Foldable Solar Panel - Large version

by enif Nov 8, 2014
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Would you be so kind to send me the SolidWorks file for it?
My solar panels have slightly different measurements (200mmx130mm) and I would like to adjust it.

I never use Solidworks, all my things are designed with OpenScad. And all my things are published with the fully commented OpenScad source - these are the *.scad files. OpenScad is free, so you can download it, modify the dimensions to fit your panels and generate the correspinding STL file.

What did you cover the panels with?

These are not raw solar cells but finished 5V (or 6V) epoxy covered solar panels that you can buy on eBay or AliExpress. So no extra covering is needed.

OpenSCAD message
WARNING: Ignoring unknown module 'SolaPan150x130_3of3'.

It's nothing serious, just old calls to SolaPan150x130_3of3() which I used to generate the graphics showing the open and closed 3-page object. If it bothers you, you can simply replace all calls to SolaPan150x130_3of3() by SolaPan150x130_3of3_usb() or SolaPan150x130_3of3_dupont().

Hey, sweet addition!
A couple of questions:
1) What charging circuit did you use for the LiPo's? TP4056 or equivalent? Automatic charge cutoff?
2) Does the circuit output a consistent current? Obviously the USB circuit will regulate at 5v, but what's the nominal current you're getting out of the charge port during peak hours?
I ask because this is a surprisingly compact 18650 charger that I'm really interested in building, but I'm concerned with the safety of it.

Edit: Looks like the first question has already been answered. So much for reading the other comments! Second question still stands.

Each 150x130mm module delivers indeed 500mA @ 5V when oriented directly to the sun. I usually reorient the panels towards the sun 3 to 4 times over the day, so that the 5V USB output current (i.e. 3 panels in parallel) always stays at the 1A which my TP4056 charger draws at most. When charging 3 cells in series with my balancing charger, I have set the current limiting resistor of the TP4056 to 2k7 for a maximum charging current of about 400mA.

If you want me to send you the PDF with the schematic of the 3S balancing charger and/or the STL file, send me a private message with your email address, as I can't send attachments via the thingiverse messaging.

Awesome design. I have printed off a couple and I want to make one set for USB and one set for my quad 3S lipo battery. You mention the "3S XH 4-pin balancing socket" and I see in the pictures you have a nice lookin' box for this. Did you find that design on thinigiverse or just design it custom on the fly? Do you have a circuit to cutoff at full power for the lipo in that box? Thanks for the design!

The balancer is my own design - which eventually I plan to publish on thingiverse, too...

But you can send me a private message with your email address, then I will send you the STL of the balancer case and a PDF showing how I did the electronics.

PS: And yes, sure, the charging is fully protected against overcharge. It is done with three single cell TP4056 charger modules. And the charge/full LEDs show for each cell if the charge is finished or if it's still charging.

Can you post an ebay link?

I prefer not to post specific eBay links, since they are just temporary. But if you search for "150x130mm 5V 500mA epoxy solar panel" you'll find it.