In this article, I will walk you through the full process of building your own solar powered phone charger using common household items. With just a few inexpensive components, you can harness the power of the sun to charge your phone anywhere.

A solar phone charger is a great project for people looking to build something useful with their own two hands. Plus, it's an environmentally friendly way to power your devices off-grid. Solar energy is free, renewable, and available just about anywhere the sun shines.

Below, I outline everything you need to know to build your own basic DIY solar phone charger successfully.

Gather the Needed Materials

Most of what you'll need for a simple solar phone charger you can find around the house or purchase cheaply. Here's a complete list:

If you don't already have a small solar panel, you can find inexpensive ones online or at stores like Harbor Freight for $20 or less. Power banks are commonly available for between $10-20.

So for well under $50 in new equipment, you can build your own functional solar phone charger!

How to Assemble the Solar Phone Charger

Building the solar phone charger is straightforward. Just connect the components together as outlined in the steps below:

Step 1: Attach the Solar Panel to the Power Bank

Step 2: Connect Your Phone to the Power Bank

Step 3: Add a Cardboard Housing (Optional)

And that's it - you now have a functioning solar powered phone charger! Next let's look at how to use your new DIY charger.

Using and Caring for Your Solar Phone Charger

To get the most out of your new solar cell phone charger, follow these usage tips:

Following those simple guidelines helps ensure your DIY solar phone charger provides reliable, renewable power whenever you need it!

Customizing and Improving Your Solar Phone Charger

Once you have the basics down, there are several ways to customize or upgrade your solar phone charger:

As you can see, the possibilities are endless when building your own DIY solar phone or device charger! Start with the basics outlined here, then expand and customize your charger over time. Not only will you save money, but you'll learn a ton about solar energy in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much sunlight does the solar panel need?

The solar panel needs to be in direct sunlight for best results. Some charging will occur on cloudy days or indirect light, but less efficiently. Place the panel where it will receive full sun for maximum charging speed.

How long does it take to charge a phone?

Charge time depends on factors like the strength of the sun, phone battery size, and efficiency of the solar panel. Under ideal conditions, expect a full phone charge in 2-4 hours. Partial charges can occur more quickly. Larger devices will take longer.

What's the best way to mount the solar panel?

For portable use, a backpack or clip works well to keep the panel aimed at the sun. For more permanent installs, use a pole mount or solar panel rack to angle the panel towards the southern sky.

Can this charge my tablet or other USB devices?

Yes! As long as the solar panel and power bank provide sufficient output (say at least 2A), you can charge any device that uses a USB connection. Just be sure to use the appropriate USB cable for each device.

How can I get more power?

Use a bigger solar panel, add additional panels wired in parallel, or upgrade to a higher efficiency solar cell type. Adding more storage capacity with a bigger power bank or separate battery helps too.


Building your own solar powered phone charger is an easy, educational project using common household items. In just a few steps, you can start harnessing free energy from the sun to charge your devices anywhere.

Customize your charger over time for increased performance and functionality. The possibilities are endless!

I hope this guide gave you all the knowledge needed to build a DIY solar phone charger starting today. Get creative and enjoy free off-grid power courtesy of the sun.