requires voltage regulator to reduce power to tracker
  • Three to four times heaver that standard configuration
  • Larger size
  • Requires 3D printed forms to build

Build pictures coming soon!

Low Sun Angle – Medium-Power

Under development. It is a low sun angle alternative to the High-Power version above. This version is planned to be used for Northern Illinois winter launches. It accommodates for the lower sun angle in the northern hemisphere in the winter.


  • Voltage: TBD, depending on wiring configuration
  • Current: TBD, depending on wiring configuration
  • Weight: 16.70 grams
  • Length: 143 mm
  • Width: 143 mm
  • Height: 114 mm


  • Accommodates power for lower, winter sun angles
  • Less expensive that High-Power version
  • Can be configured for different voltage/current options


  • TBD

Build pictures coming soon!