In order to charge a battery using solar power, you need several parts: a solar panel, a rechargeable battery, and a “charge controller” to control the power coming off the panel so it doesn’t damage the battery.
Since most of the parts were sold separately, I figured out what you need for an all-in-one plug-n-play kit. I chose a large solar panel to maximize the current that can go through this particular charge controller, 1.5A.
This is a general purpose solar panel kit that can supply 5V at up to 1.5A current draw.
YES, this is a kit that INCLUDES a solar panel and a compatible rechargeable battery, and the means to connect them. YES, this is a large solar panel that can supply up to 1.5 amps of current.
The board has 2 outputs, a charge port for connecting a battery to charge, and a load port, which is limited to 4.4V.
In this kit:
- Solar panel: Colossal 6V 9W Solar Panel – 9.0 Watt PRODUCT ID: 2747
- Appropriate connectors
- Charge controller: Adafruit Universal USB / DC / Solar Lithium Ion/Polymer charger – bq24074 PRODUCT ID: 4755
- Battery pack: Lithium Ion Battery Pack – 3.7V 6600mAh PRODUCT ID: 353
The tutorial from Adafruit: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-bq24074-universal-usb-dc-solar-charger-breakout/design-notes