Overview

This project was designed to create a platform which is able to recharge two to four AA size rechargeable batteries, using a small solar array. To increase the efficiency of the system, a solar tracking circuit was added, which uses an electric motor to turn the system so that it is always facing the sun, reducing the overall charging time.

Video

The Charger

Purpose

This component was to create a device that could recharge two to four AA size rechargeable batteries, only using solar power.

Design Considerations

Due to the purpose and use of the solar charger, there were certain considerations that needed to be taken into account. Such as: weatherproofing, degradation of materials, and solar array placement just to name a few.

Due to the location of device, weatherproofing must be taken into consideration. This can be achieved by choosing a weatherproof case, and sealing any openings with a silicone based caulk.

The placement of the solar array must also be taken into account, to catch as much sunlight and re-charge the batteries as quickly as possible. This can be overcome by making the angle of the array adjustable.

Finally, the fact that materials degrade, especially in sunlight must also be taken into account. However, this can be fixed by choosing a material that is less vulnerable to the affects of sunlight, such as a polypropylene case containing anti-oxidants (such as most due because of manufacturing procedures).