Basic DIY Solar Panel Charger Connected to iPhone

How to Make A DIY Solar Panel Charger

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Solar energy is one of the most amazing advancements in science that we’ve been able to harness for our own good, and it’s now easier than ever to learn how to make a solar panel charger for yourself at home.

To learn how to make a solar panel battery charger there are just a few simple tools and some easy to follow instructions, thanks to this guide at Instructables. With your very own DIY solar panel charger, you’ll be able to save on energy costs at home and have a reliable source of power for times of need.

Any way we can work towards reducing our carbon footprint is a step in the right direction, and knowing how to make a solar panel phone charger is a great way to get your children involved in the importance of clean and renewable energy.

This USB charger can be transported with you anywhere, and can give you enough power to keep your cell phone or other small device charged. If you have the time, you can even make one for work and one for home so that you always have access to free and clean energy.

Step One: Gather Your Tools And Parts

Before you can attempt to build your DIY solar panel charger, you’ll need to have all of the tools and parts ready. Constructing this charger shouldn’t cost too much, but you should have quality parts and tools to do it correctly.

Tools required:

  • Tin snips
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tape
  • Soldering iron and solder


  • AA Rechargeable Batteries
  • AA Battery Holder
  • ​USB Charging Circuit
  • ​Tins (mints or otherwise)
  • ​Wire
  • ​Minimum 4V Solar Panel
Some Tools Needed to Make a DIY Solar Charger

Step Two: Get a DC to USB Converter Circuit

Your converter circuit will take the power that the panels generate and turn it into USB power, so this is one of the most critical steps. There are a few ways to get your converter circuit, depending on what you have handy:

  • Remove one from a USB charger you already own
  • Buy one readymade online
  • Make one yourself with a USB kit, also able to be purchased online

Step Three: Select Your Batteries

Depending on how much storage you’d like, you need to now select your batteries. For this project, you can use AA rechargeable batteries, and choose either 2 or 4. Using two AA batteries will give you about 2000 – 3000 ma of current and 4 will give up to 6000.

Step Four: Select Your Solar Cells

Assuming you used two AA batteries for your solar panel charger, you’ll need around 4 volts of power to keep them charged. The higher the voltage of these cells the more efficient they are, and will require less light to charge them.

Different Small Solar Cells

Since this project is only to make a very small charger, you need to purchase cells that will fit into your chosen container or tin so you can’t rely on one large cell to give all of your power.

Step Five: Do The Wiring

This is the trickiest part of the whole process, but not hard to do with care and precision. First, connect your 1N914 diode to the Positive solder tab on your solar panel with the black bar pointing away.

Solder the Positive side of the diode to the Positive Solder Point on your cell and then solder a wire to the other end. Next, solder a wire to the Negative point on the cell and tape this up.

Step Six: Connect The Batteries

Collect all of the positive wires and all of the negative ones and solder them together accordingly. Red wires will be positive and black negative during this project, so keep this is mind if you get confused.

Step Seven: Prepare And Solder Your Charger

Take your red positive wires and solder them all together to the positive point on your board. Next, take all of the negative black wires and solder them to the negative point on your board.

Soldering Solar Charger With Tools

Step Eight: Prepare The Tin

Cut a small hole in the side of your tin with your snips so that it can fit a USB through it. Get your battery pack and glue it inside of the tin, then glue down the USB circuit.

Step Nine: Use Your Charger

Once the glue is dry, you can begin to charge your solar panel charger. Find an area that’s in the sun which won’t be disturbed by obstructions or harsh weather conditions. Keep in mind that the sun doesn’t need to be shining on a clear day as even overcast weather produces good UV rays.

When it’s ready to go, test it out by charging your cell phone or other USB device and be amazed at what you’ve created.

The Importance of Solar Energy

Projects such as these are not only enjoyable to make, but also a great way to kick start an interest in solar energy. With a range of benefits to both us and the environment, harnessing this renewable source of energy has never been more important so it’s a great skill to have and share with others.

Making a DIY solar panel charger might not have the same large-scale effects as a solar powered home or large generator, but just this small difference in lowering your electricity usage is the first step to reducing your carbon footprint.

Do It Yourself Solar Charger Connected to iPhone

The future of solar energy is inspiring and unknown, with so many advancements sure to change the way we power our lives completely. With a DIY solar panel charger, you can be part of this revolution in clean energy and make the small changes at home that might have a huge impact in the future.

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