In this Instructable, students learn about basic electronics and renewable energy sources by building a solar powered cell phone charger. While existing chargers run from $70 - $90, the components for this project only cost around $20. This is by no means the best or most effective charger - it is cheap, and can recharge in the sun. For a much more elegant, well designed, and well documented solar charger, you should really check out the materials on adafruit.com.
This project is of course, derived from the work that Limor Fried did in her MintyBoost Altoids charger, and from several other instructables, including this project
from Joshua Zimmerman. The main differences for this project are cost, and durability. I found that his embedded iPhone charging cable was particularly fragile, with the wires exposed. These issues should be addressed in this instructable.
Here are the components you will need:
- $4.00 - Emergency iPhone charger - via Amazon
- $2.00 - AA battery holder - via RadioShack
- $3.99 - Solar Cell. I used this cell
, from Brown Dog Gadgets, but you may be able to find them cheaper.
- Solar Batteries (AA)
- Wire, solder, soldering iron
- Altoids Tin
- Double stick tape
- Electrical tape