The bottorch is my small initiative towards a greener environment. It makes use of some part from old gadgets that we dispose everyday. We also will be recycling some plastic thus, we will make use of a plastic bottle.I thought of it this way; currently our global population is about 7.184 billion and we all need some sort of off grid light at some point in time.Of course not everyone can build a Bottorch though it is simple,if we achieve one Bottorch per head it means we have recycled about 7.184 billion plastic bottles and 28.736 rechargeable cells.Those are huge numbers and I believe we will go a long way to save our planet. Alright let's build some for ourselves.Note;Throughout this instructable,e-waste is used in place of electronic waste. And hey,this is my first instuctable and I was inspired by mazzm.PLEASE vote for me in the contests that I have entered.
Step 1: Sourcing Our Components
Here are the stuff that we are going to need for Bottorch. Most can be freely obtained.
Some white LEDs.
These can obtained from e-waste or if u don't find them
around u can get them from any electronic shop.Yeah they are that common.
A Switch (preferably sliding switch) can also be obtained from e-waste.
An abandoned laptop battery pack.
Also from e-waste.
A small prototype board.(Optional)
Some screws. From e-waste. or Hot Glue (Easier to work with)
The solar panel
If you are fortunate you can find one in an E-waste else you need to buy fromhere.
Then of course grab your bottle.
Very important;Your bottle size must correspond with your solar panel.
Bottles with flat surfaces are easier to work with.
Any simple cutting tool that can cut an opening on your chosen bottle
Screw driver (Thus if you are using the screws)
Step 2: Preparing the Power Bank,our Battery.
Now let's go ahead and open up the laptop battery pack.It can be really tough but take care not to damage the cells.We obtain about four of the cells and connect them in parallel,this means all like-terminals are connected together (All positives are connected together and all negatives too are connected together). This will help increase the battery life per charge of our end product.
Connecting the four cells the way I have done it in the picture will help make it easier to secure them in your bottle.
We need to connect two wires to our new battery pack.One to a positive terminal and the other to a negative terminal.The cells can then be fastened together.
Step 3: Preparing Our Solar Panel
To prevent our battery from trying to "charge" the solar panel,we must connect a diode to the positive terminal of the solar panel before hooking it up to the rest of our circuit. The correct polarity of the diode is very important so please take note of the diagram.And one more thing;Most of the cells in a laptop battery pack is 3.7V so please make sure your solar panel exceeds this voltage.Anything from 4.5V to 6V should be good.
Step 4: Setting Up Our LEDs.
The next thing for us to do is to set up our LEDs. First we must connect our LEDs in Parallel.What this means is that we solder all the anodes together ( with wires in between them,the longer the better) and solder all the cathodes together too.The longer leg of an LED is the anode(+) and the short one is of course the cathode(-).
We also have to secure our LEDs in something shiny such a chrome plastic to increase the brightness of our torch.We can archive this by making small hole in this shiny material for all our LEDs to fit in.
Step 5: Setup
Now that we have our battery (Powerbank), Solar Panel, Switch and bottle ready, we need to connect them all together.Thus, the positive terminal of the battery should be connected to the positive terminal of the solar panel with the diode correctly wired as stated earlier. Also, the negative terminal of the battery should be connected to the negative terminal of the solar panel.The wires from LEDs also connect in a similar way with a switch connected along the positive(+) wire.The overall setup should look like what is in the pictorial schematic above.
Step 6: Finally
At this stage we want to transfer the setup from the workbench into the bottle. As I stated at the beginning,please make sure that your solar panel can enter your bottle.Now we need to cut an opening, slightly smaller than our solar panel on the bottle. Through this opening, we will pass our setup into the bottle. The first thing to do is to secure the LEDs preferably at the other end of the bottle such that the shiny material into which our LEDs are stuck is exposing. The battery should then be secured by a hot glue or anything applicable. It just should not be left to dangle.You may use the screws if you are comfortable working with them.
The next thing to do is to find an appropriate place to secure our switch.We then seal the opening with our solar panel(that is why the opening should be slightly smaller than our solar panel).
Finally we are there, just expose your Bottorch to sunlight for some few hours and enjoy some light off grid while saving our environment.With Bottorch we try to reuse the batteries from our old laptops and also reduce plastic waste(the bottle). @D_Onewolf on twitter to see more environmentally friendly projects.