Thursday, August 4, 2011

DIY Solar Battery Charger - Maximizing Your Solar Power Output

You can easily maximize your solar power output during the summer when solar power is more readily abundant. Even a simple 6 volt solar cell can give you an easy way to take advantage of abundant sunlight and help you double the output of your solar cell. Most conventional usage of a six volt solar cell is for either charging a spotlight battery or to run a deer feeder but you can use it to charge AA or even AAA rechargeable batteries which are commonly used in a variety of other devices.

By using a couple of 4 cell battery holders (AA in this case) that can be obtained at most electronic stores for a couple of bucks, you can add versatility to your 6 volt solar cell. Adding a wooden mounting board for the battery holders and hooking them up in parallel will allow you to charge 12 volts worth of batteries off a single 6volt solar cell. 

With the longer daylight hours and generally more intense sunlight of summer, there have been no problems in getting a good charge rate for all the batteries using this type of setup. In the winter time and when the sunlight is less intense and the days are shorter, simply charge 4 batteries at a time versus 8 batteries.

Using a small bolt with a wing nut allows easy connections to be made and allows the larger alligator clips on the solar cell to be easily attached or detached when charging a regular 6 volt gel battery. The wing nuts also allow you to easily disconnect the leads from the battery holders when they aren't being charged and the battery holders are being used to simply hold the extra batteries. 

This is important because batteries, which are basically little chemical power plants, when hooked in parallel will feed off themselves and you will wind up with discharged or dead batteries as a result. 

Got maximum solar power output?

Staying above the sunny water line!



Anonymous said...

I always enjoy reading your blog entrys, they teach and entertain the reader with practical projects that are useful when or if the grid goes down. This entry is no exception - Thanks! I would have never considered the deer feeder battery charger as a DIY small battery unit.

Mike said...

During the winter, if you can get the solar panel out in the cold, you can actually get more energy from it than during the hot summer months.

Some northerners have trouble with their whole house solar rigs boiling the water out of the batteries when it's really cold.

Solar panels are more efficient when they are cooler.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth a really cheap solar battery charger can be made using a few of the solar powered garden lights available at Walmart and other stores. Put you AA batteries in the lights and put them in the sun. For better results cut the wire to the LED light so that they won't discharge. It takes 2-3 days of sunshine to fully charge a AA battery. The batteries that come with a cheap garden light are not the best quality. Buy 2300 mAh batteries for better charge times. You can also buy adapters that allow the AA batteries to be used where a C or D is needed. I even have an adapter that allows me to use 4 AA bateries in place of one of those big block shaped 6 volt batteries.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 6:08

I think that making full use of your resources is one of the best ways to be prepared. There are so many items that we use in our lives on a daily basis that can serve a multitude of purposes if you take a little time and think about how they can be utilized to a fuller extent.

Sometimes all it takes is a slight modification to turn something into a multi-use item.

Thanks anon.


BTW, really glad you enjoy my site.

riverwalker said...

To: Mike

Granted most electrical components work better in a cool environment.
I was mainly referring to reduced amounts of sunlight due to cloudy overcast days that are often prevalent in the winter time and sometimes limit the amount of sunlight available.

Thanks Mike.


riverwalker said...

To; anonymous 11:11

I have those solar garden or yard lights that hang on a shepherd's hook. i keep them intact for use as a light source for night time use if there is a power failure...safer than candles and make it easier to navigate without stumbling over things or having to constantly carry a flashlight.

One of the main considerations I try to keep in mind when trying to improve the versatility and usefulness of an item is to modify it in such a way as to not defeat its original purpose. My goal is to make it more useful and not just something different.

Thanks anon.


millenniumfly said...

Can anyone explain in more detail what's important when it comes to charging batteries? For instance, how would this work if you have a 20 watt panel? I know your post refers to a 6 volt panel but I thought solar panels were rated in watts. And, are you not concerned about overcharging the batteries, hence, the need for a charge controller? Thanks in advance.

riverwalker said...

To: milleniumfly

The smaller solar cells are often rated for six or 12 volts, depending upon their output. They are used mainly for charging small gel cell batteries that are either 6 volt or 12 volt. They can also be used to charge groups of smaller rechargeable batteries. Their power output is significantly less than a large solar panel and hence don't normally require a charge controller.

A charge controller is similar to the voltage regulator in your car. It regulates the voltage and current coming from the solar panels going to the battery.

Many "12 volt" panels put out about 16 to 20 volts, so if there is no regulation of the charge to the batteries they will be damaged from overcharging. Most batteries need around 14 to 14.5 volts to become fully charged.

Usually there isn't a need for a charge controller with the smaller maintenance solar panels (sometimes called or referred to as trickle chargers). These are usually in the 1 to 5 watts power range.

A good way to roughly figure the need for a charge controller is when the solar panel you are using puts out 2 watts or less for each 50 battery amp hours. If this is the case, you probably won't need a charge controller.

Most of the 6 or 12 volt battery maintenance solar panels are usually less than 2 watts, with most having an output of 1 watt or less.



solar panels herefordshire said...

