The purpose of this project is to make a solar charger for any phone or any device that supports USB charging The charger is fully dependable on solar energy as the only power source. The main objective is to create it using affordable materials and make to whole process easy enough to understand and reproduce for other people around the world.
Step 1: What You Need
Black (negative) and Red (positive) wires
4 “AA” Battery Holder (RadioShack) $3
4 AA Batteries
PARALLAX Solar Panel 6V@1W,125x63mm (eBay from China) - $13
PLA Filament for 3D Printer (optional)
Altoid Tin (optional)
3D Printer (optional)
There are two version that you can make depending on wether you own a 3D home printer such as Maker Bot. If you do, you can either download my design and print it or design you own. If you don't have 3D printer and want to go more low-budget, you can use Altoid Tin or anything else as the main structure for this charger.
Step 2: Wire Terminal
Wire terminal is basically the brain of this charger. It is necessary to bring energy from the sun to the batteries and then from batteries to the actual device. The wire terminal can be easily purchased either in Radio Shack or anywhere else online. I have personally used one from IKEA SUNNAN LED table lamp because of the reverse-engineering process. After you get your wire terminal, you have to solder and connect the wires to solar-input, battery-input and energy-output as indicated on a chart above.
Step 3: Pick the Right Batteries
We will need some rechargeable batteries that are reliable and can provide enough current to charge a phone. I have decided to use Dantona "AA" 1.2V/1000mAh Ni-Cd Batteries, which provide enough current and are also very cheap and reliable and you can get them in any Radio Shack store.