Instructables
loading
loading
Picture of How to make a Solar USB charger! (simple!)
Thanks for all of the views guys! If you want to read my news letter click here


Welcome! I will show you how to make a solar usb charger that out puts about 6v and is perfect for charging anthing that uses USB. This is perfect for someone new to soldering! Here is the finished product:
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Parts

You need the following:
1x USB extension a/a cable http://www.monoprice.com (That's where I got mine.)
1x Any Diode (RadioShack #: 276-563)
1x 6v Solar panel (RadioShack #: 277-1205 )
Soldering iron(RadioShack #: 64-2051)
Solder
1x Project box (Radioshack #: 270-1803) I would maybe chose a smaller on, I had a bigger one laying around.
Electrical Tape
Glue Gun or tape to hold the peices in place.
Drill

Thats it!

Step 2: Getting ready

Picture of Getting ready
This is a simple circuit so all you need to do before you solder is Cut the USB extender cable towards the bigger side. Leave an inch (or two if you want) and then cut off the shielding and get rid of everything except the red and black wire

Step 3: Time to solder!

Picture of Time to solder!
P6240003.JPG
Now look at the picture below. You need to solder the Diode to the red wire from the solar panel then the red wire from your extension cable to the diode. That was the hardest part in this tutorial! now just solder the black wire from the solar panel to the Extension cable and your done soldering!
Now, just cover those spots in electrical tape. and your almost done!

Step 4: Drill!

Now you just need to drill a hole for your cables to go through on top (from the solar panel) and another hole for the cable.

Step 5: Glue it together.

Picture of Glue it together.
This is the last step. Just put glue around the extension cable and on tp of your project box to glue on the solar panel and your done!

Step 6: Test it out!

Picture of Test it out!
Its charging up my blackberry perfectly! It is even 7:30 here and not too bright.
1-40 of 258Next »
shane.lareau6 months ago

If I have a 5V solar cell at 500mA, would I really need to worry about installing the diode at all?

Sure you do. If you don't, there's a chance the flow of current will reverse and blow your solar cell.

SantoshR5 months ago

Hi.. i have successfully made the above.. also by adding a pair of rechargeable batteries inbetween.. to save some for the night charging .. but im trying to show a 5 or 6 led indicator [ indicating % power left in the battery ] or something like that.. could you help me out with that.

Bauke SantoshR7 hours ago

You should connect a resistor with a specific amount of ohms to each led. If you want to know more details, ask me.

siddheshb5 months ago

will it cause any damage to my phone..please reply fast

Bauke siddheshb7 hours ago

No it would not. As long as the voltage and current are high enough it will charge your device. If not, most devices won't even charge.

im going to make the same design but im going to use a 2.5 W, 5 volt 500 ma solar panel and a 5 volt voltage regulater

Keep in mind that most regulators have a dropout voltage of 2V. That means that if you want a 5 volt output, the input would be 7 volt.

Learn more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dropout_voltage

shubhamk1 year ago
Hey i bought a 6v and 100mA solar panel and a zener diode of 12 v and 1 watt and connected all as shown. Wen i expose the solar panel in sun it shows me charging on my phone but i waited for long time still my battery is same and not charging!! Please help as soon as possible...
Probably because 100mA isn't even enough to put a dent in the charge of a cell phone. Could power an led or something but phones use a lot of energy.

if you use a regulator it will boost the power from 100ma to 500ma or 1 amp and will keep a stedy rate at 5 volts

BUT how can regulator can boost power from 100 ma to 500ma?

So is there any solution to it??? Except buying a new solar panel! May be by adding anything like a diode or something in the circuit??
Put the panel out in the sun and use a multimeter to make sure everything is set up and working properly. If it's all working right then a bigger panel is probably what you need. If you have an iphone or ipod check out http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-get-your-iPod-to-charge-with-your-homemade-/#step1 and see if that helps at all.

use a regulator

GroutN shubhamk5 months ago
You need to raise the current it needs to reach at least 500mA

don't use 12 volts its too much power and it will damage the battery please use a 5 volt regulator with 1 amp of power

SophiaL33 months ago

I used this for my science experiment, and it works very well! It does not cause any damage to a Samsung GALAXY S5, but I am not sure about other devices.

