Introduction: Solar Charger

Picture of Solar Charger

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.

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

Picture of Adjusting

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

Picture of Connecting USB

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

Step 4:

Picture of

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:

Picture of

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!!

Picture of Finished!!

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.

Comments

SameerA1 (author)2016-05-19

Which type of booster i can use???

crashzoom (author)SameerA12016-05-19

An adjustable boost converter module. It should convert the input voltage from your panel to 5 volts. you can get one on Ebay, dx, ali express, etc.

ShioriToshiko (author)2015-10-25

Where can I get the charger module?

Sky779 (author)ShioriToshiko2016-02-17

Adafruit.com is a good source and they have a good ibble as well. https://learn.adafruit.com/usb-dc-and-solar-lipoly-charger

shai023 (author)2015-10-14

Where do i buy a solar panel?

Sky779 (author)shai0232016-02-17

Adafruit.com is a good source and they have a good ibble as well. https://learn.adafruit.com/usb-dc-and-solar-lipoly-charger

crashzoom (author)shai0232015-10-14

I bought mine on Ebay but I'm sure you can get one on Amazon Ali express and radioshack stores.

txy9002 (author)2016-01-31

Nice project! I'm wondering what should be the output and input of the portable charger...

crashzoom (author)txy90022016-01-31

Tnx :) the input depends on the solar panel you use, the output should be set to 5 volts.

DeezzNutts (author)2015-05-11

Did u made a video on YouTube or somthing ..

crashzoom (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-12

Not yet but I'm now making videos for the instructables I can.

manish96 (author)crashzoom2015-09-02

Its a great project.... Bt I didn't understand d step 2 of it... Can u plz explain it more briefly...

crashzoom (author)manish962015-09-02

The part I used here is an adjustable boost converter and you can control the voltage it outputs. In step 2 I connected the part to a power source and to a voltmeter, then I changed the voltage to 5v so it fits the USB voltage. If you have any further questions I'll be happy to answer them.

DeezzNutts (author)crashzoom2015-05-12

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

crashzoom (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-12

You can ask anything you want

DeezzNutts (author)crashzoom2015-05-12

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)DeezzNutts2015-05-13

You're welcome, I think.. search for arduino stores, electronic stores might have it but arduino ones are your best chance I think.

DeezzNutts (author)crashzoom2015-05-13

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)DeezzNutts2015-05-13

What Is kik?

DeezzNutts (author)crashzoom2015-05-13

Its Like facebook

crashzoom (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-14

nope, but I have Facebook

DeezzNutts (author)crashzoom2015-05-14

Add me Arely Montesinos

DeezzNutts (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-14

I have an alice in wonderland cover photo

crashzoom (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-15

Added

crashzoom (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-13

And good luck with the fair.

ZiaR2 (author)2015-08-09

Can you please tell me the solar panel is of how many volts
It is good if you mail me
Email id - rahman.zia11@gmail.com

crashzoom (author)ZiaR22015-08-09

It was a 5 volts solar panel.

crashzoom (author)2015-07-05

I re-checked my charger and the output voltage is 5 volts. Please post a link for the module you used so I may identify the problem :}

DragonWOF (author)2015-06-12

How much does this cost?

crashzoom (author)DragonWOF2015-06-12

this was a long time ago but it was pretty cheap.. I think the panel costs a few dollars.

crashzoom (author)ilyas.ouchane82015-03-26

On ebay, deal extreme or arduino stores maybe

ragyarko made it! (author)2015-03-17

it.really good

gridarmorfix (author)2014-07-07

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)gridarmorfix2015-01-15

Tnx great advice

Mr_Rep (author)2014-08-27

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_Rep2015-01-15

I believe that the 4AA holder cause it has the same voltage

9773776901 (author)2014-10-18

can i use 5.5 volts solar cell

crashzoom (author)97737769012015-01-15

of course you will only need to adjust the output to 5 volts

otmpp (author)2014-12-05

where can I get a solar panel in the UK anyone

crashzoom (author)otmpp2014-12-07

order one from eBay

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-19

Thank you for your Instructable

Nice job.

Rima

crashzoom (author)SparkySolar2014-12-07

thank you :-)

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-19

Thank you for your Instructable

Nice job.

Rima

edservice (author)2014-04-15

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

billbillt (author)2014-04-14

great project...well done...

crashzoom (author)billbillt2014-04-26


Tnx :)

gravityisweak (author)2014-04-12

Whats the name of that adjustable boost module? I have a dc-dc buck converter but it does not boost voltage.

crashzoom (author)gravityisweak2014-04-12

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

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