DIY: Portable Solar Power USB Charging Station









Hello all! I'm going to show you how easy it is to make your own backyard portable solar power station for $150 dollars. It will recharge any USB device! Best of all this will provide you with free USB charging power for decades!


The first things you are going to need is a 10 amp Solar Controller, Solar Panel, and 12v battery.

Its best and cheapest to order the controller, panel, and battery online such as E-bay or Amazon.


-For this project, I recommend a Standard solar controller which can be purchased on E-bay for around $20. A HQST 100 watt 12 volt Mono-crystalline solar panel for $75 on E-bay. Finally a 12 volt 35ah AGM battery for $60 on E-bay.


The first step is to prepare the Solar Controller.

To do this you will need:



- 10awg wire (2ft or less)

- Wire cutters/strippers

- 1 Mini standard screwdriver

- 2 Alligator clips from hardware store

- Electrical tape or heat shrink








Next, you will want to prepare your wires by stripping 3/8 inch of the insulation off.


After that, you need to crimp 1 alligator clip to the end of each wire. Then cut a piece of heat shrink to cover your fresh connection and insulate accordingly.


Then, take your mini standard screw driver and loosen the + and - battery.


Insert 1 end of each wire into the + and - battery ports on your solar controller and be sure to tighten them down firmly. (make sure to hold the wires in place while you screw them down to assure they don't slip out any) Now look at your solar controller and find the negative wire and connect the alligator clip to the negative (-) terminal on the battery. Then do the same with the positive (+) wire from the solar controller and connect the alligator clip to the battery. (it will spark a little bit that's normal)


Congratulations, your solar controller is now working you can charge USB devices with the battery. You can use any lead acid battery from a car with your solar controller.





Your setup should now look like this:













Charging the battery with HQST 100 watt Mono-crystalline solar panel.



New solar panels come with a built in fuse, 1 female and 1 male MC4 connectors.


To connect the solar panel to the solar controller, you need matching connectors, which you can find here on EBAY for $7 (I'm holding the wire you'll need in the picture)

A bit of advice would be to connect your ebay connectors to the panel, and then look at the wires which have a + and - on them and insert the negative (-) wire from the solar panel into the negative (-) terminal on the solar controller, tighten down with screw driver. Repeat the steps for the positive (+) wire of the solar panel to the solar controller. The solar controller will tell you the battery charge voltage.


You are now complete and charging your battery with the sun!



Pictures

(L-R)

  1. HQST 100w monocrystalline solar panel (front side)

  2. HQST 100w monocrystalline solar panel (back side)

  3. Ebay Connectors (connects solar panel to solar controller)

  4. Ebay Connectors connected

  5. Battery is now charging in the sun for free, it pays itself off!







You can also take your backyard project a bit more if you wish to get an inverter such as this 400 watt one from Walmart and it connects straight to your battery with alligator clips and then you will be able to keep some lamps on in case of a power outage.


  1. 12/24 volt dc/ac inverter

  2. Inverter connected to battery