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Solar Ipod, cellphone charger

Hey guys I found this tutorial for building a Solar Ipod charger
http://yosemiteoutside.com/m/Blogs/02EA4A6B-8893-4F3E-87A8-C1E4B24C3AAB.html
I have already looked up all the parts for it, but when reading the data sheet for the regulator
http://www.st.com/stonline/books/pdf/docs/2146.pdf
I was rather confused, I got that it could take up to 35v, but there was no max amperage ratings. I am thinking of making one that is more efficient using a solar panel that putts out more watts, because the one he used only put out .6Watts (100ma x 6v), but the regulator can put out 2.5 watt. couldn't you hook up a larger solar panel. Thanks

John Culbertson (author) 10 years ago
thanks, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to hurt anything, and good point about the heat sink, I didn't think of that.
LasVegas10 years ago
You're not limited by the regulator so much as the item(s) you intend to charge with it. In both cases, you should limit the current supplied to about 500mA at 5V. That would be 2.5 Watts. It won't benifit you to increase the voltage of the solar panel, but the current. Just add more panels in parallel to supply up to 500mA (5 panels in parallel). Since you're only dropping the source by a volt at such low current,I wouldn't worry too much about dropping the voltage supplying the regulator. You will want to attach the regulator to a heatsink or some sort (Just a chuck to aluminum or steel would suffice.).