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The innovation of solar chargers for mobile phones as a
product of research and development has been prompted by the
challenge to uncover other possible means of charging mobile phones
especially where and when power supply becomes erratic or totally
inaccessible. This challenge has made solar charging which is one of the
expedient alternative methods for charging mobile devices a necessity.
Although this charging idea at present has not been widely known and
accepted in this part of the world: specifically in Nigeria, it is the solution
to the erratic and incessant interruption of power supply to technological
equipments – mobile phones being our focus. This fact is further
substantiated by the simple fact that Nigeria is located in the tropics,
which are areas that are typically known to have an abundant supply of
sunlight all year round. The solar phone charger is inevitable in Nigeria
as a case study, considering the facts that Nigeria is located in the
tropics and at present, many parts of the country are suffering from an
unstable, unreliable, erratic and severely unavailability electric power
supply which poses a great deal of danger to electronic and electrical
appliances and consequently shortens their life span, or incapacitates
them at the most critical moments when they are needed to perform the
functions why they were invented or manufactured in the first place. An
electric phone charger (referred to as from now onwards as a ‘regular
charger’) is a device used to “force” current into the battery of a mobile
phone by converting pulsating ac (alternating current) from an ac supply
outlet, to dc (direct current) which is the type of current required by a
mobile phone. In a solar mobile phone charger, the ac supply outlet is
eliminated, since the required current and voltage is supplied by a dc cell
known as a solar cell, which converts solar energy into electricity.

The term "photovoltaic" comes from the Greek (photo) means

"light", and "voltaic", means electric ,from the name of the Italian
physicist “VOLTA "after whom a unit of electro-motive force, the volt is
named. The sun is a star made up of hydrogen and helium gas and it
radiates an enormous amount of energy every second . A photovoltaic cell
is an electrical device that convert the energy of light directly into
electricity by photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaics is the field of technology
and research related to the practical application of photovoltaic cells in
producing electricity from light, though it is often used specifically to
refer to the generation of electricity from sunlight. Cells can be described
as photovoltaic even when the light source is not necessarily sunlight
(lamplight, artificial light, etc.). In such cases the cell is sometimes used
as a photodetector (for example infrared detectors,detecting light or other
electromagnetic radiation near the visible range, or measuring light
intensity. The operation of a photovoltaic (PV) cell requires 3 basic
attributes: The absorption of light, generating either electron-hole pairs
or excitons. The separation of charge carriers of opposite types. The
separate extraction of those carriers to an external circuit. In contrast, a
solar thermal collector collects heat by absorbing sunlight, for the
purpose of either direct heating or indirect electrical power generation.
"Photoelectrolytic cell" (photoelectrochemical cell), on the other hand,
refers either a type of photovoltaic cell (like that developed by A.E.
Becquerel and modern dye-sensitized solar cells or a device that splits
water directly into hydrogen and oxygen using only solar illumination.
Photovoltaic power generation employs solar panels composed of a
number of solar cells containing a photovoltaic material. Materials
presently used for photovoltaics include monocrystalline silicon,
polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, andcopper
indium gallium selenide/sulfide. Due to the increased demand for
renewable energy sources, the manufacturing of solar cells and
photovoltaic arrays has advanced considerably in recent years. Solar

photovoltaics is a sustainable energy source. By the end of 2011, a total

of 71.1 GW had been installed, sufficient to generate 85 TWh/year.And
by end of 2012, the 100 GW installed capacity milestone was achieved.
Solar photovoltaics is now, after hydro and wind power, the third most
important renewable energy source in terms of globally installed
capacity. More than 100 countries use solar PV. Photovoltaics is the field
of technology and research related to the practical application of
photovoltaic cells in producing electricity from light, though it is often
used specifically to refer to the generation of electricity from sunlight.
Cells can be described as photovoltaic even when the light source is not
necessarily sunlight

