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USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:30 pm

What is the difference on the "battery in" and "battery out" on the USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger?

You should have one labeled BATT and another labeled LOAD as in the photo. The battery connects to BATT and the load to LOAD.
The tutorial is here: http://ladyada.net/products/usbdcsolarlipo/
Image

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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by kje on Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:02 pm

It`s labeled BATTERY IN and BATTERY OUT... which of these is for load?
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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:13 pm

Can you post a photo of the board you have?
It sounds like you have the USB/DC LiPo charger which is not the Solar version.
http://www.adafruit.com/products/280

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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by kje on Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:36 pm

Yes it`s that one I ordered from you. Did I order wrong board?? Can`t I use this board with solar panel?
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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue May 01, 2012 5:55 am

It works in good direct sun. It will have problems in non-ideal charging conditions. You might want to read through the design page of the solar version to get some background on what is different about solar charging.

If the board is in resalable condition, you can contact support@adafruit.com about a return/exchange.

Although it looks like the Solar LiPo chargers are currently out of stock. (est. 15-20 days) http://www.adafruit.com/products/390

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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by kje on Tue May 01, 2012 4:34 pm

Okey, I`ll return and exchange it to the solar version.

I have a 9v solar panel, can I use it with the solar version board?
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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue May 01, 2012 4:47 pm

I have a 9v solar panel, can I use it with the solar version board?

No the solar version of the charger can handle up to 6v only.

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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by kje on Fri May 04, 2012 8:50 pm

Is there something I can do to make use of the 9v solar panel with the USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger?
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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by john444 on Fri May 04, 2012 9:19 pm

Hi KJE,

Solar panels are expensive so I understand your desire to use what you have.
These two suggestions presume that your panel is fairly small, say ½-A or less.
And they are wasteful since you will be throwing away 1/3 of the power of your panel.

Simplest is to series 5, or more likely 4 diodes. Could use any of the 1N4000 series. They are inexpensive.
The next possibility is to use a 6-V regulator. It would just go between the 9-V panel and the charger.
Either suggestion will allow you to use your 9-V panel with the Solar charger.

If your panel is in the neighborhood of 100-mA then a 6-V zener diode would work.
No need for a series resistor since the panel limits the current.
Panel mfg are generous with their ratings.
Try these suggestions but, if the diodes get hot resort to the regulator.

Good Luck

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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by kje on Sat May 05, 2012 11:29 am

john444 wrote:Hi KJE,

Solar panels are expensive so I understand your desire to use what you have.
These two suggestions presume that your panel is fairly small, say ½-A or less.
And they are wasteful since you will be throwing away 1/3 of the power of your panel.

Simplest is to series 5, or more likely 4 diodes. Could use any of the 1N4000 series. They are inexpensive.
The next possibility is to use a 6-V regulator. It would just go between the 9-V panel and the charger.
Either suggestion will allow you to use your 9-V panel with the Solar charger.

If your panel is in the neighborhood of 100-mA then a 6-V zener diode would work.
No need for a series resistor since the panel limits the current.
Panel mfg are generous with their ratings.
Try these suggestions but, if the diodes get hot resort to the regulator.

Good Luck


Thank you john444 :)
I have a voltage regulator LM7806... can I use that one?
So, I should buy 6v solar panel instead of 9v because of the efficiency... but as you said, solar panels are expensive so I desire to use what I have.
The 9v panel I have is 2w. 2/9=0,222
It`s a 222ma panel, right?
Actually I have two 9v panels, can I set them in parallell before the regulator?
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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by john444 on Sat May 05, 2012 5:09 pm

Like you, I would connect what ever panels I had available. But casual readers of the forum need to keep in mind that a voltage regulator is not needed for 6-V Solar panels.
kje wrote:I have a voltage regulator LM7806... can I use that one?
Yes. A TO-220 or similar can handle a watt or so w/o a heatsink.
If it gets more than warm to the touch, even a small heatsink will lower its temp.
kje wrote:The 9v panel I have is 2w. 2/9=0,222
It`s a 222ma panel, right?
Yes, under perfect conditions (cloudless sky, sun directly overhead, panel @ 25°C, etc). Otherwise, output current will be less. If you are getting 70 to 80%, you are doing good.
kje wrote:Actually I have two 9v panels, can I set them in parallell before the regulator?
Yes you may parallel them. Add a diode in the + wire of each panel to prevent a well-lit panel from feeding into a shaded panel. You can parallel as many as you like this way.

A low-dropout regulator might lower charge time by about 10%. The LM7806 has a drop-out voltage of about 3-V. This means that it will put out 6-V until the input voltage drops to 9-V, then it will subtract 3-V from what ever goes into it. Adding the series diode to each panel brings you down to 5.3-V into the charger. Although, this is not really much of a problem because even at the slightly low charger voltage you have 100's of mA of current available.
Just for comparison: one of your 2-W / 9-V panels provides 220-mA while a 2-W / 6-V panel puts out 330-mA. Two 9-V panels provide 2.3-W (5.3-V @ 440-mA) while two 6-V panels w/diodes = 3.5-W (5.3 @ 660-mA).
Bottom line: a 6-V panel will charge your batteries 50% quicker than a similar wattage 9-V panel and you don't need the regulator to dispose of the extra 3-V.

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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by kje on Sat May 05, 2012 5:50 pm

Thank you for your help john444. I need some help on how to connect the battery, USB and my digital voltmeter... Is it just plus on plus and minus on minus? See the picture:

Solar Charger.JPG
Solar Charger.JPG (10.76 KiB) Viewed 3854 times
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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by john444 on Sat May 05, 2012 7:05 pm

No no no. Just connecting wires together will not work.
I am surprised you are asking as the circuit-board is clearly labeled.

Did you ever get the USB/DC/Solar Lithium Ion/Polymer charger (id 390)?
Refer to the tutorial. It has good photos and clear explanations.
I expect the tutorial will explain and clarify more than you are prepared to ask on the forum.

You need the solar version of the charger because a conventional Lithium Ion/Polymer charger will not work well powered from a solar panel.

The big "?" mark is the solar charger.
Assuming you have the solar charger-
On your schematic - do not place a diode between the regulator and the charger. No diodes are needed for one 9-V panel. When you connect more than one 9-V panel, place a diode in series with the '+' wire of each panel. The 'band' side of the diode connects to the input of the voltage regulator (the 7806).

What is it you want to measure with the V meter?

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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by kje on Sun May 06, 2012 8:36 am

I`m sorry, this was another project with just four 1,5v rechargable alkaline batteries. I try this in the meantime while I wait for the lipo charger.

Four 1,5v batteries in series is 6v, so I use a LM7806 regulator after the 9v panel, and then a diode to block the batteries from discharge into the solar panel. The voltmeter is for controlling the status of the batteries so I don`t overcharge them. How do I connect this together?
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Re: USB, DC & Solar Lipoly charger

by john444 on Sun May 06, 2012 6:19 pm

KJE,

Since you are on a different topic, let me suggest that you start a new thread or contact me directly.
If your new project is not using Adafruit products then off forum might be better.

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