Dreamed of making a cheap and "EXTREMELY RELIABLE" portable USB solar charger? Here's a quick tutorial, revealing how I made mine with a budget less than $20!
I have so many uses for it. When we travel and go camping, it serves us an unlimited supply of charging power for our handheld devices, such as iPhones, iPads, Speakers and Android Devices. It can charge anything! Anytime, anywhere! When an outrageous storm comes in, blackouts are inevitable, it's a good thing to have a solar charger!

By the help of of our trusty USB powerbank, charging during night time is possible, it acts as a battery reservoir, and charges during day.
It only takes 40-120 minutes to fully charge your powerbank, and it also comes with a 4 bar battery indicator!
It's a sustainable + reliable source of energy, ideal for charging USB devices.

- 10 Volt 3W Solar Panel (Water Proof - Shock Resistant)
- 2800mAh PowerBank (2A Output - iPhone 5 compatible)
-  Self-sustainable - Close to Unlimited USB Power :D

Also, please support and visit my site: ASCAS.ph (incompatible with IE -Under Renovation)
Enjoy Reading :D Cheers!

Step 1: Tool & Materials

It's recommended to use a solar panel rated at least 3W-10W at 6-10 volts. This is done to shorten your charging time. My parts and materials cost me 725php ($17/ USD). The links below are just alternatives. In the next page, I gave a list of cheap, quality powerbanks from DealExtreme.com products w/free shipping". The price is up to you, try to hunt down clearance sales.