Fig.1.1.Solar Mobile Charger


A solar cell or photovoltaic cell is a large area electronic device that

converts solar energy into electricity by the photovoltaic effect. A solar
charger provides an alternative source for charging mobile phones and
furthermore harnesses the use of the abundant solar energy available for
human use. There are many variations in the circuit design of regular
electric chargers and the circuit design of solar chargers. For example,
because a solar cell produces dc, which is what mobile phones generally
require, if the solar cell ratings, as much as possible, closely matches the
power requirements of the mobile phone, a transformer is not required,
Whereas a transformer is needed for a regular charger, since
neither of the regular 220V or 110V can be supplied to a mobile phone
even if it is dc. Furthermore, regular chargers have an ac input and a dc
output which means, they definitely must have rectifier circuits and
some sort of filter components to remove ripples, these requirements are
somewhat eliminated in the design of solar chargers. These are some
major differences in the design of regular electric phone chargers and
solar chargers, but generally, their mode of operation is the same. It is
worth noting that while regular chargers generally differ from solar
chargers, regular chargers also differ one from another and solar
chargers themselves have differences in construction and circuit
requirements. These variations in their individual designs majorly
depend on the level of efficiency required.
A solar charger could be designed by simply using a 6V solar
cell, connected in series with a suitable resistor at the positive side of the
cell and practically charge a mobile phone, but for efficiency, it is better
to use the solar cell to charge a battery pack which serves as a charge
storage medium, which in turn is used to charge the mobile phone
anytime. Another major advantage of a solar charger is that, it is mobile
and could be used anywhere, anytime as long as there’s enough sunlight
to make the solar cell produce the power requirements of the phone
being charged and this means that ‘on the move’ charging is made

possible by a solar charger, since it does not require a regular ac outlet

electricity source. The major disadvantage of a mobile charger, which has
been innovatively eliminated in this project is that, a solar charger
cannot be used anywhere or anytime there’s no available or sufficient
sunlight, because, the solar cell requires sunlight to produce a
considerable amount of current flow. This disadvantage can be
innovatively minimized by placing the solar cell under strong lights when
solar energy is insufficient or unavailable. A better solution to this
problem is to add a rechargeable battery to the circuit, which further
makes our design complex. The solar cell is however used to charge this
battery, while the battery in turn charges our mobile phone. In practice,
solar cells only require a small amount of incident light to produce an
output power, making it possible to charge round the clock with or
without sunlight using a rechargeable battery.
Given the current energy crisis and increasing need for
sustainable energy, we endeavored to create a cost-effective, small-scale
electrical generator which could be used to power consumer electronics.
Solar energy has proven its worth as an alternative energy source
because it is low-impact and emission-free. It has been implemented with
much success for power grids with hundreds of acres of enormous solar
concentrators. In the small-scale, solar energy has been harvested
through the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels and have been used to power
anything from an iPod to a residential home. Although PV systems are
considered part of the green energy revolution, materials utilized for its
construction (like silicon) are extremely dangerous to the environment
and much care must be taken to ensure that they are recycled properly.
PV cells also only utilize the energy stored in specific wavelengths of light
and therefore have an approximate efficiency between 14-19%. Sunlight,
however, produces immense amounts of heat which only serves to heat
up the surface of the solar cell. Although there are some PV cells that
have reached efficiency levels over 40% (world record is 41.6%), they are

enormously complex and expensive. Concentrated solar power (CSP)

works differently because it focuses solar energy in its entirety rather
than absorb it. Ultimately, our group will be designing and producing a
SolarPowered Battery Charger.

The term "photovoltaic" comes from the Greek φῶς (phōs)
meaning "light", and "voltaic", meaning electric, from the name of the
Italian physicist Volta, after whom a unit of electro-motive force, the volt,
is named. The term "photo-voltaic" has been in use in English since
1849. The photovoltaic effect was first recognized in 1839 by French
physicist A. E. Becquerel. However, it was not until 1883 that the first
solar cell was built, by Charles Fritts, who coated the semiconductor
selenium with an extremely thin layer of gold to form the junctions. The
device was only around 1% efficient. Subsequently Russian physicist
Aleksandra Stoletov built the first solar cell based on the outer
photoelectric effect (discovered by Heinrich Hertz earlier in 1887). Albert
Einstein explained the photoelectric effect in 1905 for which he received
the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Russell Ohl patented the modern
junction semiconductor solar cell in 1946, which was discovered while
working on the series of advances that would lead to the transistor. The
highly efficient solar cell was first developed by Chapin, Fuller and
Pearson in 1954 using a diffused silicon p-n junction. In the past four
decades, remarkable progress has been made, with Megawatt solar power
generating plants having now been built. A solar panel (photovoltaic
module or photovoltaic panel) is a packaged interconnected assembly of
solar cell, also known as photovoltaic cell. The solar panel is used as a
component in a larger photovoltaic system to offer electricity for
commercial and residential applications. Because a single solar panel
can only produce a limited amount of power, many installations contain
several panels. This is known as a photovoltaic array. A photovoltaic

