Charge a Battery With a Solar Panel or Motor




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Go green with your very own power generator!
Big industrial power generators make electricity by turning huge motors with coal and fossil fuels, but you can make your own with a small DC motor and some simple electrical components. I made this for fun one day because I needed a way to charge my flashlight batteries when I was away from home.

Difficulty:easy..Basic soldering

  • I used two solar panels salvaged from solar lawn lights -Lawn Lamp project from dollar general; each solar panel is roughly 1 square inch and produces 0.66 volts and 0.55 watts.
  • A cheap rechargeable AA battery needs 2.8 volts to fully charge in 12 hours.
  • 2 of my solar panels connected in parallel should take around 17 hours to charge the battery in daylight; or almost 30 hours to charge a AA battery with only 10 hours of daylight per day.

It is not very practical, but it's fun and it works in an emergency! Also, please feel free to comment and I'll try to answer any questions!

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Step 1: Gather Your Parts

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Step 2: Connect Your Components

So, the motor has two leads: one goes to battery(-) and the other goes to battery(+) through a diode. The LED goes to (-) and to the switch through the resistor. For a solar panel it's basically the same deal; just look at the pictures.

Step 3: More Current (Optional)

Connect in Parallel for more Current = faster charging

This step is pretty simple: just add another solar panel or motor and connect their (+) and (-) together using a diode, to achieve a faster charge. (look at the picture)

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    5 Discussions


    1 year ago

    What is the purpose of light in it?What happens when I connect the circuit to a 4v sealed lead acid battery and drive the motor by other motor by connecting both shafts?Will the battery get charged?


    1 year ago



    2 years ago

    Thank you :)


    3 years ago


    Can you please tell me, how DC motor generates Voltage.

    Solar panel can generate using sunlight. But how DC motor?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    they do not do it automatically, but since you can use energy to turn the motor, you can turn the motor to produce energy. just like one of those hand crank flashlights that you power by turning it.