Cheap solar battery charging

Kit, Clothing, Tools, etc
jennyjj01
Posts: 3465
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: Cheap solar battery charging

Post by jennyjj01 »

tarmactatt wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:04 pm Not an ideal set-up as the 6 cells which are wired in series, should be kept balanced, else you've (eg.) 4 cells at 1.5v and 2 cells used (in, say a torch), at 1v.
Thanks, I always charge cells to full, so a few cells get over charged a little. It was a compromise, basically to fit more than 4 cells into a neat shaped battery box that could hold the buck converter.
On the topic of power efficiency, I changed most of my lighting needs to 18650 (and a few smaller lithium sizes). The charging of lithium ion cells is more efficient than NiMh.
I LOVE 18650s and buy inexpensive cob lamps that include them.
For small cell charging, and also products which charge from USB, the solar panels from eBay/etc with USB output are quite reasonable.https://lygte-info.dk/info/roundCellCha ... %20UK.html has a long list of reviewed round cell chargers, there is a column indicating whether they are suitable for solar USB charging.
Thanks. My objective was to do better than some usb AA chargers that burn off 2/3 of the input energy as heat from a resistor.
Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

Not Feeling Optimistic. Let me be wrong
User avatar
steptoe
Posts: 727
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2022 5:15 pm

Re: Cheap solar battery charging

Post by steptoe »

Yorkshire Andy wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 10:01 pm
Rusty74 wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 9:14 pm this is something im gona have to have a play about with this summer,as im completely clueless with solar power and recharging,eldest is training to be a sparky in college at the moment,so he can give me a hand,electrics and gas are the two things i never mess with
Have you seen this?

viewtopic.php?t=13491


Latest addition....


Screenshot_20220509-230048.png

£4 on eBay :lol:

I've added a few solar panels to my collection :lol:

The usb output ones have been a bit hit and miss especially on their promises of power :lol:

I got a cheap "300w" one playing this weekend the £20 special was comparable in output to my £50 Anker I'll be honest I was surprised.. but no way is it 100w nevermind 300w got to love the Chinese licence of words :lol:


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/194934811666 ... BMmpPirZVg
Hi andy ok brain picking time lol at this rate your have nothing left lol , i have a solar panel from a 12v outside light you know the large security light type sold by lidi with a big battery box the box failed so i kept the soalr panel , could i connect that to a usb battery charger and recharge the aa's in the front living room window that gets so much sun even in winter i am thinking of ways to use that panel is is only 8" x 4" i think i will dig it out but do you know how i wire it in to a usb charger as it is just a red and white wire onthe panel lead
Ok andy i brought one of these , i am thinking cut the usb plug off and there should be a red and black or well a pos and neg wire i just wire them direct on the red and wire of the solar panel and well wish me luck , i am looking more and more ways to charge batteries thanks to you lot lol
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/364038991826 ... R5b_z82YYQ
Last edited by steptoe on Tue Nov 29, 2022 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Yorkshire Andy
Posts: 8773
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:06 pm

Re: Cheap solar battery charging

Post by Yorkshire Andy »

steptoe wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 7:20 pm
Yorkshire Andy wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 10:01 pm
Rusty74 wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 9:14 pm this is something im gona have to have a play about with this summer,as im completely clueless with solar power and recharging,eldest is training to be a sparky in college at the moment,so he can give me a hand,electrics and gas are the two things i never mess with
Have you seen this?

viewtopic.php?t=13491


Latest addition....


Screenshot_20220509-230048.png

£4 on eBay :lol:

I've added a few solar panels to my collection :lol:

The usb output ones have been a bit hit and miss especially on their promises of power :lol:

I got a cheap "300w" one playing this weekend the £20 special was comparable in output to my £50 Anker I'll be honest I was surprised.. but no way is it 100w nevermind 300w got to love the Chinese licence of words :lol:


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/194934811666 ... BMmpPirZVg
Hi andy ok brain picking time lol at this rate your have nothing left lol , i have a solar panel from a 12v outside light you know the large security light type sold by lidi with a big battery box the box failed so i kept the soalr panel , could i connect that to a usb battery charger and recharge the aa's in the front living room window that gets so much sun even in winter i am thinking of ways to use that panel is is only 8" x 4" i think i will dig it out but do you know how i wire it in to a usb charger as it is just a red and white wire onthe panel lead
You want something like this

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/354190377071 ... tQEALw_wcB

Which will regulate the voltage
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine
User avatar
steptoe
Posts: 727
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2022 5:15 pm

Re: Cheap solar battery charging

Post by steptoe »