installation typically includes an array of solar panels, an inverter,

batteries and interconnection wiring. Solar cells are often electrically
connected and encapsulated as a module. Photovoltaic modules often
have a sheet of glass on the front (sun up) side, allowing light to pass
while protecting the semiconductor wafers from the elements (rain, hail,
etc.). Solar cells are also usually connected in series in modules, creating
an additive voltage. Connecting cells in parallel will yield a higher
current. Modules are then interconnected, in series or parallel, or both,
to create an array with the desired peak DC voltage and current.
The power output of a solar array is measured in watts or
kilowatts. In order to calculate the typical energy needs of the
application, a measurement in watt-hours, kilowatt-hours or kilowatt-
hours per day is often used. A common rule of thumb is that average
power is equal to 20% of peak power, so that each peak kilowatt of solar
array output power corresponds to energy production of 4.8 kWh per day
(24 hours x 1 kW x 20% = 4.8 kWh). To make practical use of the solar-
generated energy, the electricity is most often fed into the electricity grid
using inverters (grid-connected photovoltaic systems); in stand-alone
systems, batteries are used to store the energy that is not needed
immediately. Solar cells can also be applied to other electronics devices
to make it self-power sustainable in the sun. There are solar cell phone
chargers, solar bike light and solar camping lanterns that people can
adopt for daily use.
Simple explanation :Photons in sunlight hit the solar panel
and are absorbed by semiconducting materials, such as silicon.
Electrons (negatively charged) are knocked loose from their atoms,
allowing them to flow through the material to produce electricity. Due to
the special composition of solar cells, the electrons are only allowed to
move in a single direction. An array of solar cells converts solar energy
into a usable amount of direct current (DC) electricity.

Photo generation of charge carriers : When a photon hits a

piece of silicon, one of three things can happen:
1. the photon can pass straight through the silicon — this
(generally) happens for lower energy photons,
2. the photon can reflect off the surface,
3. The photon can be absorbed by the silicon, if the photon
energy is higher than the silicon band gap value. This generates an
electron-hole pair and sometimes heat, depending on the band structure.
When a photon is absorbed, its energy is given to an
electron in the crystal lattice. Usually this electron is in the valence
band, and is tightly bound in covalent bonds between neighboring atoms,
and hence unable to move far. The energy given to it by the photon
"excites" it into the conduction band, where it is free to move around
within the semiconductor. The covalent bond that the electron was
previously a part of now has one fewer electron — this is known as a
hole. The presence of a missing covalent bond allows the bonded
electrons of neighboring atoms to move into the "hole," leaving another
hole behind, and in this way a hole can move through the lattice. Thus, it
can be said that photons absorbed in the semiconductor create mobile
electronhole pairs. A photon need only have greater energy than that of
the band gap in order to excite an electron from the valence band into
the conduction band. However, the solar frequency spectrum
approximates a black body spectrum at ~6000 K, and as such, much of
the solar radiation reaching the Earth is composed of photons with
energies greater than the band gap of silicon. These higher energy
photons will be absorbed by the solar cell, but the difference in energy
between these photons and the silicon band gap is converted into heat
(via lattice vibrations — called phonons) rather than into usable electrical
energy. Charge carrier separation There are two main modes for charge
carrier separation in a solar cell:

1. Drift of carriers, driven by an electrostatic field established

across the device
2. Diffusion of carriers from zones of high carrier
concentration to zones of low carrier concentration (following a gradient
of electrochemical potential). In the p-n junction solar cells the dominant
mode of charge is by diffusion. However, in thin films (such as
amorphous silicon) the main mechanism to move the charge is the
electric field and therefore the drift of carriers. The p-n junction Main
articles : semiconductor and p-n junction The most commonly known
solar cell is configured as a large-area p-n junction made from silicon. As
a simplification, one can imagine bringing a layer of n-type silicon into
direct contact
with a layer of p-type silicon. In practice, p-n junctions of
silicon solar cells are not made in this way, but rather by diffusing an n-
type dopant into one side of a p-type wafer (or vice versa). If a piece of p-
type silicon is placed in intimate contact with a piece of n-type silicon,
then a diffusion of electrons occurs from the region of high electron
concentration (the n-type side of the junction) into the region of low
electron concentration (p-type side of the junction). When the electrons
diffuse across the p-n junction, they recombine with holes on the p-type
side. The diffusion of carriers does not happen indefinitely, however,
because charges build up on either side of the junction and create an
electric field. The electric field creates a diode that promotes charge flow,
known as drift current, that opposes and eventually balances out the
diffusion of electron and holes. This region where electrons and holes
have diffused across the junction is called the depletion region because it
no longer contains any mobile charge carriers. It is also known as the
space charge region.
Theory : Solar panels use light energy (photons) from the
sun to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect (this is the

photo-electric effect). The structural (load carrying) member of a module

can either be the top layer (superstrate) or the back layer (substrate). The
majority of modules use wafer-based crystalline silicon cells or a thin-
film cell based on cadmium telluride or silicon. Crystalline silicon, which
is commonly used in the wafer form in photovoltaic (PV) modules, is
derived from silicon, a commonly used semi-conductor. With a pencil, try
this example to know the two types of energy. Put the pencil at the edge
of the desk and push it off to the floor. The moving pencil uses kinetic
energy Now, pick up the pencil and put it back on the desk. You used
your own energy to lift and move the pencil. Moving it higher than the
floor adds energy to it. As it rests on the desk, the pencil has potential
energy. The higher it is, the further it could fall. That means the pencil
has more potential energy.



