A solar charger is a device that converts solar energy into electricity to charge other devices. They are beneficial to have because they offer options that don’t rely on grid electricity and can also be used when the sun is not out or on overcast days.
There are a lot of DIY options when it comes to creating a solar charger. Here is a compiled list of 20 plans that offer great step by step guides on how to make your own DIY solar charger.
1. DIY Solar Charger – 7 steps
This plan breaks down into 7 steps, how to make this solar-powered USB charger. Items needed are solar panels, 22 gauge wire, buck converter, glue gun and a reusable grocery bag. Optional items include heat shrink tubing and eyelets.
The solar panels are attached to the grocery bag which makes them easier to fold up and transport.
slide the image to see the steps
2. DIY Solar Charger Using Recycled Laptop Battery
This video tutorial shows a DIY hack using a recycled laptop battery as a storage device to make a solar charger for phones. The entire unit, including the solar panel, is housed inside a plastic casing which not only protects it but also makes it easy to transport. The laptop battery is lithium-ion and therefore should be handled with special care.
3. DIY Solar Charger in under $5
The whole point of a Do It Yourself project is to make it easy and budget-friendly. This is exactly what this blogger shows you how to do. A cheap plastic container and some basic solar panels are what are used in this process. The time it takes to make this is between 20 – 30 mins and is rated as easy.
4. DIY Solar Battery Charger
This man shows you how to charge a Lithium 18650 rechargeable battery. This type of battery is used in a wide variety of applications so it’s important to have them readily available and charged. If you find yourself without power in the battery, you can easily charge it using this DIY solar charger.
5. DIY Solar Charger for Laptop
Being a digital nomad is a very popular career niche that millennials are pursuing. That means you work digitally from anywhere in the world whether it be coffee shops in Spain or a park bench in Australia.
As a digital nomad, when you have an important deadline to meet, you want to make sure you don’t run out of power for your laptop. That’s where this plan comes in handy. It teaches you how to harness the sun’s power to charge your laptop.
6. 5V Foldable DIY Solar Panel Phone Charger
Max Imagination is a young kid who makes some great DIY videos. This is his take on a solar phone charger. This video shows that even younger kids can make this type of charger. I like this type of charger because it opens up to reveal more solar panels but it also easily folds up to a smaller profile making it easier to carry. This is a 5V power station.
7. DIY Solar Charger for Electric Bike
Here is a great example of a solar charger that isn’t compact or used to charge a phone. An electric bike is a great environmentally friendly way to get around. The cost involved with purchasing one isn’t always cheap so, it makes sense that he would find a way to make charging the bike a little more budget-friendly.
He purchased prefabricated solar panels and made a homemade structure to hold them up. What a great energy-efficient way to charge his new bike.
8. DIY Car Solar USB Charger
This is a simple 5V USB phone charger for the car. This compact charger can be placed on the dashboard throughout the day so the solar panel can absorb the sun’s energy. When driving home from work in the evening, you can easily charge your phone with your fully powered solar charger.
9. Build a DIY Solar Charger Station
Solar panels are now available in varying sizes, making it much easier to build a DIY charger for almost any device you want. The process remains very similar regardless of what size solar charger you are making.
The most important decision is what your structure is going to be: free-standing, portable, or secured to the ground. You need a portable solar panel, cables (solar), controller, inverter and batteries.
10. DIY solar iPhone Charger
This video shows a super simple way to make a solar charger for emergency charging or even for camping. This vlogger uses basic items such as a small solar panel and bottle caps to lift the unit so it’s not resting on the ground. The solar panel is 5V and the circuit is a power bank charging circuit. A very easy and minimalistic approach to solar charging.
11. Diy Solar Panel Phone Charger
This multi-purpose solar power station costs around $150 and takes about 3 hours to make. However, once you have it constructed, you’ll be thankful for the power that this charging unit stores for the nights the power might go out or any other emergency that might come up.
Not only is it useful but it looks really great sitting on your desk or kitchen counter.
12. Diy Solar Panel Battery Charger
If you need a video that shows how to make a solar charger for an LI-ION/LIPO battery, this one will guide you through how to make it. There are easy to follow instructions and the process is fairly easy.
13. DIY Solar Charger for Car Battery
Did you know you could use a solar panel to charge your lead-acid car battery? Because this is a bigger project, you will need a solar panel but also a voltmeter. Connect the battery and panel, this should make the voltage rise. Most car batteries are 14 V so when it gets close to that, your car battery is charged.
A word of caution, though: Car batteries can be easily damaged if charged too quickly, so make sure you use an appropriately sized solar panel.
14. DIY Solar Charger for GoPro
The vlogger in this video explains how to create a solar panel USB charger for your GoPro and build it for under $10. The items you need are a solar panel, charger module and silicon wires. He even attaches his phone to the circuit board to show how much power is being generated.
15. DIY Solar Charger for Any Type of Phone
A great project for a complete beginner. This process allows the user to charge any type of phone with this universal solar charger. You can use an Altoids box like the image shows or you can use any other type of box of a similar size. Other items can be purchased from your local electronics store.
16. DIY Solar Charger With Dollar Store Items
This video claims that you can create a solar charger for $1. He uses a USB car charger that he bought from his local dollar store. The backup battery and wires and solar panels are items he already had on hand. If you have the required items, then this truly is the best low budget solar charger. The circuit board is taken out of the USB and the video shows how the whole project comes together.
17. Solar Powered Charger DIY for Li-Ion Batteries
This blogger shows how to create a solar charger for Li-Ion batteries. Their setup allows you to charge two batteries at one time using a 6V solar panel. But the process doesn’t stop there, you can also find out how to convert this DIY to charge a mobile phone.
18. DIY Portable 100W Solar Charger
If you are living in an RV or a mobile home, this is a great video for you on how to create a mobile solar charger. There aren’t a lot of items needed to get started. Some extension cables might also be needed depending on how far your solar panel is from the battery.
19. DIY Solar Charger Using a Playing Card
This might sound weird but it’s possible to make a cheap solar charger using a playing card in under 15 minutes. The process is so super simple and this video does a great job of explaining it.
20. Diy Solar Battery Charger 12V
This is a stand-alone concept where the solar panel is secured on a pole. The wiring runs down through the pole and is attached to a controller to charge the battery. He uses a concealed system where a lot of the elements are very well hidden.