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Can solar panel charging slow down the draining of phone battery?

May 15Hits:2

I have made a solar panel charger and it consists of a 1.2 watts panel connected to the buck converter and then to the phone. Now when i connect it, it charges the phone and in the battery settings, it shows it is charging as "plugged ac" and slow charging. Now I wanted to test if it can slow down the discharge rate. So i came up with a test procedure where I downloaded "battery drainer" app which essentially turns on cpu stress, gps, vibrator, full brightness etc. Then I measure the time it take for the phone to get to 90% from 100% with solar panel attached and without solar panel attached. But the time it takes to discharge is almost the same. I am wondering what am I missing? wouldn't the solar charging increase the discharge time? BTW I measure the solar panel out put and it was 5 V and around 110 mA. Thank you, any help will be appreciated.


Make sure your testing conditions are the same, if you measured the panel outside in direct sunlight, make sure you test it in direct sunlight.

If you really want to answer this question, it will take some experimentation on your part. Get a power supply with a current limiting option. Hook it up to your phone. Then set it to 5V and set it to limit at 100mA then observe the rate of charging. Then set it to 150mA and observe the rate of charging and so on. If this isn't consistent with what your getting out of your charger then you might have a problem.

A DC to DC is not the best way to load a solar panel, it could potentially load the solar panel that it wouldn't produce much power at all. If your test conditions were a resistor on the DC to DC, this is going to be much different from your phone which has a variable load. You need a maximum peak power tracker to ensure your getting the optimal power from your solar panel. The MPPT will find the optimal point for getting the most power from the panel. See the picture from solarhome.ru.

Another issue is the inefficiencies of the system. A DC to DC could be 70% to 95% efficient. And then the phone is going to take its cut, and that could be 70% to 90% efficient. You measured 5V and 0.1A that is half of a watt. So you start out with 0.5W and multiply that by 70% as a worst case efficiency of your phone, that's 0.35W and isn't much to work with. Even at 0.5W you are still at 10% of what a normal phone takes which is 1A and 5W.

Can solar panel charging slow down the draining of phone battery?

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