General Help solar cells taken from garden lights


Old 11-10-13, 06:34 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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General Help solar cells taken from garden lights

Hey there DIY people,

I have always wanted to be a crafty person and my school load is lightening and I have a bit more free time. For my first project I want to create a solar charger for my mp3 player. I found out that it needs at least 5.0v to charge and I have cut down an micro USB cord and found the positive and negative wires required for charging. I have even taken apart some solar garden lights and taken out the solar cells and tested them. The cells register when connecting them to the micro usb when it is plugged into the mp3 player, but it is not enough to charge.

This is the end of my knowledge. What should I do? I am willing to read books or watch videos, any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-10-13, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
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Welcome to the forums.

Solar cells are cools devices but not necessarily predictable. Their output changes constantly with the change in sunlight falling on them. You need to have more electric output then you require and a charge controller circuit to drop the voltage to what your device requires.

If you had several cells in series that created a nominal 10 volts or so then you could use a basic three leg 5vdc IC regulator to control the output.

There are many sites where solar technology is discussed. Some are very involved and some are for beginners with no knowledge. The following is an easy to follow site with circuits explained.

Simple Solar Circuits | Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

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