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How to Solar Power Your Cell Phone
The Concept of Using Solar Power
In essence you are indirectly charging the cell phone with the sun’s rays; you are actually keeping a rechargeable auxiliary battery power source charged using solar power.
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This may sound like a lot of work and it is if you want to power your entire house with solar power. However we are looking at a smaller more mobile application. Our goal is to recharge your cell phone while camping or RVing. The techniques described here can be applied to any small electronic devise or appliance. This web page is being written on a laptop computer in the Oregon Cascade Mountains using solar power.
Here are some of the devices I run using solar power:
I also use the same solar battery charger to maintain the RV deep cycle batteries in my 5th wheel RV.
6 Solar Ways to Recharge Your Cellular Phone
The 6 ways can be divided into 2 categories;
Within each category there are 3 similar configurations for you to consider.
The third configuration is okay for this cell phone application but should not be used for devices requiring more power or a steady power supply such as a laptop or TV. I always use a small rechargeable battery pack as an auxiliary power source. I have purchased a Slime rechargeable tire inflator for that purpose. This also gives me the option of recharging any device day or night.
In all scenarios follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging your call phone.
Please Note: Your Cell Phone and ALL electronic equipment should not be exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods. Position your solar panels in direct sun and all other devices in a shaded area.
Equipment You Will Need
Recharging using your home 110 volt AC phone charger.
A1 Home Charger & Auxiliary Battery
A2 Simultaneously Charging Both
A3 Direct Solar Phone Recharge
Recharging using your 12 volt DC car charger.
B1 Car Charger & Auxiliary Battery
B2 Simultaneously Charging Both
B3 Direct Solar Phone Recharge
Variables to considerNo two solar laptop configurations will be the same so results WILL vary. Here are just a few variables to consider.
For your protection and greatest efficiency from your solar configuration; read and understand all the directions furnished with each component of your solar laptop system.
Wiring Modifications See PhotosSome solar battery chargers are not equipped with a cigarette lighter plug; you must install your own.
DO NOT CUT THE EXISTING WIRES ON YOUR BATTERY CHARGER!With his unit I unplugged the 2 prong battery terminal connectors supplied by the manufacture and added the cigarette lighter plug and a 2 prong wiring harness purchased from Radio Shack or automotive accessory stores. Note that the connector supplied by the manufacture has an inline 3 amp fuse to protect the charger. The cigarette lighter plug has an internal 3 amp fuse that will protect the charger. Also note I have two 2 prong connectors wired to my cigarette lighter plug for an additional solar panel should I choose.
The cigarette lighter plug was designed as a plug for an automotive accessory not a charger therefore the exposed metal connectors are HOT when the solar charger is exposed to light. That is; any metal object touching the connectors will complete an electric circuit. This low voltage, low amperage current will not cause any harm but shorting out the solar charger may damage it. To prevent this I use a small section of a bicycle handle bar grip to cover and protect the terminals when not in use.