My Parts - (w/ Alternative Links):
1.) Solar Panel (mine= 10V 400mAh | 3W)
2.) USB PowerBank (2800 mAh - w/ battery indicator)
3.) 4 Port USB Hub
5.) 7805 Regulator Chip
6.) Micro USB Cable (A stripped end)
7.) Leatherman Multitool (from: Instructable Prize)
8.) A short length of stranded wire.
9.) Superglue (Gorilla or MightyBond)
its a nice cheap and clean way to manage your charges......
It's true! Now my parents will have a peace in mind, now that I don't have to charge my devices on the outlet 24/7. Instead, all of them are being charge 24/7 on the panel with a $0 bill :)) Cheers!
<p>you know electricity doesn't cost much</p>
<p>Do you live in America? The price of electricity has risen significantly in my part of the country. It has actually become a concern to leave transformers plugged in even when not charging. they are referred to as &quot;vampires&quot; because they leach small amounts of current when not in use.</p>
<p>I do actually is live in ame</p>
<p>I live in Greece (Europe) the prices really got up the last 2-3 months but I use often ebeay market to biuy electronic parts. I think the rise of the prices has to do with the global financial crisis. Ofcourse always there are cheap parts more passive parts (resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc) But the prices of the IC chips are rising.....</p>
that's really useful!
What is the powerbank for they are really expensive when your trying to make multiples of these things. Could I still make one of these with a 6v solar panel without a power bank.
Yes you could! But a power bank acts as your battery reservoir, when there is an absence of sunlight, the powerbank serves as your powersource. <br> <br>I don't think it's practical to build your own powerbank, since AA battery packs are really inefficient + takes longer time to charge. Second, why make one if you could buy one for only $6
Some of the items are out of stock and possibly will not be resupplied/restocked. Are these parts easily interchangable or replaceable
If you're using an L7805, wouldn't you need a solar panel with a minimum output voltage of 7 W due to the 2 V dropout voltage of the L7805?
<p>nice guide :) im planning to use lipo instead of the powerbank, but also, that way i will need a lipo charger+ a boost circuit that makes 3.7 to 5v and a charger to charge the battery from solar :D</p><p>i dont think boost circuits are easily found in my country , so im planning to make my own :P</p><p>the whole reason that im doing this is to learn :D more than battery problems :P</p>
also if I was using a battery pack that held 4 AAs and they were rechargeable would that be capable to replace the powerbank and if I used a 6v solar panel and the usb port from a car charger to hook up to the regulator and all <br>
I'm going to vote for you! I love this, not just because it's useful (and cheap) but also because it's very doable. Even I can put this together. Thank you!
Thank you very much! It's a good thing, I didn't stick to my original plan, which was assembling the whole setup from bare parts.
Awesome idea! Going to look into doing this! Favoured and voted!
Thank you very much! Well appreciated. I'm planning to make a site with a independent domain, I tried weebly, but it wont let me upload my own codes. I'l give wordpress a try =D
Also, it seems your domain is available for purchase! Might wasn't to look into that. Or just start a free blog on WordPress.com.
Great job and instructable - well done.
Very thorough and well written instructable! Great job! <br>Possibly dumb question, do you need a diode to prevent power from draining into the solar panel from the powerbank when it is dark?
Thanks! Well its not dumb at all :D, actually most powerbanks have a built in diode. Adding an extra one might cost some powerloss, specially when the proper specs are not observed. <br> <br>The 1N4007 series is only limited to 1 ampere, while the 1N5402 can reach up to 3 amperes. So to be sure its good to add one. The Voltage &amp; Ampere rating of your diode must be higher than your solar panel's rating. Thanks for the positive feedback! :))
<p>Buck converters and digital solar regulators are available as 'china specials' in the $1-3 range. 7805 is more lossy from heat yet similar price range. They work, but many solar based. Also, you'll find many of the power packs have a built in buck-converter on the input anyway and can handle a range of input power. If you're really worried about it, there are DiY solar power packs all over ebay in the $5-10 range that have both the input and output digital converters on the same board. Just tap into where the solar panels connect and run a wire out in parallel.</p>
<p>Solar Panels are expensive. To get the most out of them don't use ordinary buck regulators. With solar cells the input voltage has to be regulated(not done by ordinary buck regulators). This only as an example </p><p>https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/app-notes/index.mvp/id/414</p>
<p>Angelo: your website has been hacked. It redirects to a known malware site. DO NOT go to http://ascas.tk/ It has no content and will redirect. My antivirus blocked the redirect. I will not post where is goes.</p>
<p>Same Thing, it but it only redirects in Google Chrome. It redirects me to: </p><p><a href="http://eekzz.allvideos.0764.pics/APP666CHFFSearchIncognitoUS.html" rel="nofollow">http://eekzz.allvideos.0764.pics/APP666CHFFSearchIncognitoUS.html</a></p>
I was running both a Mac and PC with Firefox 46 and redirected both times. It was blocked by the antivirus on the PC. The Chrome addon advertised is considered malware because there is no need for it. If you use Chrome, Google is tracking you server side. Otherwise use DuckDuckGo and a private browser window and Google won't be able to track your searches. Plus don't log in the Google before doing a search.
That's were it went for me on my Mac. It was something worse on my PC. Both run Firefox 46 with noscript. The PC has Avast Free web protection as well. The browser hijack says it prevents Google from tracking you, but it makes no sense to use Chrome and not expect Google to track you. Otherwise use a private browsing window and DuckDuckGo for searches and you won't be tracked by advertisers.<br><br>I ran an online security check of the original website and there was no firewall. He left it open.
<p>Hey there ACSAS,</p><p>I have a 10400mAh powerbank. Am I able to use that big of one for this project?</p><p>Thank you!</p>
<p>Hey not a bad project but iam a bit suss on these power banks have you actually tried them all because the one i brought from jb hifi in Australia doesn't work, you cant charge it and discharge it at the same time?</p>
Well I probably couldn't buy one of the items in America for 20$. Tell you what I'll pay you 25$ for everything I need to build this
<p>The 5v high efficiency switching regulator, I dont see it in any of your photos, where and how do you install it?</p>
<p>how is the Switching regulator connected?</p>
<p>(oh, and if you learn to use the searches on ali-express, you can often get stuff slightly cheaper than on ebay)</p>
<p>According to the details in the provided link, the solar panel is 6V 3W, not 10 V as stated...</p><p>Just thought it was worth mentioning, even if it is unavailable.</p>
<p>Really good ideal , way to think green ! </p>
<p>Great project and I would like to try putting it together, so I was wondering how do I install the <a href="http://dx.com/p/mini-dc-dc-voltage-stabilizer-regulator-module-red-126106" rel="nofollow">HIGH-EFFICIENCY 5v Switching Regulator</a> since from the pic it seems that it has 5 legs, instead of 3 from the 7805 regulator... Your help is greatly appreciated!</p>
<p>Hello, do you have another suggestion on a panel? The one linked is currently out.</p>
<p>thanxs ,</p><p>A new follower</p>
<p>nice project - but why does one have to take the technology along camping/hiking? </p><p>I was under the impression that camping/hiking is to allow one to get away from all that.</p>
<p>this is amazing!!!!! love it will try to make. but where do you get solar at?</p>
<p>Just to clarify one thing, using linear voltage regulator like LM7805 isn't the most efficient way to regulate voltage (although it's very convenient). Linear voltage regulators' inefficiency increases as both voltage difference and current draw of the system increases in general. Plus, this configuration won't work if the solar cell generates voltages lower than 7V. If you are looking for more efficient way to charge your electronics, then you should consider using &quot;Buck converters&quot; :) Hopefully it helped. </p>
<p>Question, why a LM7805 instead of LM317 ?</p>
<p>I am going to be making this for a physics project, can anyone tell me if a 12v solar panel would work the same without having to change any of this equipment? thank you</p>
<p>According to LM7805's specs it can handle up to 25V input voltage so should be OK.</p>
Do you have a stock of the hi eff 5v switching regulator im from ph, caan i buy some from you? Email me.pease yonexgade14@gmail.com
Hi im from the PH too, where did you buy the solar panel?
Perfection. You may intend this to be used as a charger, but it would be ideal for powering embedded projects using the ras pi or arduino

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi I'm Angelo! I am a 17 y/o Physics Major at the DLSU and I use my course as an inspiration for making ... More »
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