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Posted: 11/22/2012 3:07:55 PM EST
Anybody seen a device or know of a way to accomplish this. My flashlight uses these batteries and i would really love to be able to recharge it via the sun
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:13:32 PM EST
Skip the battery and run the solar cell straight to the numb. Do you know how much energy is lost in the act of charging the battery?
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 8:47:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By STEELCORE101:
Anybody seen a device or know of a way to accomplish this. My flashlight uses these batteries and i would really love to be able to recharge it via the sun


build your own. You'll need 10 solar cells (these are cheap on Ebay), some plexiglass sheet to protect them, silicone to seal the sheets from water ingress/corrosion, and a DC to DC voltage regulator. Set the the voltage regulator to your desired charge voltage and put it in the sun.


Or, you could buy a ready made panel, a 12V gel cell, and a model airplane battery charger.
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 8:27:08 AM EST
One approach would be to buy a 18650 charger that's capable of being powered by a computer USB port (example here), and use it with a USB solar charger (example here).

Note that a 18650 cell requires around 12 watt-hours of energy to recharge - (e.g., 1 watt for 12 hours), and that's quite a bit for many portable solar panels to deliver in a reasonable amount of time. With some panels, it could require several days of full sunshine to recharge one battery.

However, USB chargers that plug into a car cigarette lighter are cheap and plentiful. Used to power your USB-equipped battery charger, it would give you another way of charging your 18650's when AC power or sunshine wasn't available.
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