The current market leader in efficient solar energy modules is Sun

Power, whose solar panels have a conversion ratio of 19.3% with Sanyo
having the most efficient modules at 20.4%. However, a whole range of
other companies (Hob Sun, Gamma Solar. Nano Horizons) are emerging
which are also offering new innovations in photovoltaic modules, with a
conversion ratio of around 18%. These new innovations include power
generation on the front and back sides and increased outputs: however,
most of these companies have not yet produced working systems from
the, design plans, and are mostly still actively improving the technology.


1. Resistor (1K Ω, 100K Ω)
2. Capacitor (100µF, 1000µF)
3. Solar panel
4. Battery (12V)
5. Arduino Uno
6. Voltage sensor
7. LCD
8. Output jack

2.2.1 RESISTOR (1K Ω,100K Ω):

A resistor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that

implements electrical resistance as a circuit element. In electronic
circuits, resistors are used to reduce current flow, adjust signal levels, to
divide voltages, bias active elements, and terminate transmission lines
among other users.

High-power resistors that can dissipate many watts of

electrical power as heat may be used as part of motor controls, in power
distribution systems, or as test loads for generators. Fixed resistors have
resistances that only change slightly with temperature, time or operating
voltage. Variable resistors can be used to adjust circuit elements (such
as a volume control or a lamp dimmer), or as sensing devices for heat,
light, humidity, force, or chemical activity.

1k Ω

1000k Ω

Resistors are common elements of electrical

networks and electronic circuits and are ubiquitous in electronic
equipment. Practical resistors as discrete components can be composed
of various compounds and forms. Resistors are also implemented
within integrated circuits.

2.2.2 CAPICITOR(100µF,1000µF):

A capacitor is passive two-terminal electronic

component that stores electrical energy in an electric field. The effect of a
capacitor is known as capacitance. While some capacitance exists
between any two electrical conductors in proximity in a circuit, a
capacitor is a component designed to add capacitance to a circuit. The
capacitor was originally known as a condenser or condensate. The
original name is still widely used in many languages, but not commonly
in English. The physical form and construction of practical capacitors
vary widely and many types of capacitor are in common use. Most
capacitors contain at least two electrical conductors often in the form of
metallic plates or surfaces separated by a dielectric medium. A conductor
may be a foil, thin film, sintered bead of metal, or an electrolyte. The
non-conducting dielectric acts to increase the capacitor's charge
capacity. Materials commonly used as dielectrics
include glass, ceramic, plastic film, paper, mica, air, and oxide layers.
Capacitors are widely used as parts of electrical circuits in many
common electrical devices. Unlike a resistor, an ideal capacitor does not
dissipate energy. When two conductors experience a potential difference,
for example, when a capacitor is attached across a battery, an electric
field develops across the dielectric, causing a net positive charge to
collect on one plate and net negative charge to collect on the other plate.
No current actually flows through the dielectric. However, there is a flow
of charge through the source circuit. If the condition is maintained

sufficiently long, the current through the source circuit ceases. If a time-
varying voltage is applied across the leads of the capacitor, the source
experiences an ongoing current due to the charging and discharging
cycles of the capacitor.

100 Microfarad

1000 Microfarad



A solar panel is actually a collection of solar (or photovoltaic)
cells, which can be used to generate electricity through photovoltaic
effect. These cells are arranged in a grid-like pattern on the surface of
solar panels. Thus, it may also be described as a set of photovoltaic
modules, mounted on a structure supporting it. A photovoltaic (PV)
module is a packaged and connected assembly of 6×10 solar cells. When
it comes to wear-and-tear, these panels are very hardy. Solar panels wear

out extremely slow. In a year, their effectiveness decreases only about

one to two per cent (at times, even lesser).

