Project by James; Solar Charging Station

I’ve just shared a new project: "Solar Charging Station"

The aim of this project was to use the sun to charge some batteries with 1W and 2W Seeed solar panels. The DFRobot Solar LiPo Charger and a Sunflower Solar Power Manager were purchased. Initially, this was unsuccessful because I did not realize the panels need full sun to produce full power. The LiPo was connected such that it was shaded by the panel but it still got a little too hot for my liking. The solution was to place the solar panel in the sun connected via a 3 meter cable to the charger inside the house. All the items listed work perfectly for charging LiPo batteries.
For charging phone, tablet, and power bank devices they receive a charge via a 5V USB port and can draw up to 2A or more. Investigation of my phone showed it would charge at 430mA from a computer USB port and 1.3A from the charger supplied with the phone. So minimum power would be 5V x 2A = 10W which was the aim for the project.

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Nicely done. Looks to be very useful!


Keeps a small digital radio powered and charges the battery.
Also used to charge a remote control car battery for the grandkids.
Voltage is set to 5.2V to power a RPi Zero W so the low power icon does not show.

Very happy with how it performs.



This looks great and just what I was looking for.
I was wondering if you had thought about a battery option to save up any unused
power so that you can access it outside of the daylight hours?
I was imagining something with a bit more complex that just a usb power block.

After building the project I purchased one of these which allows for up to 18V solar panels (expensive now). Put it in a box with a 2000mAH LiPo and use like a bench power supply for projects when I need one. Connect the cable to it to charge the battery when it gets low. Works good and is a way of storing the energy from the sun.


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Hi Jim,

Good to hear the project is still getting used and incremental upgrades here and there.

@Adam214263 USB power banks have their flaws most definitely, some brands will switch off output below a minimum load and the output voltage regulation and transient response usually doesn’t come close to what a dedicated power supply can provide.
But there is certainly something to be said for a cheap, mass-produced solution that handles all the charging and safety aspects and is readily available, which is where I think USB power banks often have their place in maker prototypes.

Can we charge mobile phones with these?

Hi Rooppoor,

Was the link to the project writeup working ok on your end?
Jim mentioned he was able to charge mobile phones successfully using the project in his concluding paragraph.