Ah ok so i fit that on the red and white wire of the solar panel then plug the usb charger in to that , i have a few solar panels you knwo the ones you use to plug in cig lighter socket to to trickle charge battery when car left for weeks or months i had one i took the cig plug off and fitted croc clips to put on my campervan leisure battery when it was in store .
Thank you mate i order one of them and solder it on the solar panel your a star mate

Are these any good mate i know you are good on solar i wnat to harness as much as i can free to charge AA and AAA batteries
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fanomini-Porta ... 64&sr=8-13
jennyjj01
Posts: 3465
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: Cheap solar battery charging

Post by jennyjj01 »

steptoe wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 7:34 pm Ah ok so i fit that on the red and white wire of the solar panel then plug the usb charger in to that , i have a few solar panels you knwo the ones you use to plug in cig lighter socket to to trickle charge battery when car left for weeks or months i had one i took the cig plug off and fitted croc clips to put on my campervan leisure battery when it was in store .
Thank you mate i order one of them and solder it on the solar panel your a star mate

Are these any good mate i know you are good on solar i wnat to harness as much as i can free to charge AA and AAA batteries
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fanomini-Porta ... 64&sr=8-13
Hi, Steptoe, If I may chip in...

That 12V -> USB adaptor is an awesome bargain especially that it comes with a little box to fit it in. I'll be getting one.

The fold up Solar array you found at £17 is fair enough except that the 70W rating is probably exaggerated. It gives you your 5V USB output.

There's a bit of an issue that pops up with your proposed objective to charge AA and AAA cells. Something to be aware of and work around.

There are many USB powered AA / AAA chargers cheap as chips on eBay. I have one and tested it. And the little Beggar had a dreadful design flaw. In stepping 5V down to 1.3V, it simply used resistors. That meant that 70% of energy delivered at 5V was simply dissipated as heat!!!!

You need something that either does the 5V to 1.3V conversion using an energy efficient 'buck converter', or you want to charge some batteries in series without the need to step voltage down.

You can use an LED rechargeable lamp with built in charge circuits to do the conversion, efficiently. Or, since you can solder, Here's a link to one that I built into a small battery box. Minimal cost and effort. Ebay provides all the bits.
viewtopic.php?t=18062

Wastes very little of the harvested energy. 12V to 20V in from your panel. Built in about 30 minutes with just a craft knife and soldering iron. Does all the voltage and current regulating with no USB stage. You will need the use of a multimeter and screwdriver.
Last edited by jennyjj01 on Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

Not Feeling Optimistic. Let me be wrong
User avatar
steptoe
Posts: 727
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2022 5:15 pm

Re: Cheap solar battery charging

Post by steptoe »

Thank you jen , yes i can solder it may never be pretty but it always works lol .

I am just thinking of ways to charge batteries other than the plug in charge madam uses , i know we should never be without power for weeks so we have 2 or 3 hundred aa now and around 100 rechargables os lots in but well i never say never so the moire ways i can the better i can run the gennie and so on but i want that for the fridge and freezer only well the 1000w gennie is for fridge and freezer ever 4 hours i would run the gennie for 1 hour to top the freezer up and fridge up , the other gennie i am looking at that would be long power outage ie lighting and so on , i am working on a festoon system of light for the house in 220v like in tjhe old days in remote cottages they ran the gennies in the day top up batteries and so on but i want to have a gennie for lighting and i coudkl also run a heater if need be .
Tahnk you again jen do you want my email to send it to
jennyjj01
Posts: 3465
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: Cheap solar battery charging

Post by jennyjj01 »

steptoe wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:35 pm Thank you jen , yes i can solder it may never be pretty but it always works lol .

I am just thinking of ways to charge batteries other than the plug in charge madam uses , i know we should never be without power for weeks so we have 2 or 3 hundred aa now and around 100 rechargables os lots in but well i never say never so the moire ways i can the better i can run the gennie and so on but i want that for the fridge and freezer only well the 1000w gennie is for fridge and freezer ever 4 hours i would run the gennie for 1 hour to top the freezer up and fridge up , the other gennie i am looking at that would be long power outage ie lighting and so on , i am working on a festoon system of light for the house in 220v like in tjhe old days in remote cottages they ran the gennies in the day top up batteries and so on but i want to have a gennie for lighting and i coudkl also run a heater if need be .
Tahnk you again jen do you want my email to send it to
Design link is here.
viewtopic.php?t=18062

As to domestic lighting..... I'd strongly urge you to make it a 12V or 24V array of lamps. The whole conversion from stored battery to mains is very wasteful. You can use MR16 Lamps. Some sets of ceiling lamps feature those with a transformer ( which you wouldn't need ) or... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302377583805

Check if your Generators have a 12V output. I was surprised to find mine did.
Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

Not Feeling Optimistic. Let me be wrong
User avatar
steptoe
Posts: 727
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2022 5:15 pm

Re: Cheap solar battery charging

Post by steptoe »

jennyjj01 wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:39 pm
steptoe wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:35 pm Thank you jen , yes i can solder it may never be pretty but it always works lol .

