Rechargable batteries are a great invention, but if you dont have an outlet nearby to charge them, they are usless. So I designed a solar powered battery charger, which allows you enough power to charge a single AA battery wherever the sun may shine.
I chose to do this project in two steps:
First I set it up to test that I generated the needed voltage (3-7).
Then I set it up to finalize, by using wire instead of alligator clips, this made it both look better and was easier to work with (8-10)
People have told me that 1 volt is not enough to charge a battery. I looked a rechargable battery and it said "charge: 1-2 volts." I would also like to add that I switched the tester to 2.5 volts and the meter moved to 50%. This tells me I do not only generate 1 volt, but 1.25 volts give or take...
Step 1: Materials
Here is a list of the Materials you will need to recreate the Battery charger I have made,
-Light socket attached to wood (with outlet plug)
-100 watt bulb
-Hot glue gun
-Two solar panels
-Three alligator clips
-Rechargeable AA battery
Once you gather your equipment, I suggest plugging in your Hot Glue Gun, so it is available to you once needed (Step 4)
Step 2: Step One
Take your wire and cut off two pieces that are about 4 to 5 inches long each. Once you have them cut, connect the wires to the battery holder, one wire to the postivie side, and the other to the negative side.
Step 3: Step Two
Connect one alligator clip to the negative on the Voltage tester, and the other alligator clip to the positive.
Step 4: Step Three
Set the Voltage tester to 1 volt (DC). Rechargeable AA batteries need 1-2 volts for them to charge, this will allow you to see that you generate at least 1 volt.
*Make sure that the voltage is on DC and NOT AC*
Step 5: Step Four
Take your Glue Gun and glue the two solar panels together, try to match them up so that the negative of on panel is adjacent to the positive of the other solar panel.
*See picture two if you find this confusing.*
Step 6: Step Five
Connect the negative of one panel to the positive of the other panel, and then connect the remaining positive to the positive on the voltage tester, and the remaining negative to the negative on the voltage tester.
Step 7: Step Six
Plug in and turn on the light. Test that the voltage given off by the solar panels gives you at least one Volt; this is enough to charge the AA battery.
*Once you have done this, you can remove the alligator clips from the tester and solar panels.*
Step 8: Step Seven
Connect ONE of the postives on one solar panel to the negative on the other solar panel using wire.
*Only connect ONE positive to ONE negative.*
Step 9: Step Eight
You should have one positive and one negative remaing, connect the negative on the battery holder to the remaining negative on the panel. Then connect the remainging (positive) wire on the battery holder to the positive on the remaining panel.
Step 10: Step Nine
Now glue your solar panels and your battery holder to the wooden board.
Congratulations, you have made your own solar powered battery charger!
Just make sure that unless you have sunlight and are charging a battery, do not have the Battery in the holder. Otherwise it may lose its charge.