Fig.2.3.Solar Panel

Most solar panels are made up using crystalline silicon solar

cells. Installation of solar panels in homes helps in combating the
harmful emissions of greenhouse gases and thus helps reduce global
warming. Solar panels do not lead to any form of pollution and are clean.
They also decrease our reliance on fossil fuels (which are limited) and
traditional power sources. These days, solar panels are used in wide-
ranging electronic equipments like calculators, which work as long as
sunlight is available. However, the only major drawback of solar panels is
that they are quite costly. Also, solar panels are installed outdoors as
they need sunlight to get charged.

2.2.4 BATTERY(12V):

A rechargeable battery, storage battery, secondary cell,

or accumulator is a type of electrical battery which can be charged,
discharged into a load, and recharged many times, as opposed to a
disposable or primary battery, which is supplied fully charged and
discarded after use.
It is composed of one or more electrochemical cells. The term
‘accumulator’ is used as it accumulates and stores energy through a

reversible electro chemical reaction. Rechargeable batteries are produced

in many different shapes and sizes, ranging from button cells to
megawatt systems connected to stabilize an electrical distribution
network. Several different combinations
of electrode materials and electrolytes are used, including lead–acid,
Nickel Cadmium (NiCad), Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), Lithium ion (Li –
ion) and Lithium – ion Polymer (Li-ion polymer).

Fig.2.4.Battery 12 V


The Arduino UNO is an ope-source microcontroller
board based on the Microchip ATmega328P microcontroller and
developed by The board is equipped with sets of digital and
analog input/output (I/O) pins that may be interfaced to
various expansion boards (shields) and other circuits. The board has 14
Digital pins, 6 Analog pins, and programmable with the Arduino
IDE (Integrated Development Environment) via a type B USB cable. It can
be powered by the USB cable or by an external 9-volt battery, though it
accepts voltages between 7 and 20 volts. It is also similar to the Arduino
Nano and Leonardo. The hardware reference design is distributed under
a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.5 license and is available

on the Arduino website. Layout and production files for some versions of
the hardware are also available. The word "Uno" means "one"
in Italian and was chosen to mark the initial release of the Arduino
Software. The Uno board is the first in a series of USB-based Arduino
boards, and it and version 1.0 of the Arduino IDE were the reference
versions of Arduino, now evolved to newer releases. The ATmega328 on
the board comes preprogrammed with a bootloader that allows uploading
new code to it without the use of an external hardware programmer.
While the Uno communicates using the original STK500 protocol, it
differs from all preceding boards in that it does not use the FTDI USB-to-
serial driver chip. Instead, it uses the Atmega16U2 (Atmega8U2 up to
version R2) programmed as a USB-to serial converter.

Fig2.5.ARDUINO UNO AT Mega328


The Voltage Sensor block represents an ideal voltage sensor,
that is, a device that converts voltage measured between two points of an
electrical circuit into a physical signal proportional to the voltage.
Connections + and – are electrical conserving ports through which the
sensor is connected to the circuit. Connection V is a physical signal port
that outputs the measurement result.

The block has the following ports:

+ Electrical conserving port associated with the sensor positive terminal.
- Electrical conserving port associated with the sensor negative terminal.
V Physical signal output port for voltage.

Fig.2.6.Voltage Sensor

2.2.7 LCD:
LCD (liquid crystal display) is the technology used for
displays in notebook and other smaller computers. Like light-emitting
diode (LED) and gas-plasma technologies, LCDs allow displays to be
much thinner than cathode ray tube (CRT) technology. LCDs consume
much less power than LED and gas-display displays because they work
on the principle of blocking light rather than emitting it. An LCD is made
with either a passive matrix or an active matrix display grid. The active
matrix LCD is also known as a thin film transistor (TFT) display. The
passive matrix LCD has a grid of conductors with pixels located at each
intersection in the grid. A current is sent across two conductors on the
grid to control the light for any pixel. An active matrix has a transistor
located at each pixel intersection, requiring less current to control the
luminance of a pixel. For this reason, the current in an active matrix
display can be switched on and off more frequently; improving the screen
refresh time (your mouse will appear to move more smoothly across the
screen, for example). Some passive matrix LCD's have dual scanning,

meaning that they scan the grid twice with current in the same time that
it took for one scan in the original technology. However, active matrix is
still a superior technology.



