In the battlefield, when soldiers have to choose between carrying food supplies and heavy battery packs, they will choose to go hungry and leave the food behind—just to power devices and keep communication lines open.
Learning how to make a solar battery charger (or anything) can might well be a skill for survival.
But whether for emergency preparedness or for convenience, did you know that you can learn how to make a solar battery charger from simple and readily available components?
No need wait for the war or the apocalypse.
You can recharge your ingenuity anytime, just for fun.
100% DIY Solar Battery Charger
It will take the sun only an hour to provide the energy requirements of the world for the entire year.
Imagine your very own solar battery charger bottling bits of that renewable energy in a rechargeable battery.
By rechargeable batteries, we mean lithium ion batteries, or anything similar that can power gadgets or toys.
To pull this off, you only need to prepare a few practical parts:
1. Solar Panel – The compact solar cells inside a portable solar panel convert sunlight into energy every time it’s exposed to certain wavelengths of light.
The best ones cost less than $10 and have 3.7 to 5V maximum voltage. You’ll get an idea what this looks like when you search on Amazon using the keywords “DIY solar battery charger” or “mini solar panels for Science projects”.
2. The Battery Holder – Whether it’s for AA or AAA, the battery holder comes with a black and red wire, one for the positive and one for the negative
3. Solar Charger container. – Improvise on this one. Think of this as an enclosure to hold your solar panel and battery holder in one convenient case. Some inventors use a Tupperware from the dollar store.
4. Blocking Diode – A blocking diode allows electric current to flow in one direction—from a solar panel to the battery only. It blocks the return flow of current from the battery to the solar panel to prevent the battery from discharging. Below is a 1N5817 Schottky Rectifier Diode:
5. Soldering iron – A soldering iron is a hand tool that uses heat to melt in order to join two metals together. Once connected, electrical current can pass through them.
Step-by-step Instructions on How to Make a Solar Battery Charger
Refer to this wiring diagram below so you won’t get lost in following the instructions.
• Step 1: Using the soldering iron, solder one end of the diode to the red wire (+) on the solar panel and the other end to the red wire (+) on the battery holder.
• Step 2: Then solder the black wire (-) on the battery holder to the black wire (-) on the solar panel
• Step 3: After putting everything together, you’ve got a DIY solar powered battery charger. Tape your solar panel into the case and voila! You now have a convenient place to store everything.
Double the Current
To double the current output, you can connect two or more solar panels together in parallel. Doubling the current allows the battery to charge twice as fast.
It’s just a matter of soldering additional wire to connect the positive terminal of the other panel to the positive terminal of the other panel and likewise, negative to negative.
Why not just Buy a Solar Charger on Amazon?
You can do that anytime, but where is the fun in that?
Another common idea: if you have a couple of nails and a copper wire you could generate electricity from lemons.
But fruits are better meant for eating than charging a battery.
Whereas, the sun will probably be around for the next 4.5 billion years. If time travel takes off, who knows? You might get stuck in the past and would need to rebuild civilization from the ground up.
The point is, it’s good to practice ingenuity from time to time—you will never know when you’re going to need it.