Are you sure it does not do damage to a Samsung Galaxy s5? No criticism, I have an s5, and I want to make sure I don't break another one (the first one fell out of my pocket into a campfire {woops}). I intend to build one of these, but I would like sure that I don't overcharge it and have another one catch on fire.

reply plsss ...

reply plsss ...

reply plsss ...

what is the scope and limitations of this solar charger ..?

reply fast plsssss ..

hey, guys im a researcher student, and i want to make this as an our study, but I have a question.If will it cause any damaged to my phone?If it's safe?plss. reply fast. thank you :)

Sheen Amon4 months ago

good one guys but make sure you always connect a 1k pot with a 4.7 -5.1v zener's in series between your out put, this is simply because a solar panel which is rated at 12v would be 15v or 16 to reduce the effect caused by change in whether or whatevr you call it in my own opinion i also suggest a capacitor to be connected in parallel with the solar panel to act as a tank cos solar voltage is never constant.

Sheen Amon4 months ago

good one guys but make sure you always connect a 1k pot with a 4.7 -5.1v zener's in series between your out put, this is simply because a solar panel which is rated at 12v would be 15v or 16 to reduce the effect caused by change in whether or whatevr you call it in my own opinion i also suggest a capacitor to be connected in parallel with the solar panel to act as a tank cos solar voltage is never constant.

Sheen Amon4 months ago

good one guys but make sure you always connect a 1k pot with a 4.7 -5.1v zener's in series between your out put, this is simply because a solar panel which is rated at 12v would be 15v or 16 to reduce the effect caused by change in whether or whatevr you call it in my own opinion i also suggest a capacitor to be connected in parallel with the solar panel to act as a tank cos solar voltage is never constant.

Sheen Amon4 months ago

good one guys but make sure you always connect a 1k pot with a 4.7 -5.1v zener's in series between your out put, this is simply because a solar panel which is rated at 12v would be 15v or 16 to reduce the effect caused by change in whether or whatevr you call it in my own opinion i also suggest a capacitor to be connected in parallel with the solar panel to act as a tank cos solar voltage is never constant.

Sheen Amon4 months ago

good one guys but make sure you always connect a 1k pot with a 4.7 -5.1v zener's in series between your out put, this is simply because a solar panel which is rated at 12v would be 15v or 16 to reduce the effect caused by change in whether or whatevr you call it in my own opinion i also suggest a capacitor to be connected in parallel with the solar panel to act as a tank cos solar voltage is never constant.

mujahedkhalil6 months ago

I want to make it, actually I don,t know ho to control current? i.e: if solar panel have 1.5A current and wanted current is 800mA. then how can we reduce and vice versa?

Maybe you want to make a variable current regulator
AlberA6 months ago

Hi im gonna build a charger like this for my school work, but i dont have the knowledge to know what solar panel i need what Voltage or watts it should have, can you please send me a link of a panel that can do the job ? A amazon or ebay link would be great. Thank you

adamellifritz7 months ago
I use the 1N914 diode...you can get 50 for $1.99 @ radio shack
adamellifritz7 months ago
the diode on the parts list at the beginning is the voltage regulator...otherwise, it's a very good project. I dont see any problems other than the fact you need a 5v diode so you wont over charge.
Fashiondez3 years ago
Can I use a 6v 35ma cell for this project?

No, it needs to have more ma, like 500ma or more. Otherwise your phone will charge really slooooowly or not charge at all. If you use a 6v panel, you need to add some sort of regulator, eg. a 5v zener diode, otherwise you risk damaging your phone. (You should use one anyway even if you use a 5v panel).

mking011 year ago
Hey, this is probably a stupid question, yet i will still ask it because google can't help me (for once)
If i were to use a higher voltage solar panel (ie. about 8V) and add in a 7805 5v regulator, wouldn't that essentially make it safer for my iPhone and possibly increase the mA? I need this answer as soon as possible, but even if its been a while, still answer because i might want to make this again some day outside of school, thanks!

if you want to charge an iphone you will need a 5 volt regulator with 500ma to 1 amp anything more then that will damage the battery

I would use a 5v regulator no matter what. However to charge Apple devices you can't simply supply the 5 volts, there needs to be around 1.9 volts on the two data lines of the usb. This way it thinks you're using an Apple charger.

But this is not the case for other, non-apple products? So other phones don't need power on the data lines?

1-40 of 258Next »