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Hi,
In this step-by-step guide i'm about to teach you how to design and build a simple solar charger.


What you'll need:

1) Solar panel.
2) Adjustable Boost Converter Charger Module.
3) Electrical Wires.
4) USB female cable.
5) A box.
6) Recommended  - portable USB charger, a cord, led. 
7) Soldering Tin.
8) Duct tape.


Tools:

1) Plier.
2) Soldering iron.
3) Hot glue gun.
4) A knife.
5) Tweezers.
6) Voltmeter.
 
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Step 1: Attaching wires to the panel

Picture of Attaching wires to the panel
Solder electrical wires to the solar panel (Red to +, black to -).
Cover it with the duct tape. 

Step 2: Adjusting

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Connect a power source to the charger module and a voltmeter to the output of it. Now adjust the module to 5v output.
connect the panel to the module (to the input).

Step 3: Connecting USB

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Cut the USB cable and then solder the + cable to the + output in the module and the - cable to the - output. 

Step 4:

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Mark on the top of the box the size of the solar panel.
Cut near the borders that you've marked so the hole is a bit smaller than the panel.

Step 5:

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Use hot glue to glue the panel to the hole.
Now glue the other parts to the bottom of the box so they wont move, in the side make a hole as big as the USB cable.

* I recommend gluing the USB output well so sand and dirt wont come in.

**If you had cotton wool in the box i recommend putting it between the panel and the bottom it will also help preventing the parts moving.

Step 6: Finished!!

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Now you can test your charger.

Step 7: Recommended additions

* If you like to you can add a led to the module output so you'll know when its working.

** If your box is big enough you can add a portable charger instead of the USB output so power wont be wasted, that way you'll be able to use it even when the solar panel is not exposed to light.

*** I added a small loop to the side of the box so i will be able to hang the charger when driving the car, going on camping etc.

Step 8: That's it

I hope you enjoyed this guide, if you have any questions I will answer them happily.

Like this project? Check out my profile, my Facebook page and my YouTube Channel.

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DragonWOF1 month ago

How much does this cost?

crashzoom (author)  DragonWOF1 month ago
this was a long time ago but it was pretty cheap.. I think the panel costs a few dollars.
DeezzNutts2 months ago
Did u made a video on YouTube or somthing ..
crashzoom (author)  DeezzNutts2 months ago
Not yet but I'm now making videos for the instructables I can.

its because i need all the help i can get :)

crashzoom (author)  DeezzNutts2 months ago
You can ask anything you want

Thank u so much i was wondering is there any stores that sale charger module cause i am doing this solar power charger for a science fair project and i have everything that i need besides that and i need it by Friday :\

crashzoom (author)  DeezzNutts2 months ago
You're welcome, I think.. search for arduino stores, electronic stores might have it but arduino ones are your best chance I think.

thank you :) i was wondering do u have kik or something ?cause i found the part but i well be needing help and i hardly get on here

crashzoom (author)  DeezzNutts2 months ago
What Is kik?
Its Like facebook
crashzoom (author)  DeezzNutts2 months ago
nope, but I have Facebook
Add me Arely Montesinos
I have an alice in wonderland cover photo
crashzoom (author)  DeezzNutts2 months ago
Added
crashzoom (author)  DeezzNutts2 months ago
And good luck with the fair.
crashzoom (author)  ilyas.ouchane84 months ago
On ebay, deal extreme or arduino stores maybe
ragyarko made it!4 months ago
it.really good
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I would recommend using a dc to dc step up module eBay item number 321333677611 this will allow smartphone charging. because the solar panel is only a few hundred milliamps I would also recommend charging the phone in the off state as your phone may not charge at all if it's on. my phone pulls .94 amps while charging, that's 940 milliamps.
crashzoom (author)  gridarmorfix6 months ago
Tnx great advice
Mr_Rep11 months ago

so i have a 4 AA battery holder, and a 7.2V NiMh RC heli battery. which would be more feffective with the use of a 6V solar cell?

crashzoom (author)  Mr_Rep6 months ago
I believe that the 4AA holder cause it has the same voltage
97737769019 months ago
can i use 5.5 volts solar cell
crashzoom (author)  97737769016 months ago
of course you will only need to adjust the output to 5 volts
otmpp7 months ago
where can I get a solar panel in the UK anyone
crashzoom (author)  otmpp7 months ago
order one from eBay
SparkySolar9 months ago

Thank you for your Instructable

Nice job.

Rima

crashzoom (author)  SparkySolar7 months ago
thank you :-)
SparkySolar9 months ago

Thank you for your Instructable

Nice job.

Rima

edservice1 year ago

Could you please provide a part # and source for the solar panel

crashzoom (author)  edservice1 year ago
billbillt1 year ago

great project...well done...

crashzoom (author)  billbillt1 year ago


Tnx :)

Whats the name of that adjustable boost module? I have a dc-dc buck converter but it does not boost voltage.
crashzoom (author)  gravityisweak1 year ago

http://www.dx.com/p/dc-3-34v-to-dc-4-35v-adjustable-boost-converter-charger-module-149681#.U0kgWPmSygY

crashzoom (author)  crashzoom1 year ago

That's the one i bought

Great tutorial! Does it matter if you cover the wires with electrical tape or duct tape?

crashzoom (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 year ago

Thanks :) i agree with nqtronix about the tape issue, i used it to prevent wires from touching each other.

As long as the tape is none conductive it should be fine in this aplication. When working with higher voltages however you should use proper isolation with either electrical tabe or heatshinking tube just to make sure you're out of danger.

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