I am just thinking of ways to charge batteries other than the plug in charge madam uses , i know we should never be without power for weeks so we have 2 or 3 hundred aa now and around 100 rechargables os lots in but well i never say never so the moire ways i can the better i can run the gennie and so on but i want that for the fridge and freezer only well the 1000w gennie is for fridge and freezer ever 4 hours i would run the gennie for 1 hour to top the freezer up and fridge up , the other gennie i am looking at that would be long power outage ie lighting and so on , i am working on a festoon system of light for the house in 220v like in tjhe old days in remote cottages they ran the gennies in the day top up batteries and so on but i want to have a gennie for lighting and i coudkl also run a heater if need be .
Tahnk you again jen do you want my email to send it to
Design link is here.
viewtopic.php?t=18062

As to domestic lighting..... I'd strongly urge you to make it a 12V or 24V array of lamps. The whole conversion from stored battery to mains is very wasteful. You can use MR16 Lamps. Some sets of ceiling lamps feature those with a transformer ( which you wouldn't need ) or... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302377583805

Check if your Generators have a 12V output. I was surprised to find mine did.
Hi jen thank you for that , yes i am looking at how we can convert the house to have a 12v system running but for this winter i just want to cover as much as i can , as i said before i am a little behind on this because i mainly was prepping food and medical and a like and for short term power outage to have that covered but now i think it is time to start looking at powering the lights other ways i do not think i can ever power the cooker but most everything else i can .
We are also now going to look at ways to cook we use slow cookers we have a halogen cooker but i want to try and figure cooking as well but for now it is lighting and having some form of power , i guess you might have seen the power station i got clapped out on day 1 so i am looking at another and i am sure i can get the fundsto buy a much better one , i was hoping the little one would do but now well i think i will go to the likes of either the eco flow or jackery and just bite the bullet on the price , i should take my own advice i have dewalt batteryt tools that are from 20 to 25 years old and still going strong and i have friend whop used the cheap as i call themn throw aways that last a year or 2 .

The site has been great in showing me where we can do better and the solar is one place as i know little to nothing of it and learning fast

thank you for yout time to help
jennyjj01
Posts: 3465
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: Cheap solar battery charging

Post by jennyjj01 »

You must know by now the world of difference between lighting your home and electric heating and cooking.
The latter is a big ask from batteries or even a generator.

A couple of leisure batteries or a Jackery etc will run lamps and a small telly or fridge for a few hours. Use an electric kettle or hob and it's game over for all but the most substantial installation.

As someone will be along to advise shortly. . . For alternative cooking, use gas, coal, oil, wood, or anything bar electricity.
Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

Not Feeling Optimistic. Let me be wrong
User avatar
steptoe
Posts: 727
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2022 5:15 pm

Re: Cheap solar battery charging

Post by steptoe »

jennyjj01 wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 9:18 pm You must know by now the world of difference between lighting your home and electric heating and cooking.
The latter is a big ask from batteries or even a generator.

A couple of leisure batteries or a Jackery etc will run lamps and a small telly or fridge for a few hours. Use an electric kettle or hob and it's game over for all but the most substantial installation.

As someone will be along to advise shortly. . . For alternative cooking, use gas, coal, oil, wood, or anything bar electricity.
Hi again lol i appear to hog the boards lol but i love to learn , but yes i have a camping gas stove 2 burner and grill , i have 2 of the smaller little camping stoves and i have some of the old stype camping stoves you knwothe ones you never leave alone as the pot or kettle always falls off but we have them i have 4 of the as i call them camping gaz lanterns that run on the small cartridge , we have lots of paraffin stoves and a paraffin oven but well next year i wonder where to go , for cooking i wish i lived in my nans old welsh cottage had a huge range in the kitchen did water and cooking .
I am looking at getting the living room fire opened up again and a liner put in a a log stove i know people say bad but well we have done most things to help insulated this house and now just next year projects and things to work on , lighting is the main for us and power so like i say that is my big one now and the solar charging of batteries is got to be looked at , i was going to have the house turned over to full solar system but some of the quotes well if i have another 20 years with luck in me it would not be cost effective lol .
As you may know i am a walking dead man so each day is a bonus so i work it on cost and age limits ie if i was in my 30's i would say well worth going to solar buyt as we are nearign 60 and with the health you have to work out if i pay extar on my power for the 20 years the price would not warrant solar conversion but never say never lol .

I am late to the game but as i say i want to learn as much as posible
thanks again for your time