My 2nd grader is doing his science fair project on solar power. We'd like to make a very simple system that would power one light bulb (3w LED or 15w CFL) for a few minutes or so - 1 hour max.
I saw a kit in Mother Earth News that was to power 4 lights, but it is very expensive ($700). I was hoping that such a small system as we were trying to build wouldn't be any more than $150 or so.
As far as components, what do I need for this system? What size battery is necessary for what we're trying to do? Do I need a charge controller? The one in Mother Earth News had a safety disconnect and fuse box. Do I really need these for our project?
Any and all advice would be most appreciated. Also, any recommendations as to where to buy these components would be of great help. (I found this forum as a link on store.solar-electric.com, so I'm guessing you'd say they're a reputable dealer?)
Thanks in advance.