This is Solar Power Man.
A fictional character that takes solar energy and gives it to people.
Imagined to humanize the idea of energy, the Solar Man project is a social performance intended to reflect upon the sources of the energy we constantly consume. A “solar armor” was build based on the Sun learning armor, and using 50 voltaic cells and 10 more on the helmet, producing electricity (7V, 630Amps, 2.83 Watt) to allow people to charge their mobile devices. Solar Power man has more energy in the sun an less when theres no sun. An interactive way to measure how much power the figure has is shaking hands with him, a neopixel LED array will lit to give you a read of the power at that moment.
The first performance took place at Washington Park, the character evoked a lot of curiosity, people would stop in the middle of the street and take pictures. The character would approach people to offer power without talking. Some were intimidated by the appearance but a lot of people gave their phone to be charged and expressed a surprise when realized the character could effectively charge their phones. Reactions such as “OMG it’s really charging my phone!” were repeated by people.
The assumption people would not understand the functionality of Solar Power Man (not being familiar with the voltaic cells) was easily eliminated by the street singer that dedicated a whole piece named “Give it to Solar Power Man” and other people the figure interacted with.
After debating over many different names for the fictional character that walks around powering peoples phones with solar energy, it so happened that the people of the park chose a name for it. “Go Solar Power Man go go”, is a song invented by street musician in Washington Square park NYC, after the singer connected his own phone to the hand of Solar Power Man.
Bill of materials:
- 50 3V/30mA rigid square PV
- 12 3V/25mA Flexible Thin-Film PV
- 5–6V Voltaic Battery
- 5 output universal charger cable
- Rubber foam
- Protective work helmet
- Arduino uno
- NeoPixels 21 LED strip
- Needlework props
The Process of building the body:
This project was co-created with the amaizing Edson Soare