A DIY Solar Charger for 18650 Lithium Ion cells.Designed by The Curious Electric Company in United Kingdom
Get off-grid, power your remote project and learn about solar power with this DIY solar charger kit. This is a relatively simple kit which includes two 1Wp solar PV panels and all the parts requi...Read More…
Get off-grid, power your remote project and learn about solar power with this DIY solar charger kit.
This is a relatively simple kit which includes two 1Wp solar PV panels and all the parts required to recharge standard 18650 lithium ion cells.
The charger IC is the BQ24210 from Texas Instruments. This is an amazing single-cell Lithium Ion battery charge IC with up to 800mA current rating. It is designed to maximise the output from a solar PV cell into the battery. This is a very small surface mount component in a WSON-10 package, so we have soldered this to the PCB for you.
Note: Due to shipping restrictions, I am afraid I cannot send this with the 18650 Lithium Ion cell. These should be readily available in most locations for around $5.
The kit is supplied with a DC-DC converter which ensures a regulated 5V output, either for a USB connector output or for screw terminals. The DC-DC converter is controlled via a switch on the side of the PCB.
The unit comes with a simple laser-cut enclosure so it can be placed on a window-sill or hung somewhere.
This is a reasonably simple kit which requires some soldering and a few fiddly connections. It should take 1-2 hours to build. Not suitable for under 12 years old.
Note: Depending upon the capacity of the 18650 cell, in the UK the battery will fully recharge in around 3-5 days during an average summers day. This totally depends upon the solar resource available.
Note: The enclosure is NOT waterproof or for outdoor use.
I designed this to run small electronics projects (such as data-loggers and environmental monitoring units) in places where there is no supply of electricity. I designed it originally to run a small renewable energy data logging station which monitored and wirelessly sent back data to a base station.
I needed to make a PCB for this due to the size of the package of the solar charger IC - this is a WSON package which is impossible to solder by hand and I could not find a break out board for it.
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Cyril | March 4, 2018
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