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Caleb John Clark

The Green Helmet

The Green Helmet (Solar powered, safety lit, weatherproof bike helmet.)

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Green-Helmet/

Classes
The Softness of Things: Technology in Space and Form


The Green Helmet: A versatile solar powered, trickle-charged, weatherproof, safety bike helmet with changeable parts.

> On www.instructables.com. Search "The Green Helmet"
> Used for two months in all weather and working well.
> Charge time: <5-8 hours in full sunlight to charge 4 AA batteries. I used 3 AAA batteries, so it charges in more like 4 hours.
> Runtime being tested, but so far, seems like several hours.
> Replaceable 5 or 10mm LEDs, flashing or not, in O ring sealed mounts.
> Flexible weatherproof solar panel.
> Detachable batteries and panel for use as a AAA battery charger.
> Removable batteries can be wall charged. Can use standard AAAs as well.

I thought this would be a well-suited application of solar powered trickle charge panels. I only ride at night about an hour a week, so during the day the helmet can sit in a window and charge. Helmet mounted lights also free me from having lights mounted on my bike that need to be detached to keep from being stolen.

This project could be done in many different ways and I spent a lot of time trying different parts and ideas. The key breakthroughs for me were to use LED mounts to enable bulb changing, Shoe Goo, and 3 AAA batteries, vs the 4AA's that came with the Solar Panel because they were a better balance of weight to the right amount of power and milliamps. I ended up using a simple soft case Velcro wrapped to the helmet. Most of the work was getting an easy rapid prototype idea to work rain or shine, for months on end, and be versatile with replaceable parts. I kept it flat black because the helmet is flat black and New York City is never dark. In the country one would probably want to paint it a very visible color.