View Full Version : Recharging small batteries.

08-30-2010, 06:59 AM
Moderators if this is in the wrong area please move it, thanks.

I am wondering about recharging batteries, i.e. AA, AAA, C, and D. I currently have a battery charger, an Energizer 15 minute charger Model# CH15MN, that can be plugged into a vehicle power port (cigerette lighter outlet). I am wondering about using a solar panel to power this charger. Could I add a female connector to the end of the leads coming off a panel? Do I need anything inbetween the panel and the charger? Any idea on what size panel I would need to run this kind of charger. The specs. on the charger that I have are: Input:/ DC 11-16V, 6A. I have tried to use one of the chargers with a built in panel and it did not work very well. Any ideas on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

08-30-2010, 07:09 AM
I believe they sell already prefabricated solar battery chargers?

08-30-2010, 08:12 AM
They do. I have tried them, and have not had a good experience. They take forever to charge batteries. That's why I was thinking of something with a bit more horsepower if you will. It would be nice to have something that could/would charge 2 sets (a set is four batteries) a day, if at all possible.

08-30-2010, 08:42 AM
The miliamps those little solar panels (on the battery chargers) don't produce much juice. Could take 2-3 days to recharge 4 aa batteries. What I use is one of those jump start portable batteries along with a couple solar trickle charge panels. Gives me portable emergency power to start vehicles, power and recharge electronics, radios, etc.

08-30-2010, 03:08 PM
You all will probably think this is stupid but for charging AA's all you need is a set of good solar outdoor lights. Put them in your yard during the day, and then take the batteries out at night. Charged and ready to use and they don't cost much.

Matt In Oklahoma
08-30-2010, 03:42 PM
Thats totally genius!!!!!!

08-30-2010, 03:51 PM
You all will probably think this is stupid Nope, it's a brilliant idea.

09-01-2010, 09:56 AM
Those little yard lights have simple AA batteries? OMG you are a genius, I would have never thought of that.
Of course they must charge fast, otherwise they would be useless for that night's lighting task.

You are definitely smarter than the average bear. =)

09-01-2010, 12:43 PM
And they make great indoor lighting when the power goes out. Way safer than candles or kerosene.

09-01-2010, 04:25 PM
Yup, the cheap ones will even work but the more expensive ones give off better light. You could also just buy them for the rechargable batteries. I have a cheap set with 2 batteries in each, 5 lights that only cost me $10. So 10 rechargable batteries and their solar chargers for $10, can't beat that.

Matt In Oklahoma
09-01-2010, 10:14 PM
As I said before Thats totally genius!!!!!! and upon revealing this to my other half by showing her what we already have we can now get more and another set of batteries. Been sittin on a resource i hadn't even thought of!

09-02-2010, 09:49 PM
Just to add another level to this question. I realized today that things like laptops and other portable devices could be charged this way as well. The DC to AC to DC path looses a lot of energy. I was thinking why not cut out the middle man and go straight DC to DC. So adding to my original post, what would it take to charge small batteries and other handheld devices. I know that they make solar chargers, but again they don't have the horsepower to do these thing fairly quickly or in quantity. I would like to build something that would. If someone could point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.