Portable USB chargers evolved from a fierce need to have an additional mobile power source when traveling, for great outdoors, or when you are out all day long. The whole system is simple and anyone can build a portable USB charger adding solar panels.
I know that the efficiency of solar panels is still low, somewhere around 12-15%, but the researchers’ works hardly to increase the efficiency. Until now, the most high-performance solar panels were developed in Germany with a value for efficiency of 44.7%.
On instructable, we can find great projects that can be built at home with simple tools and sometimes with few electronics and programming skill.
Luckily, to build this solar power system you need to have only electronic skills, a solar panel with a maximum power output of 6 W, 9V rechargeable battery and a battery holder, an USB car charger, and something very small that every solar project needs – a diode. If you use a solar panel with a power output greater than 6W, it is recommended to use a charge controller to protect the batteries.
In this project, was used a solar panel with a power output of 1W, an electric potential of 6V, and current output of ~166mA.
The project should not exceed the cost of $20.
Pick-up your tools, the components, and get started with this full guide to building your DIY portable USB chargers.