Solar USB Charger

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Introduction: Solar USB Charger

In this 'ible I will be instructing you on how to build your own simple solar USB charger!

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

1. A 5v (or a little less) solar panel
Note: If your panel is under 1 amp or 4.5 volts, just use a boost driver or transistor. If your panel is too powerful use a regulator or resistor.
2. A female USB

Step 2: Prepare Your Wiring

1. Strip an tin the tips of the wire on the solar panel.
2. Repeat step one for the USB port (same steps).

Step 3: Begin Soldering

1. Solder the positive wire from the solar panel to the positive on the USB port.
2. Repeat step 1 for the negative wire.

Step 4: Schematic

Step 5: Optional

You could make/buy a case for this project, or use a switch.

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16 Comments

How long does it take to charge your phone?

It depends on the specs of the panel and the conditions during the charging process.

not whats possible but for your own phone how long does it take to charge?

With my panel about 2-3 hours, but my panel is a lower end one.

I mean no disrespect from my skepticism, but it is very well know that you have to have 5v at 1amp for an iPhone. And also it won't work with just any USB device, to show that it is charging there has to be an iPhone circuit (I think it's a resistor or series of resistors on pin 4 of the USB, it's been awhile). That's point one.

Now point 2 is even if you get it to charge at 4.7v that is the max output of your panel, meaning you will only be getting that output in optimum light conditions. You would only be able to get this to charge at mid day in direct light. And with no diode if your panel is in indirect light giving off less than the 3.7v (the actual voltage of the iPhones battery) it will be draining the battery vs charging it.

As I said, I use a transistor or a boost driver to charge faster. As long as it is constant you should be able to charge at these ratings.

How is it charging an iPhone if it doesn't even give off 1 amp? You need 1 amp to charge an iPhone. And at 5v for USB. Unless you have hacked the battery in your phone or hacked your charger, I don't see how this actually even charges. Pictures?

You could add a fuse to make sure you don't exceed 2amps. I had a short ounce on a portable charger I made and I was VERY happy I had a fuse so I didn't fry my phone. Also a diode in the circuit would prevent discharge from the battery when the panel isn't getting enough light.