Introduction: DIY Solar Battery Charger

Picture of DIY Solar Battery Charger

When my older brother left on his mission for 2 years, he left something for me: His prized solar panel. As a fellow electronics enthusiast, he told me to "make something super cool with it." After a while, I realized I hadn't used it for anything super cool. After a few days of planning during English and History classes, I came up with the Solar Battery Charger. It's pretty easy to make, and after it's built you can charge batteries literally anywhere under the Sun! It's great for camping and backpacking as it's fairly portable. Well, enough talking. Let's go and make something super cool!

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of Materials & Tools

The total cost for this project is about $40, if you have the tools. The parts are fairly common, though, so dive right in and start buying the materials!

Materials:

Tools:

  • Soldering Iron w/ Solder
  • Hot Glue Gun w/ Hot Melt Glue
  • Screwdriver
  • Jigsaw/Circular Saw/Table Saw/Hand Saw/Band Saw/Portable Band Saw/Wire Saw/Reciprocating Saw/Chop Saw

Step 2: Body

Picture of Body

The body is made from 3/4'' plywood. Cut it with pretty much any type of saw to the size of 9.5''x6''. There's not too much pressure to make the cut be extra straight, so don't worry!

Step 3: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

The circuit isn't too complicated. Just solder the components and wires right in! First, cut the PCB down to about 1.5''x0.5''. Then insert the components and solder them in! Also solder the leads to the alligator clips and battery snap. Make sure not to mix up the polarity!

Step 4: Putting Body Together

Picture of Putting Body Together

Unscrew the legs from the Solar Panel and put them somewhere else, along with their screws. Then, using the screws, screw the Solar Panel onto exactly one side of the body through the four holes on the corners of the panel. Use hot glue to attach the battery holder to the opposite side of the body, making sure it's laying on its side so you can put in the batteries being charged! You'll have noticed that the wires from the solar panel are mighty long, so tie them up with a zip tie!

Step 5: Putting Electronics Together

Picture of Putting Electronics Together

Snap the battery connector onto the battery holder. Then, hot glue the PCB solder joint side down just above the battery holder. Attach the alligator clips to the solar panel's clips as shown.

Step 6: Charge!

Picture of Charge!

To charge your batteries, just put them in and wait! They should be charged after about 1 hour, depending on how much sunlight there is.

Thanks for reading my Instructable! I hope you enjoyed it. If you ever build this, let me know! However, please remember to only charge rechargeable batteries. I'd love to see someone other than me make their own. Thanks for making it this far!

Comments

rocketman2013 (author)2016-04-05

nice project

Thanks man

darkken (author)2015-02-21

Were for is THE diode in your project. I AM Also wanna to build somthing like that, But what if your solar panel gives 12v on a sunny day? Than you blow your batterys? Or AM i wrong? I was thinking that a voltage regulator Will Be A safer for This project (sorry for my bad english)

Beachley (author)darkken2015-03-01

darkken,

The diode prevents parasitic battery drain. It's a good idea to use one.

Fission_Chips (author)darkken2015-02-22

1: There is a diode - look at the schematic.

2: Since there are 8 AA Batteries, the charge voltage should be about 12V. ON a sunny day, it can get up to 16V (2V per battery) which is the maximum voltage - so that's still fine.

Thanks for your concern! If you build it, show me a picture. Thanks!

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