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DIY Multi Battery Lithium Ion Solar Charging Station For 10 Batteries

DIY Homemade Solar Lithium Battery Charger

For Up To 10 Mixed Lithium Batteries

 

 

I have about 500 mixed Lithium Ion batteries of various types and sizes to charge up and test. I have a mess of 18650 batteries as well as hundreds of pouch batteries of different sizes and capacities. I have been charging them up two at a time with my desk top power supplies but this is time consuming and it is going to take me years at this rate. I needed something better. And I needed to clean off my desk top for other projects.

 

So, to solve two problems at one time, I came up with the idea of making a portable solar powered multi-battery lithium ion charging station. This will accept any type or capacity of battery and can charge up to 10 at a time. I can mix and match types and capacities because each battery has its own solar panel and charge controller.

 

DIY Solar Lithium Battery Charger
My Completed Solar Lithium Ion Battery Charging Station

 

I started out measuring the solar panels that I have on hand. I got about 90 of these dirt cheap on ebay. These are 5 Volt, 3 Watt solar panels with USB ports soldered on. I wanted ten battery chargers at a time so I came up with exactly 24 inches by 48 inches for my back board. I happened to have a piece of plywood that size left over from another project so this worked out well.

 

I also have ten USB lithium battery chargers that I ordered a while back. These were waiting for a project and this was a perfect match for them. I removed the USB ports from the solar panels and soldered the leads onto the input pins of the chargers. Then I made up some wires with alligator clamps on them and soldered those onto the chargers on the output (battery) side.

 

I hot glued everything together. I prefer hot glue because I have it on hand and it is fast and easy to work with. It is also light weight and would not add much to my board overall.

 

 

 

 

Out in the wood shop I cut up some small bits of wood to make separators for each battery charging station. The idea is to prevent any battery or wires from touching another. And I also put spacers in between the charging leads coming from the mini charge controllers. This will prevent anything from touching or shorting out. Each battery has its own little compartment to keep it in place.

 

I used zip ties to hold the charging leads to the back board so they cannot ever come out or touch anything accidentally. This also keeps the wires far enough apart to prevent shorting the leads of the battery being charged and causing a huge fire or explosion.

 

Once it was all finished I took the entire thing out to our greenhouse to try it out. It was partly sunny and raining all day back and forth so I could not put it outside. The greenhouse is the best place for this type of weather. One of the chargers is defective so I could only get 9 batteries charging at one time for now. I will replace that circuit later.

 

Some future upgrades are to put a carrying handle on top so I can easily place it into the sun as needed. I will add a hinged board on the back so I can adjust its angle into the sun. And I will fasten some 18650 battery holders permanently into each charging station. This will allow the charging of either flat packs or 18650 batteries or a mix of both. I also plan to put a cover over the batteries to keep them out of the sun and heat. This will allow me to carry the entire charging station full of batteries with nothing falling off.

 

In case you do not have or cannot afford so many solar panels, please stay tuned. I am also going to make a solar battery charging station using a single, larger solar panel and some different circuits to control it all.

 

 

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Troy Reid

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