February 24, 2015 AT 5:00 pm

Make A Solar, Wind And Water Faucet Powered USB Charger #SolarPower


Make a solar, wind and water faucet powered USB charger. via instructables

In our world the rechargeabale gadgets have a very important role, but their batteries have a very low capacity, so they discharge fast. In this instructable I gonna show you how to build an USB device charger, that is powered by a solar panel, or a wind/hydro turbine. It contains a rechargeable power bank, which you can charge up your phone everywhere. This instructable is divided to parts… If you don’t want to make the full project, just go to another part. Part 1 is the rechergeable power bank, that uses two AA rechargeable batteries. The Part 2 is a solar USB charger, that can charge the power bank too, and third part is hydro/wind turbine battery charger, which can be connected to a faucet, and genarates electricity. This turbine also can be connected to your bicycle, and works as a wind turbine. The instructable was made for the 15th MILSET Expo-Sciences International contest and for the Make Energy, so if you liked vote on me. With this gadget you can save more than 50$ per year, but this money goes to my parents:).The idea is easy, but you will need some experience in electronics, and in DIY projects to make this gadget. So let’s begin, I hope you like it…


1. soldering iron and solder
2. glue gun
3. desoldering pump (optional)
4. electrical tape (optional)
5. rotary tool or driller


PART 1: Rechargeable Power Bank

• old casette box, or a simple plastic box
• 2 AA size Ni-MH rechargeable batteries (at least 2000mAh)
• battery box, or you need to connect somehow the batteries in series, like me with the electrical tape
• 9 volt battery clips, I love them, because they can be used as connectors, but you can use others
• if you can buy, get a 5v USB step up charger, but if you can’t get these circuit components: TL496 IC, 46uH inductor, 10uF capacitor, a 5.1v zener diode and a female USB jack, (with these compononents you can make a 5v step up circuit)
• 7805-5v voltage regulator for charging the NiMH battery
• 47uF apacitor, and a germanium diode
• 2 switches, and 2 super bright LED-s
• male USB jack (if you want to charge the power bank from your wallplug phone charger)
• PCB board
• 2 switches

I didn’t use a NiMH charger circuit, just calculated the charging time (hour=capacity/current). With my 170mA solar panel this is 11 hours, so I can not leave the batteries in charger for more than 12 hours, because they will overcharge.

PART 2: USB and battery charger Solar device

• 5.5v solar panel, or better (you will need at least 5.5 volts)
• old CD
• 7805-5v voltage regulator for charging the phone
• switch
• female USB jack
• wires
• 9 volt battery clip (with this you can charge the NiMH batteries

PCB board

PART 3: Hydro/Wind turbine charger

In this part you’ll need to make a Joule Thief for small generator. If you want to read more about the Joule Thief, click here.

• NPN transistor (2N2222, 2N3904 BC547 equivalent)
• ferrite core (from an old CFL bulb)
• #24 AWG wire
• small motor (you can find in a RC helicopter)
• 50 ohm resistor
• PCB board
• PVC tube (the diameter needs to be so big, with you can connect to your faucet)
• plastic sheet (white or transparent)
• metallic grey paint (optoinal, but on your faucet will look much better)
• 9 volt battery clip
• germanium diode

This generator can’t charge directy your phone, but generates 100mA and more than 3 volts, that is more than enough to charge NiMH or NiCd batteries or the rechargeable power bank from the PART 1. And if the power bank is charged you can charge your phone, tablet, or GPS. Before we begin the building I need to tell you, that a simple American family uses 600 liters of water per day. This means about 1.5 hours flowing water from your faucet, and if you use this hydro turbine you can give for your battery 0.13 volts per every 1.5 hours. So a NiMH 2000mAh battery can not be charged so fast, but after 1 day you can charge your phone for about 30-25% with a 5v booster. I think this would be a great household item, because it is small, and 100mA from a small motor like this is very good, so… start building.

Full tutorial

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