Skill: Solar

Skills Kynd Kit

Tutorial Video

  • Click HERE for a short overview video of building the solar charger components. There are also step by step instructions below
  • Tips and tricks are provided at the end of this page

Prepare the Solar Panel

1. Find the following items:
  • Solar Panel
2. Find the positive and negative connections
We use several different panel types, yours may look different than the image below.
 
  • Turn the solar panel over so you can see the connection points. Arrange the panel so the wording is upright.
  • The left terminal is positive (+) and the right terminal is negative (-).
3. Remove the clear protective covering from the front of the solar panel (if needed)

Prepare the Wires

1. Find the following items:
  • Red and Black Wire
  • Wire stripper
Tip: If you don’t have a wire stripper you can easily use scissors. Make a small cut around the silicon without cutting through the wire, use your hand to pull off the plastic
 
2. Cut into 2 pieces. Strip the outer coating off of the wires down approximately 2″.
  • Do NOT cut into the black and red wires.
  • Do this to both sides of the wire. 
  • There is enough wire, if you mess up, cut the wire entirely and try again! 

Prepare the Conductive Tape

1. Find the following items:
  • Conductive Tape
  • Scissors
2. Locate the long strip of copper conductive tape.
3. Cut two strips of conductive tape approximately 1″ long.

Attach the Wires to the Solar Panel

1. Find the following items:
  • Solar panel
  • Wire (stripped)
  • Two strips of copper conductive tape
2. How to:

To Know: Red wire is positive (+), black wire is (-)

  • Using the copper tape, tape the red wire to the positive (+). Tape the black wire to the negative (-). 

Tip: Fold the wire back to make it thicker, so more of the wire is touching the solar panel, for better surface connectivity.

  • Press firmly on the tape to hold the wires down securely.

Tip: Wires must firmly and securely touch the surface of the +/- points!! You can use several pieces of tape to improve it. The stronger the connection between panel and wires, the more stable the circuit.

 
BE SURE THE COPPER TAPE STRIPS AND WIRES DO NOT TOUCH
 

Test the Connection

1. Turn the solar panel over and expose it to a STRONG and DIRECT light source such as a lamp.
2. Take a diode (pictured below) – hold the long pin to red wire & short pin to black wire.
3. The diode will light up if the connection is stable and the circuit is correct.

Secure the Connection

After you confirm your connection is good, it is time to secure the wires to the back of the solar panel.

1. Locate the electrical tape 
  • Cut two strips of electrical tape approximately 2″ each.
2. Use the tape to secure the wires to the back of the solar panel.
  • First, run one piece of tape over the copper wires, covering both pieces.
  • Then, run one piece of tape across the top of the solar panel to secure the wires in place.
  • Make sure no wires or copper tape are exposed

Test the Connection Again

Apply the diode to the wires again to confirm your connection is still stable.

Connect Wire Splitters

1. Locate the wire splitters and second wire.
If not prepared, strip the second wire on both ends and twist without folding
 
2. Clamp the wire connected to the solar panel into the wire splitter. 

Make sure the red wire is connected to one splitter and the black wire is connected to the second splitter. 

3. Clamp the second wire into the wire splitter. 

Match the red wire with the red wire and the black wire with the black wire. You can lightly tug on each side to make sure they are secure.

Connect the Charging Board

1. Locate the USB Charging Board
The appearance will vary from board to board. Yours may not look like the picture below.
2. Find the positive (+) and negative (-) connections on the back of the USB Charging Board.
3. Connect the wires to the USB Charging Board
  • Tightly roll the ends of the wire so they slide into the small openings of the USB Charging Board.
  • First, put the red wire into the positive (+) opening.
  • Put the wire halfway into the opening and loop it to twist the wire around itself to secure it in place.
  • Next, put the black wire into the negative (-) opening.
  • Again, put the wire halfway into the opening and loop it to twist the wires around itself to secure it in place.

Confirm the USB Charging Board Connection

1. Hold solar panel under direct & strong light source.
2. If the connections are secure and your panel is capturing enough light, the small red LED on the top of the USB Charging Board will light up.

Attach the Solar Panel to the Case

1. Find the following items:
  • Completed Solar Panel & USB Charger
  • Protective Box
  • Velcro
2. Cut the velcro into smaller pieces.

Create 4 squares and a smaller rectangle that can fit on the wire spllitters. Remove the white backing and place on each corner of the solar panel.

4. With the adhesive backing exposed, place the solar panel in the center of the box.
  • Position the solar panel so the wire is running into the bottom of the box.
  • Press down firmly on the corners to secure the velcro to the box.
  • Place the wire splitters along the inner side of the case. 
  • Test that the box closes with the solar panel attached to the lid.

Test Charging (optional)

  • As in all things solar energy-driven, the science is meant to work with a strong and natural light source. Solar-powered devices operate under full sunlight.

 Particularly phones require quite a bit of energy and the chance to test your charger may only be possible in some cases.
You can give it a go and try to power up the power bank included- have fun experimenting with different light settings! 

 

Make a Cover

Using the blank piece of paper, markers, and clear, double-sided sticker, make a cover for your case.  

  1. Decorate the paper.
  2. Cut the clear adhesive into four pieces and stick them to each corner of the paper.
  3. Place the paper facing down inside the lid of the case. This will make sure you can see your masterpiece on the outside!

Trouble Shooting

  • If you mess up, you have enough wire included in your kit to cut everything off, and restart
  • Make sure your positive and negative wires and copper tape do not cross or touch
  • Make sure the red wire is attached securely the positive and the black is attached securely to the negative. 
  • Your wires should not be exposed, they should be fully covered by conductive tape.

If the USB light is on, but your power bank is not charging, you might need a stronger light source. Bring the solar panel outside or set in DIRECT sunlight 

  • Reconnect your wires through the USB 
  • Make sure it is a secure connections by putting the wire through the holes, and then twisting them around each other for a secure connection.
  • Make sure black wire goes through the negative and red wire goes through the positive.

Delivery Options

This kit is designed to be distributed locally to someone experiencing homelessness. Either bring your completed solar charger to a shelter or distribute to someone you see who could benefit.

Thank You for Volunteering!

Share your experience! We would love to hear from you in a video or written message.
We also encourage you to take this survey to help us continue improving mental health and serving our community!
Share your impact on social media and Follow us!

 

 

 
 
 
Untitled design (2)

Dollars for Doers​

If your company offers a Dollars for Doers program, you can submit the time you spent building your Kynd Kit to benefit Project Helping.

Official Name: Project Helping

Website: ProjectHelping.org

EIN/Tax ID: 45-2442366

Nonprofit Classification: 501(c)(3)

Get More Kynd Kits

Go back to the Kynd Kit bundle builder and get more kits to continue your impact.

Back to the Instruction Index

Go back to the Kynd Kit instruction index to build more kits!

Project Helping Homepage

Go to the Project Helping homepage. Explore our programs and get involved!