Fig.2.8.Block diagram of solar mobile charger


Photovoltaic cells or panels are only one way of generating

electricity from solar energy. They are not the most efficient, but they are
the most convents to use on a small to medium scale. PV cells are made
of silicon, similar to that used in computer "chips". While silicon itself is
a very abundant mineral, the manufacture of solar cells (as with

computer chips) has to be in a very clean environment. This causes

production costs to be high. A PV cell is constructed from two types of
silicon, which when hit by solar energy, produce a voltage difference
across them, and, if connected to an electrical circuit, a current will flow.
A number of photovoltaic cells will be connected together in a "Module",
and usually encapsulated in glass held a frame which can then be
mounted as required. The cells in a module will be wired in series or
parallel to produce a specified voltage. What may be referred to as a 12
volt panel may produce around 16 volts in full sun to charge to 12 volt


A rechargeable battery, storage battery, secondary cell,

or accumulator is a type of electrical battery which can be charged,
discharged into a load, and recharged many times, as opposed to a
disposable or primary battery, which is supplied fully charged and
discarded after use.
It is composed of one or more electrochemical cells. The term
‘accumulator’ is used as it accumulates and stores energy through a
reversible electro chemical reaction. Rechargeable batteries are produced
in many different shapes and sizes, ranging from button cells to
megawatt systems connected to stabilize an electrical distribution
network. Several different combinations
of electrode materials and electrolytes are used, including lead–acid,
Nickel Cadmium (NiCad), Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), Lithium ion (Li –
ion) and Lithium – ion Polymer (Li-ion polymer).


Voltage regulator circuits are essential elements in solar

photovoltaic systems Utilizing batteries for energy storage. The voltage
regulator1s function is to regulate the current from the solar panel array
to the battery, to provide optimum Current control during charge. The
output of the voltage regulator must have the same electrical
characteristics as a good battery charger. Voltage regulators can vary
from a simple, manually controlled resistor between the battery and the
photovoltaic panel array to complex, temperature compensating
electronic circuits. Cost vs. performance trade-offs must account for
concerns such as battery life and capacity, efficiency, power density,
reliability, maintainability, size and weight Without a voltage regulator,
proper charge conditions for the battery cannot be achieved readily. If the
solar array is sized to provide sufficient current to charge the battery
fully on a daily basis, severe overcharging could occur without some
means to regulate the current when only a partial recharge is required.
Excessive overcharge would reduce battery life and increase system cost
by requiring more frequent battery replacements.


Voltage regulator is electrical or electronic device that

maintains the voltage of a power source within acceptable limits. The
voltage regulator is needed to keep voltages within the prescribed range
that can be tolerated by the electrical equipment using that voltage. Such
a device is widely used in motor vehicles of all types to match the output
voltage of the generator to the electrical load and to the charging
requirements of the battery. Voltage regulators also are used in electronic
equipment in which excessive variations in voltage would be detrimental.

In motor vehicles, voltage regulators rapidly switch from one

to another of three circuit states by means of a spring-loaded, double-
pole switch. At low speeds, some current from the generator is used to
boost the generator’s magnetic field, thereby increasing voltage output.
At higher speeds, resistance is inserted into the generator-field circuit so
that its voltage and current are moderated. At still higher speeds, the
circuit is switched off, lowering the magnetic field. The regulator
switching rate is usually 50 to 200 times per second.

Electronic voltage regulators utilize solid-state

semiconductor devices to smooth out variations in the flow of current. In
most cases, they operate as variable resistances; that is, resistance
decreases when the electrical load is heavy and increases when the load
is lighter.


A battery charger or recharger is a device used to put energy

into a secondary cell or rechargeable battery by forcing an electric
current through it. The charging protocol (how much voltage or current
for how long, and what to do when charging is complete, for instance)
depends on the size and type of the battery being charged. Some battery
types have high tolerance for overcharging (i.e., continued charging after
the battery has been fully charged) and can be recharged by connection
to a constant voltage source or a constant current source, depending on
battery type. Simple chargers of this type must be manually
disconnected at the end of the charge cycle, and some battery types
absolutely require, or may use a timer, to cut off charging current at
some fixed time, approximately when charging is complete. Other battery
types cannot withstand over-charging, being damaged (reduced capacity,
reduced lifetime), over heating or even exploding. The charger may have

temperature or voltage sensing circuits and a microprocessor controller

to safely adjust the charging current and voltage, determine the state of
charge, and cut off at the end of charge.

A trickle charger provides a relatively small amount of

current, only enough to counteract self-discharge of a battery that is idle
for a long time. Some battery types cannot tolerate trickle charging of any
kind; attempts to do so may result in damage. Lithium ion battery cells
use a chemistry system which does not permit indefinite trickle charging.
Slow battery chargers may take several hours to complete a charge.
High-rate chargers may restore most capacity much faster, but high rate
chargers can be more than some battery types can tolerate. Such
batteries require active monitoring of the battery to protect it from
overcharging.Electric vehicles ideally need high-rate chargers. For public
access, installation of such chargers and the distribution support for
them is an issue in the proposed adoption of electric cars.