This is a great DIY project to do. We have been looking at producing a similar think to charge bits of are office. we have had a couple usb goods powered off are portable solar panels but this is a much better idea.

Victor Wetherbee said...

With that practical concept, you could make yourself a solar panel or two. You need to have the appropriate resources and materials to make one and a place exposed enough to sunlight to maximize their use. Once you manage to take all of those into account, living off the grid will be right around the corner!

Solar Panel Roof said...

Personally I was looking for some general information about Diy Solar battery charge and your post was just perfect.thanks for sharing and Hope that you will continue to do posting.

Unknown said...

Very knowledgeable information about DIY Solar battery. Keep writing Solar Battery

Anonymous said...

Recondition Your Old Batteries back to 100% of their working condition
- Car batteries
- Computer and phone batteries
- Rechargeable batteries
- Long life batteries
- Batteries used in alternative energy systems
- Deep cycle marine batteries
- Golf cart batteries
- Forklift batteries
- And many other kinds of common batteries!

Louisiana Departmen said...

Little Known Way To Bring Nearly ANY Dead Battery Back To Life again..


There’s a new, little known way to bring nearly ANY dead battery back life again…

I’ve already tried it with car, laptop, and phone batteries that were completely dead ...and now ...they're just like new again!

>> Click Here To Watch a Presentation that will show you how this is now possible <<

With this method, you won't have to buy new pricey batteries anymore. You can just recondition your old batteries and save a lot of money.

And this new battery reconditioning method is so simple and quick…

>> Click here to learn how to bring your dead batteries back to life again <<

And this works for car, phone, and laptop batteries!

It even works with batteries you can use in a solar panel system's battery bank (or other alternative energy system’s battery bank). Plus, many other types of batteries!

I don’t t how much longer this presentation will be up though (you learn why in the new presentation)…

So stop what you’re doing and watch the presentation while you still can.

>> Click Here To Watch The Presentation <<

Best Regards,
[Kevin Day]

P.S. Tom also teaches you how to get dead batteries for free, bring them back to life, then sell them for nice profits! Learn how here: >> Click Here To Learn How <<

Pankaj Singh said...

Nice blog, get an awesome Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click services by OGEN Infosystem in Delhi, India and also get the Website Designing and Development Services by experienced developer and designers.
SEO Service in Delhi

Pradeep Appslure said...

Appslure is a reputed company based in India which provide mobile app development company in mumbai. Our website's layout will be very attractive and responsive, which will gain more visitors and you can get high lead and business from your website. Wonderful post, This article have helped greatly continue writing ..
Mobile app development company in mumbai

Shweta gaur makeup artist said...

Shweta gaur is one of the famous makeup artist in all over India. We are providing the best makeup artist courses and more other courses in over branches in Delhi.
Bridal Makeup

domnic wade said...

I am virtually impressed about the data you provide for your article. I have to say am enormously crushed by your whole story. It’s not easy to get such exceptional statistics these days. I sit up for staying right here for a long term.

Best way to hire it telecom technicians said...

Freelance maintenance technicians also benefit from establishing relationships with multiple clients. Working as a freelancer, you’ll gain employment experience with a variety of businesses, boosting your overall skill set and providing you with more work opportunities in the future.

maintenance technician

lucifer1413 said... IP address is widely used as the address pointing to the network router for Internet Access that you have at home. It is one of a few most commonly used IP addresses that router makers assign to a router, 192.168.l.l is the most usual one though or are also among the well known ones. These are also called and defined as host addresses.
What configuration is available at

The is actually a website which is set up by HP technicians to help people set up their HP Printer by downloading the printer drivers and other software through this website. On this website you can find directions on how you can connect your HP Printer wirelessly, with help of USB cable and even things like how one can install a cartridge in the printer.

slotocash reviews said...

noc engineer
For instance, ExterNetworks is successful because their engineers, technicians, and shift supervisors know what they are doing and what they are responsible for. They work together to ensure that the NOC is working properly for their clients. A network operations center NOC needs competent engineers and mindful shift managers to run properly.

Unknown said...

To be honest I found very helpful information your blog thanks for providing us such blog FCC vs CTT Dream11 Team Prediction

Alia parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Adobe Experience Manager bundle come with pre-configured security and database configurations, so that you do not need to deploy any additional atypical digital applications. These bundles also come with application up-sell and application uninstall features that help your employees manage existing installations more efficiently.

ฺBold said...

Thank you good website That allows us to express opinions Your information is helpful. With our organization very much And can contact us

Alia parker said...

To be genuine I found exceptionally accommodating data your web journal much appreciated for giving us such a web journal solar panel service. said...

Hоw dо ореn-ѕоurсе рrоduсtіvіtу ѕuіtеѕ compare tо MS Office - аnd dоеѕ іt mаkе ѕеnѕе fоr уоur оrgаnіzаtіоn tо сhооѕе frее соmmunіtу software rаthеr thаn Microsoft's commercially licensed оffеrіng?

Related Posts with Thumbnails