Asee peer logo

Design And Implementation Of A Solar Battery Charger

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Sustainable Energy Education

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.349.1 - 15.349.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Liping Guo Northern Illinois University

visit author page

Liping Guo received the B. E. degree in Automatic Control from Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China in 1997, the M. S. and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Auburn University, AL, USA in 2001 and 2006 respectively.

She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering Technology Program in the Department of Technology at the Northern Illinois University. Her research interests are mainly in the area of power electronics, renewable energy, embedded systems and control. Dr. Guo is a member of the ASEE, IEEE and a member of the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi.

visit author page

author page

Andrew Brewer Northern Illinois University

author page

Brett Speiser Northern Illinois University

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development of a Solar Battery Charger for Lithium-ion Batteries


Recent technological developments in thin-film photovoltaics (PVs), such as amorphous silicon and hybrid dye sensitized/PV cells, are leading to new generations of portable solar arrays. These new arrays are lightweight, durable, flexible, and have been reported to achieve power efficiencies of up to 10%. Since the emergence of these flexible and foldable solar arrays, there has become a need to develop solar battery chargers for more portable batteries, such as Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for military and consumer applications. This paper describes the development of a solar battery charger for Li-ion batteries. Two electrical engineering technology undergraduate students formed a senior design project team to design and implement a solar battery charger. A senior design project is an integral part of the undergraduate engineering technology degree program requirements at Northern Illinois University. All students are required to complete a two-semester long (4 credit hours) senior design project.

Charging a battery requires a regulated dc voltage. However, the voltage supplied by a solar panel can vary significantly depending upon the day, time, weather condition and irradiation from the sun. In order to charge the battery with a regulated voltage, a dc-dc converter is connected between the solar panel and the battery. The main components in the solar battery charger are standard Photovoltaic solar panels (PV), a deep cycle rechargeable battery, a Single- Ended Primary Inductance Converter (SEPIC) converter and a controller.

Different types of rechargeable battery were considered including lead acid, Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries. Among these batteries, Li-ion batteries have the highest energy density and relatively low self-discharge rates and no memory effect. A BB2588 Li-ion battery from Bren-Tronics, Inc is used for this project.

The SEPIC converter is a type of dc-dc converter that is able to convert unregulated input voltage into either a higher or lower output voltage. This allows the solar panel to charge the battery with a wider range of output voltage, thus flexibility is increased. Experimental results of the solar battery charger are evaluated.


Solar energy conversion is one of the most addressed topics in the field of renewable energy. Solar radiation is usually converted into two forms of energy: thermal and electrical energy. The solar electricity has applications in many systems such as rural electricity, water pumping and satellite communications.

In the past, solar power was usually used for large-scale grid connected system and small remote photovoltaic plants or stand-alone systems [1]. Recent technological development in thin-film photovoltaics (PVs) is leading to new generations of consumer portable solar panels. These new solar panels are light weight, durable, flexible, and have been reported to achieve power efficiencies of up to 10% [2]. The portable solar panels make solar power readily available for

Guo, L., & Brewer, A., & Speiser, B. (2010, June), Design And Implementation Of A Solar Battery Charger Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15862

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015