The circuit diagram of the Solar Mobile Charger shown in fig.3. The
circuit comprises of an arduino uno board,LCD
panel,Resistors,Capacitors,Battery,Regulator,Voltage Control circuit.
You can power the arduino board using 7V to 12V wall wart or
plug in adapter or solar panel

Fig.3.1.Circuit Diagram


1. If you have a reliable Internet connection, you should use
the online IDE (Arduino Web Editor). It will allow you to save your
sketches in the cloud, having them available from any device and
backed up. You will always have the most up-to-date version of the
IDE without the need to install updates.
2. If you would rather work offline, you should use the latest version
of the desktop IDE.
3. Arduino first and foremost is an open-source computer hardware
and software company. The Arduino Communityrefers to the
project and user community that designs and utilizes
microcontroller-based development boards. These development
boards are known as Arduino Modules, which are open-source
prototyping platforms. The simplified microcontroller board comes
in a variety of development board packages.

Fig.4.1.Arduino Symbol


This is the Arduino IDE once it’s been opened. It opens into a blank
sketch where you can start programming immediately. First, we should
configure the board and port settings to allow us to upload code. Connect
your Arduino board to the PC via the USB cable.



You have to tell the Arduino IDE what board you are uploading to. Select
the Toolspulldown menu and go to Board.This list is populated by default

with the currently available Arduino Boards that are developed by

Arduino. If you are using an Uno or an Uno-Compatible Clone (ex.
Funduino, SainSmart, IEIK, etc.), select Arduino Uno. If you are using
another board/clone, select that board.


4.3 IDE: COM Port Setup

If you downloaded the Arduino IDE before plugging in your Arduino

board, when you plugged in the board, the USB drivers should have
installed automatically. The most recent Arduino IDE should recognize
connected boards and label them with which COM port they are using.
Select the Tools pulldown menu and then Port.Here it should list all open
COM ports, and if there is a recognized Arduino Board, it will also give
it’s name. Select the Arduino board that you have connected to the PC. If
the setup was successful, in the bottom right of the Arduino IDE, you
should see the board type and COM number of the board you plan to

program. Note: the Arduino Uno occupies the next available COM port; it
will not always be COM3. At this point, your board should be set up for
programming, and you can begin writing and uploading code.

Fig.4.4 IDE: COM Port Setup

4.4 Testing Your Settings: Uploading Blink
One common procedure to test whether the board you are using is
properly set up is to upload the “Blink” sketch. This sketch is included
with all Arduino IDE releases and can be accessed by the Filepull-down
menu and going to Examples, 01.Basics, and then select Blink. Standard
Arduino Boards include a surface-mounted LED labeled “L” or “LED”
next to the “RX” and “TX” LEDs, that is connected to digital pin 13. This
sketch will blink the LED at a regular interval, and is an easy way to
confirm if your board is set up properly and you were successful in

uploading code. Open the “Blink” sketch and press the “Upload” button
in the upper-left corner to upload “Blink” to the board.

Fig. 4.5 Testing Your Settings: Uploading Blink


4.5.Guide Summary:

1. Download and install Arduino IDE


2. Plug in your Arduino Board

3. Select the proper board in the IDE (Tools>Boards>Arduino Uno)

4. Select the proper COM port (Tools>Port>COMx (Arduino Uno))

5. Open the “Blink” sketch (File>Examples>Basics>01.Blink)

6. Press the Upload button to upload the program to the board

7. Confirm that your board is working as expected by observing LED

Pin Description:

Fig.4.6.Pin Description of Atmega328P


As stated before, 20 of the pins function as I/O ports. This means

they can function as an input to the circuit or as output. Whether they
are input or output is set in the software. 14 of the pins are digital pins,
of which 6 can function to give PWM output. 6 of the pins are for analog
input/output.2 of the pins are for the crystal oscillator. This is to provide
a clock pulse for the Atmega chip. A clock pulse is needed for
synchronization so that communication can occur in synchrony between
the Atmega chip and a device that it is connected to.
The chip needs power so 2 of the pins, Vcc and GND, provide it
power so that it can operate. The Atmega328 is a low-power chip, so it
only needs between 1.8-5.5V of power to operate.
The Atmega328 chip has an analog-to-digital converter (ADC)
inside of it. This must be or else the Atmega328 wouldn't be capable of
interpreting analog signals. Because there is an ADC, the chip can
interpret analog input, which is why the chip has 6 pins for analog input.
The ADC has 3 pins set aside for it to function- AVCC, AREF, and GND.
AVCC is the power supply, positive voltage, that for the ADC. The ADC
needs its own power supply in order to work. GND is the power supply
ground. AREF is the reference voltage that the ADC uses to convert an
analog signal to its corresponding digital value. Analog voltages higher
than the reference voltage will be assigned to a digital value of 1, while
analog voltages below the reference voltage will be assigned the digital
value of 0. Since the ADC for the Atmega328 is a 10-bit ADC, meaning it
produces a 10-bit digital value, it converts an analog signal to its digital
value, with the AREF value being a reference for which digital values are
high or low. Thus, a portrait of an analog signal is shown by this digital
value; thus, it is its digital correspondent value.
The last pin is the RESET pin. This allows a program to be rerun and
start over.
And this sums up the pinout of an Atmega328 chip.

