Sometimes you need a whole lot of solar power to get your gadgets going. Bigger phones, tablets, and gadgets mean that they're more power hungry. When normal DIY solar chargers fail you, you need to turn to a Heavy Duty solution.
In this project I'm going to show you how to create a Lithium Heavy Duty Solar USB Charger. It's the second version of this project and addresses a lot of minor issues while improving the overall design. The key highlights of this project are it's 5W Solar Panel, 3A dual USB output, a powerful Lithium Ion Battery, and a laser cut wooden case.
Due to the parts being used, this project is suitable for direct solar to USB charging and could easily be used day to day. It's something that could be used for light camping or be used in an emergency situation. It's internal battery is more than powerful enough to charge any cell phone up at least once, and lesser phones/ gadgets several times. The only downside to this project is that the laser cut case is not waterproof, though it is very rustic looking.
Most of these parts can easily be found online, or at least very similar parts. I have a full Lithium Heavy Duty 2.0 Kit available on my website. If you're looking for a smaller project, try the Solar USB Charger 2.0 Kit. If you just want something pre made, then grab a Folding USB Solar Cell.
Note: This is not a beginner Maker project. Lithium Batteries can be dangerous. Practice doing some other projects before doing this one.
Difficulty: Easy - Medium
Cost: Medium - Less than a store bought at the same power
Time: 30 - 60 Minutes
All parts to this project can be found at BrownDogGadgets.com. A complete kit is available as well.
USB Charging Circuit - DC to DC Boosting Circuit
3.7V Lithium Battery Charge Controller
3.7V Lithium Battery - 2600mAh or better
6V 830mA Solar Cell (5 Watts)
2.5mm Male Barrel Jack with Wire
Laser Cut Case Parts:
Laser Cut Box
16 X 6-32 Screws
16 X 6-32 Nuts
Hot Glue Gun