Solar Charger Build

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

Whatever past project these were used in obviously required three cells to be wired in parallel with a rather large (4700 uF) capacitor on a perf board. There were 13 of these board assemblies, for a total of 39 solar cells and 13 capacitors (not to mention the 13 perf boards themselves). The cells themselves are about 2. 25 inches square, and have `PCB-60608B`

Solar Charger Build
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written on the back of them. Strangely, even though each solar panel was labeled with the same number, there was quite a variety of differing panel styles. Anyways, I couldn`t find much on the `PCB-60608B` solar cells, but I did find what appears to be a schematic of the solar-powered accent lights these panels were made for. I started doing some tests with the cells to see what sort of power they could produce. They actually did pretty well, even under a simple table lamp. Anxious to try them out on the sun, but with the sun long past the horizon, I had to make do with halogen lights. It appeared that one cell was able to put out around 3 volts under the light of my desk lamp. Good! I wired three of them together in series and sure enough, I got an output near 9 volts. It was exciting to verify that the cells were in working order, and indeed put out a relatively high voltage. I measured the short-circuit current of one cell under the desk lamp, and (as I expected) it was quite low-around 10 mA. Surely, under sunlight, there would be a higher power output. Also, I`m able to wire the cells in parallel to increase the maximum current output of the solar panel-voltages add when cells are in series, and currents add when they are in parallel. I went about constructing such a panel. I wired eight cells in series pairs to get four 6 volt panels. Then, I wired these in parallel so that I got some sort of usable current out of...

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