Picture of Solar powered cordless drill.
This was an experiment in repair. About a year ago my beloved cordless drill stopped working because the ac/dc transformer died. Rather than just chuck out when I bought my new 18 volt drill, I tossed it under the work bench.  Then after a fun trip to Harbor Freight I had an Idea... Solar Drill!!!!!
My Wife needed a simple drill of her own, so for the price of a really cheap crappy drill I bought a harbor freight solar panel.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Items needed

Picture of items needed
-spare solar panel
-good drill
-useless charger
-good batteries
-wire connectors 

Step 2: Replacing the power source

Picture of Replacing the power source
The drill was a 15.5 volt drill and the solar panel supplied up to 24 volts.
Replacing  the ac/dc transformer wasn't too hard, simply cut the wires and add some quick release wire ends. Just so that I can move the solar panel to another project.

Step 3: Harvest the power!

Picture of harvest the power!
with the wires connected place the panel in a window that the light won't be missed from. 
even though the panel puts out 24 volts, only 15.5 volts is charging the batteries. 
One day of sunshine in the winter is good enough to drive 6 2" screws, but after 4 days charging its good to go for a while. 
iPodGuy4 years ago
No need for a charge controller?
Ian01 iPodGuy2 years ago
I'd definitely use a charge controller if I was charging Li-ion batteries. In that case, though, the charger or battery would have one already. If the charger that came with the drill doesn't have a charge controller, I suppose one isn't necessary. Those are NiCd batteries & charger in the pictures. (My parents have a larger version of that drill.)
ravenc83 (author)  iPodGuy4 years ago
I'm not using one, the panel was labeled as " charge maintainer" and "provides a trickle charge". so I figured that if it wouldn't blow up a 12 volt riding mower batt. a 15.5 volt batt should be fine. been charging them for 3 weeks now and no problem.
Gotcha. Definitely doesn't sound like you need one. Thanks.
1tri2god4 years ago
Great idea! I'm interested in doing it! Is there any economical way to keep the panel from overcharging the battery (ie-leave it charging till the battery and you are both ready to use it)?
ravenc83 (author)  1tri2god4 years ago
I leave the battery on the charger, some chargers have an auto shut off, mine does not. the panel is charge maintainer, I guess you can use one that they sell to keep the battery in your car charged, seen them at Costco.
Kiteman4 years ago
Cool - have a bank of these on your shed roof (cabled inside), power your whole toolbox.