Solar

JuiceBox Update

charge controller
Charge controller without the LED pigtail attached. The tiny LEDs for CHRG and DONE can be seen between the white JST connectors.

Our JuiceBox (solar rechargeable power pack) project is moving ahead. If this is the first you’re reading about it, please check out the project page for more information and how you can help.

  • The 7200 mAh Li-Poly battery packs have been ordered from Shenzhen Canpower Electronics in Shenzhen, China. I had originally hoped to source the packs in the US, but I wasn’t able to find a custom-pack manufacturer that could meet our pricing requirements. Material sourcing and manufacturing are part of the educational aspects of the JuiceBox project so, it’s all good. UPDATE: Li-Poly packs have been delivered to the U.S.
  • I have one more solar panel sample to check out. It’s a 5 watt panel that should arrive within the next week or so. Our current design uses a 3.4 watt panel. It works okay, it just charges a bit slow. So, we’ll test with a 5 watt and check the price point. UPDATE: Shipped 10/17
  • The charge controller uses yellow and green SMT (tiny, surface mount) LEDs to indicate whether the pack is Charging or Done. When we put the lid on our enclosure those LEDs won’t be visible so we’re making a .75 x .75 inch circuit board to hold larger yellow and green LEDs that will be visible through two small holes in the enclosure.  I’ve assembled four of these LED pigtails so far and have a student willing to help me fashion the remaining 22 over the coming weeks. UPDATE:  Waiting on resistors and prototyping boards to arrive via MFI mail here in Haiti.

The next step will be ordering the aluminum enclosures.