Introduction: USB Solar Charger

Picture of USB Solar Charger

This Instructable will show you how to build a cheap and easy USB charger that charges by solar power.

Step 1: Acquire Materials

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You will need the following:
•An Altoids tin
•a small car USB charger
•a small toggle switch
•a rechargeable nine volt battery and a clip
•a small solar panel

Other Tools/Materials: drill, Dremel, some wire
A screwdriver, and hot glue.

Step 2: Take Apart the Charger

Find the screw on the front face and remove it.
Take off all the casing.

Step 3: Cut the Holes

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Use the Dremel to cut a hole for the USB port on the side and another hole for the switch. Drill two holes in the top for the solar panel wires.

Step 4: Soldering

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Take the ground wire from the clip and solder it directly to the strips of metal that come out of the charger. Take the positive wire and solder it to one of the pins on the switch. Then put another wire leading from the switch to the positive strip of metal on the charger. - see the pictures for help.

Step 5: Put Together

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Mount the components into their holes and hot glue them.

Step 6: Solar Panel

Picture of Solar Panel

Lead the two wires from the solar panel through their holes.

Step 7: Solar Panel Prt. 2

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Solder the panel's positive wire to the positive wire coming from the battery clip. Solder the panel's ground wire to the outside strip of metal on the charger.

Step 8: Wait

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Let it sit in the sun for a couple hours and plug it in!

Step 9:

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A full battery will give your iPod about 15% charge.


jlandreth1 (author)2014-04-07

Does it matter how big the solar panel is?

iDrwish (author)jlandreth12014-12-31

Yes, the size of the solar panel will vary in the Amps coming out of it also in the voltage, however you need to Calculate the right size of the the Panel, the relation isn't straight forward meaning more amps meaning faster battery charger, what you need to do is charger the battery by around 10% of it's Amps, so figure out your battery rating then get your panel :)

nsrt44 (author)2014-09-25

hi I wonder if you could give the circuit diagram

Ryhorn12 (author)2014-01-02

Why does it need a battery? Can't you just leave it in the sun? I ain't to technical you can see

Solarcycle (author)Ryhorn122014-03-07

You're essentially charging two devices, the external backup battery and your phone, at the same time. This instructable explains what kind of charge controller and power is required to perform this task and give constant phone charge even under non-ideal conditions:

Marik I. (author)2014-01-26

How long does it take to charge

laffinm (author)2014-01-05

Yes the project does work without the solar panel as I built it without the panel and decided to add it later on

piedrabob78 (author)2014-01-03

Hi, would the project work if I skip the solar panel and plug it directly to a normal battery?

osoriocj (author)2013-12-10

It would be great if you could place a link for each item (eBay, RS, Farnell). Also, a schematic would rock. Thanks for sharing.

kmjrmalfunction (author)2013-11-24

slap another 9volt in parallel in there and double your storage capacity

thank to give your view, to improve the capacity.
because i was thinking that how can i double the storage capacity.

jogendrasingh (author)2013-11-27

Solar Energy is the best source for Energy.
this Solar phone Charger very important example of Solar energy for daily life.

laffinm (author)2013-11-25

Yes but I ran out of space on this one :(

About This Instructable




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