A SOLAR POWERED MOBILE PHONE

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Introduction: A SOLAR POWERED MOBILE PHONE

I WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO ADD A SMALL SOLAR PANEL TO A PHONE SO IT EXTENDS THE LIFE OF YOUR PHONE BATTERY.BECAUSE OF THE TYPE OF SOLAR PANEL I USED IT LOOKS GREAT AND DOES NOT GET IN THE WAY OF USING THE PHONE NORMALLY AND YOU CAN STILL USE YOUR MOBILE PHONE PROTECTIVE CASE IF YOU USE ONE BECAUSE OF THE TYPE OF PANEL I HAVE USED.MY NEXT INSTRUCTABLE IF I DO IT WILL BE USING THE SAME METHOD TO ADD A SOLAR PANEL TO A A LAPTOP TO INCREASE ITS BATTERY LIFE AND TOP UP THE BATTERY WHEN YOUR NOT USING IT.

PS THIS IS MY FIRST INSTRUCTABLR AND ALSO I TOOK PICTURES AFTERWARDS AS I SUDDENLY REMEMBERED THIS SITE.AND ALSO I HAVE NOT STUCK THE SOLAR PANEL DOWN YET THATS WHY IT LOOKS RAISED ABOVE THE CASE.I HAVE NOT GOT ANY DOUBLE SIDED STICKY TABE.PROVIDING YOU SOLDER IT OK THEN IT WILL BE FLUSH WITHT HE PHONES SURFACE.

THANKS PLEASE COMMENT AND ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT THE LAST STEP IT GIVES YOU SOME COOL IDEAS IF ANYONE WANTS TO MAKE THEM

Step 1: BUYING THE RIGHT PANEL

I BUY MY PANELS FROM : http://www.selectsolar.co.uk/pics/SP3-37%20(22mA%20at%203v).php

THE LINK ABOVE IS THE PANEL I PARTICULARY USED. THE REASON I USE THIS PANEL IS BECAUSE IT PROVIDES THE RIGHT VOLTAGE FOR MOBILE PHONE BATTERIES AND IT IS PAPER THIN AND IT HAS A MIRROWED FINISH SO IT DOES NOT LOOK UGLY ATTACHED TO YOUR PHONE.

THE PANEL IS 22MA @ 3VOLTS AND MEASURES JUST 3.7cm by 6.4cm

more info ont his panel here:lightweight, paper thin and durable
flexible enough to curve around an object 3 inches in diameter
will not break if dropped
wide range of sizes and power configurations available
thin profile enables them to be easily integrated with devices for solar recharging or direct power
Ideal for recharging AA, AA, 6V and 2V batteries
Please note: these modules do not have a UV stabilised surface.
Simple to connect - just solder or crimp to the copper tape.
Size 3.7cm by 6.4cm.

Step 2: Deciding Where to Mount Your Panel

with most phones it is easiest to mount it on the back of the phone as thats where you have the most surface area free and also the back does slide of to allow access to the battery.
you must decide where to put the panel first so you know where to cut the 2 very small holes in the case.

Step 3: Mounting the Blocking Diode

now you must find a place to mount the blocking diode.i mounted mine in the plastic casing between the battery and the case.but if you want you can take the phone apart and mount it inside somewhere but you must insulate it so it doesnt short andything out.also conside where you mount it you must allow access for small wires from the solar panel and the battery. IF YOU FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTABLE THEN THE WAY TO INSTALL THE BLOCKING DIODE IS AS FOLLOWS. the white strip on the diode need to face the battery wire.the whote strip acts as a gate and will not let power from the battery pass through it.but it must be nearest the battery wire. if thre strip is nearest the solar panel wire then you wil only discharge your battery and not charge it.ps ue a dremel if you have one as i used a soldering iron to melt the plastic and it loks messy. i do aactually have a dremel but didnt think to use it here for the whole for he blocking diode. lol

Step 4: Which Wire to Use

i used very thin video cable the type you would use to connect a ccd/cmos camera to a power supply and screen

Step 5: Solder the Wires to the Blocking Diode.

solder the the red wires to the blocking diode please remember before you cut the wires to leave enough length so the wires will reach the battery and the panel. be carefull not to heat up the diode over 150c otherwise it will be useless if it gets to 200c approx.and use least amount of solder as you can so you dont have any problems fitting the diode in the phone.

Step 6: Attach Wires to the Battery Connectors on the Phone

neatly hide the wires and the diode in the phone casing and then connect the wires using the twist method onto the connectors on the phone where the battery touches them.red for positive and black for negative.

Step 7: Cut the Holes for the Wires in the Phone

now earlier on you decided where to mount the solar panel so you now need to get the wires from the inside of the phone to the outside so you can attach the panel.hold the panel in place then decide where to cut the holes.
remember you must allow enough play on the wire for when you take the case of to access you simcard or something.
you can cut the holes using very small circuit board drill bits or use a stanley blade or hooby nife or even heat up a needle on a soldering iron or with a lighter and burn a whole through you phone case,if you burn a hole you need to use a stanley blade to trim it flat.

