Introduction: 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

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

Step 2: 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

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

Step 4:

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:

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!!

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

author
SameerA1 made it! (author)2016-05-19

Which type of booster i can use???

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2016-05-19

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.

author
ShioriToshiko made it! (author)2015-10-25

Where can I get the charger module?

author
Sky779 made it! (author)Sky7792016-02-17

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

author
shai023 made it! (author)2015-10-14

Where do i buy a solar panel?

author
Sky779 made it! (author)Sky7792016-02-17

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

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-10-14

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

author
txy9002 made it! (author)2016-01-31

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

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2016-01-31

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

author
DeezzNutts made it! (author)2015-05-11

Did u made a video on YouTube or somthing ..

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-05-12

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

author
manish96 made it! (author)manish962015-09-02

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

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-09-02

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.

author
DeezzNutts made it! (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-12

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

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-05-12

You can ask anything you want

author
DeezzNutts made it! (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-12

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 :\

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-05-13

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

author
DeezzNutts made it! (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-13

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

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-05-13

What Is kik?

author
DeezzNutts made it! (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-13

Its Like facebook

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-05-14

nope, but I have Facebook

author
DeezzNutts made it! (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-14

Add me Arely Montesinos

author
DeezzNutts made it! (author)DeezzNutts2015-05-14

I have an alice in wonderland cover photo

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-05-15

Added

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-05-13

And good luck with the fair.

author
ZiaR2 made it! (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

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-08-09

It was a 5 volts solar panel.

author
crashzoom made it! (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 :}

20150705_185135[1].jpg
author
DragonWOF made it! (author)2015-06-12

How much does this cost?

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-06-12

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

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-03-26

On ebay, deal extreme or arduino stores maybe

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

it.really good

temp_69332105.jpg
author
gridarmorfix made it! (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.

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-01-15

Tnx great advice

author
Mr_Rep made it! (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?

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-01-15

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

author
9773776901 made it! (author)2014-10-18

can i use 5.5 volts solar cell

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2015-01-15

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

author
otmpp made it! (author)2014-12-05

where can I get a solar panel in the UK anyone

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2014-12-07

order one from eBay

author
SparkySolar made it! (author)2014-10-19

Thank you for your Instructable

Nice job.

Rima

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2014-12-07

thank you :-)

author
SparkySolar made it! (author)2014-10-19

Thank you for your Instructable

Nice job.

Rima

author
edservice made it! (author)2014-04-15

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

author
billbillt made it! (author)2014-04-14

great project...well done...

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2014-04-26


Tnx :)

author
gravityisweak made it! (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.

author
crashzoom made it! (author)crashzoom2014-04-12

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

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Bio: I always liked making stuff and when my grandfather showed me Instructables I became an addict. I don't have any degrees yet but I ... More »
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