This post was Last updated on : 06/22/2020
So far 2020 is being very bad with earthquakes, pandemic & floods. Let’s hope for the best but Now is the best time to prepare for any emergency situations that might happen.
are solar powered phone chargers worth it?
Solar panel along with a battery is very useful to charge smart phone. The set up we build today can also be used for lighting an LED Bulb. But our main goal is to recharge mobile phone.
In this post we are going to buy parts and build the Cheapest, reliable and efficient phone charging solar panel system.
Ready made Solar mobile chargers are available to purchase online. But many of them are useless and is a waste of money. Below is a sample product
Some of these small ones might work, but since they are so small, produces insignificance charge. So it will take a hell lot of time to charge and is literary useless for solar energy harvesting.
We are going to build a perfectly working and reliable system. It is actually very essential during times of disaster. So it should be something you could depend on during long blackouts.
Where to buy from?
Where to buy from – So i checked price of both 10w solar panel and solar charge controller in all major ecom stores(except those who deliver from chinese warehouse because it takes a lot of time to reach).
Best price as of (5/05/2020) is available from loomsolar website.
I found a TECHNIQUE by LOOMSOLAR – they offer 10% offer when using coupon code SUN10. But what they do is just increase the price(of solar controller in my case) and then reduce it when when you apply coupon. They sell the same charge controller in amazon at a lower price. So if you decide to buy only solar panel from their website and controller from amazon, coupon code will not work. But still, i don’t expect a 10% discount on a product with such low margin.
At the time of writing this i am not affiliated with loomsolar. May be in the future, i will join their affiliate program.
Solar panel for charging mobile phone & Laptop.
Since we are going for the cheapest possible option here – we need a panel that can produce minimum .50 Amp to charge a 12v 4ah battery (All calculations are done with cost in mind).
You can of course go for bigger solar panel(same control panel can be used for panels upto 100 watt but choose battery accordingly Eg 50 Amp battery for 100w panel)
Same panel but battery upto 10ah. But of course it will take a lot more time to charge with a 10w panel.
What we are going to do in this setup is – 10 watt solar panel, 12v 7Amp battery and 6 Amp charge control panel(you can go for a cheaper control panel with lower amp rating but we are choosing this because this one have a usb port, also it will be good if we want to add more solar panels to the system).
Here is a list of top 5 best 10W solar panels available online in India for uses like phone & laptop Charging.
Charge controller for Solar panel.
Solar charge controller manages, controls & regulate irregular current produced from solar panel to stable output to recharge battery. It also prevent overcharging. Many cheap solar controllers are available under 6 Amp. But here we want one with a USB Port, so that, we can connect mobile phone usb charger directly to it. So we are going for cheapest controller but with usb support.
Solar battery for charging mobile phone.
In this case, i chose a deep cycle lead acid battery, 12v 7Amp battery for optimal charging time and performance with 10 watt panel. For better efficiency you can also choose lithium ion battery . You can easily buy or build them rated at 12v and 3 Amp to 7 Amp.
Final setup i chose.
- Solar panel -Loom Solar Panel 10 watt – 12 volt for Mobile Charging
- Solar charge controller -Luminous Solar Charge Controller – 6 Amp, 12 volt
- Battery – I used an old bike battery. You can buy any 12v 4Ah-7Ah to 8ah deep cycle lead acid battery or li ion.
COST – solar phone charger price
- Solar panel -Rs 750
- Solar charge controller -Rs 500
- Battery -I used an old one.
Total COST – 1250
How to use solar phone charger.
It is really easy to connect solar panel, controller and battery. Following is a diagram that shows connection details for the setup.