Step 8: Solder the Wires to the Panel

solder each wire to the panel remember you have to scratch of the plastic coating on the copper strips before you solder it and dont melt the panel solder as quickly as you can and try and solder it flat so its not raised above the phone case when you mount the panel.

you can find the polarity of a soalr panel by hooking it up to a multimeter. my multimeter displays a minus sign if i have it in reverse polarity.some other multimeters just diplay 0.00 volts if you have the polarity wrong,so just switch the probes round and attach to solar panel and it should give you volts.

we dont need a voltager regulator as its a very small solar cell and it cannot harm your battery

Step 9: Mount the Panel on the Phone

simply use double sided sticky tape to mount the panel to the phone. is suggest you apply the tape only to the removable back case of the phone so you can get access to your battery and simcard etc.

Step 10: Another Way of Doing This Without Cutting Holes in Your Phone or Anything and Some Other Cool Ideas I Have With Solar Panels

instead of adding a panel to your phone what you can do is get a protective phone case like in the picture below.mount the panel inside the phone case, now all phones have a charger point usually at the bottom of the phone all you do is connect the solar panel to the end of a phone charger but put a blocking diode in between the panel and the charger end. then just plug the chargeing tip into the bottom of your phone and it charges. it may not register as charging as its low ma's but it will charge your phone.if you think that it is not charginf your phone then you can put a 200k resistor on the ground connection between your panel and your charger plug.also phones that have a mini usb connection on them sometimes require you to connect the data- cable to the ground for it to register that a cable is plugged in to it.you can search for pinout diagrams on the internet for your specific phone.but as we are dealing with low power solar panel the phone will never register as charging as its too low to detect it, but i can tell you it will charge yourphone regardless what way you do it.

if you want to do something else similar then you can buy a bigger version of this paper thin mirrowed finish solar panel and attach it to the back of your laptop screen so it charges your battery when your not using it and when you are using it.and if you wanted to go the whole hog you could even buy long thin solar panel strips and insert them inside your screen where the florescent tube is which lights up the screen and collect free energy that way and put it back itno the laptop battery.or use it to power usb sockets etc.or even connect a female usb cable to the soalr panel on the back of your laptop screen adn use it to charge mp3 palyers and things instead of using the usb socket on yout laptop.

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    60 Comments

    is it harmful ? Whenever our hand touches to. Panel at. Charging time .?

    Great tutorial I really liked it. However wouldn't it have been better to solder the solar panels up to the usb port to charge the phone instead of the battery directly? Since it has power connections that are already being protected. So stronger panels could be used and could safely charge the phone faster. Granted you would have to compensate for your specific sunlight zone and phone specifications. There are a wide range of configurations for powerfilm. Great stuff :).

    My bad i didn't realise how old this was. Powerfilm might have had a very limited supply back then.

    I just bought a solar batt backup at bensoutlet.com for $7.99. It even has an internal battery in it, and it is the size of a large cell phone.I don't think you can build it for that.

    yes but you are then carrying a large box type shape around with you.with my design you dont have to do that as its a flat solar panel.if i hadmore time i would seal the solar panel onto the back panel of the actual phone casing and then,aybe laminate over the top of the panel to protect it.that way it looks and feels like a normal phone.i believe the panel now only costs $1.99 so my way is still cheper im afraid.also you internal batery will eventually die on the solar charger aswell as the battery in your phone. where as my way all you have to replace is the phone battery when that fails but it will fail ust the sam as any other phone batery would after so many charges so to be honest my idea is cheaper, takes up no more space in you pockets,less costs to repair if batteries fail and is a cool thing to do yourself when you bored and your friends will love it. thanks for your comments though

    It is the same size as my touch screen cell phone. It is 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 3/8. not very big.

    it is big when you compare it against my instructable which is paper thin (NON BULKY) THANKS

    So if my phone has a battery rated at 3.7v, would a 4.8v thin solar cell work? What about a blocking diode to prevent the solar cell from sucking the battery down when not in the sunlight? thx.

    in my instructable i have used a blocking diode to prevent reverse charging. a 4.8v cell would be ok to use as its suck low current (milliamps) if you need any help let me know

     I think this is awesome!! My battery is always dying..I think I am a little worried ( only because I am afraid of the cell phone not of your instructable) about the radiation being magnified with this modification. And really there is no way to test this unless  you exposed people on purpose. I think I like the charger that sits alone connected with a cord away from the phone not attached. When it is attached it is next to your head. This could be giving off some sort of energy within the panels into a persons brain..I don't know..Just a bit concern...
    maybe make a cord so you can lay it to the side??Great idea maybe just fix this part?