Fig.4.7.Pin Fumction of Atmega328P



int sensorPin = A0; // select the input pin for the potentiometer
int ledPin = 13; // select the pin for the LED
int sensorValue = 0; // variable to store the value coming from the
// include the library code:
#include <LiquidCrystal.h>
// initialize the library by associating any needed LCD interface pin
// with the arduino pin number it is connected to
const int rs = 12, en = 11, d4 = 5, d5 = 4, d6 = 3, d7 = 2;
LiquidCrystallcd(rs, en, d4, d5, d6, d7);
void setup() {
// set up the LCD's number of columns and rows:
lcd.begin(16, 2);
pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
// Print a message to the LCD.
lcd.print("SOLAR CHARGER");
void loop() {
sensorValue = analogRead(sensorPin);
// turn the ledPin on
digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);
// stop the program for <sensorValue> milliseconds:

// turn the ledPin off:

digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);
// stop the program for for<sensorValue> milliseconds:
lcd.setCursor(0, 1);
5.2.Future Scope:
To make sure we have plenty of energy in the future, it's up to all
of us to use energy wisely.
We must all conserve energy and use it efficiently. It's also up to
those who will create the new energy technologies of the future.
All energy sources have an impact on the environment. Concerns
about the greenhouse effect and global warming, air pollution, and
energy security have led to increasing interest and more development in
renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, wave power
and hydrogen

In solar mobile charger ripples will not be there as we use DC

power directly to charge the mobile.

Battery life is more as high voltages are not developed.Versatility of

Solar mobile charger is high.

Life of the battery will be high as we use solar mobile

charger.Adaptability is high.


With a project requiring design and construction of a circuit,
although it’s been quite an experience, bearing in mind that as at the
time of carrying out this project, solar charging generally has not been

widely accepted, how much less, solar charging a mobile phone, it has
been proven that it is very possible, flexible and cost effective to charge
mobile phones using solar chargers, without totally relying on utility
power. It is an obvious fact that the tropics enjoy more sunlight round
the year and fortunately, Nigeria is one of such countries located in the
tropics, which means there is abundant sunlight available for use all
round the year. Another fact that cannot be ignored, that serves as a
major factor that encourages the use of solar mobile chargers is the fact
that at present Nigeria suffers greatly from gross unavailability of
electricity. With these facts in mind, it is seen that there is an urgent
need to tap into the abundantly available energy of the sun, not only in
charging mobile phones, but in every other aspect of technology that
requires constant supply of electricity.
Some measures of precaution were taken and it would not be
wise to conclude without mentioning them. Circuit design and
construction tasks require that components be installed with the correct
polarity observed and the positive terminal connected to the highest
potential. Whenever an equivalent component is incorporated into a
circuit, even though there are readily available alternatives, care should
be taken that they have characteristics closely matched with those
required. Transistor legs are fragile and can easily break off, if twisted
unnecessarily. More so, since they are heat sensitive devices, heat
produced by soldering iron should not be excessive and the correct
biasing rules should be borne in mind. Dry joints (circuit connections
which appear physically connected but core not electronically connected)
should be eliminated as much as possible since these can waste a lot of
precious construction time and leads to unnecessary troubleshooting of
circuit. Extra caution should be taken to ensure that hot soldering leads
do not drop in between connecting foils on the circuit board as this can
bridge circuit connections and produce either a total deviation from
expected result or damage to the design.

The task of producing a working solar mobile phone charger

has not been as easy as initially envisaged. There were hurdles of getting
the required information, circuit diagrams, buying the required circuit
components, fear of destroying components that were not readily
available, soldering ethics etc.
In conclusion, it has been a worthwhile experience and the
effort and time invested into this design and construction has really paid
off. It has revealed that solar energy is in abundance and can be
harnessed for use in a lot of ways, even to the point of charging mobile
devices which removes total dependence on frequently unavailable and
highly erratic electric power supply from utility grids. It has also showed
that mobile charging is possible and by mobile charging, what is meant
is ‘charging while on the move’.


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