I am Edison. I am Tesla. I am capable of generating power from the very sun itself. I am God!
Alternatively, the first project in the book is now complete, and I have a battery charging from a solar panel (maybe).
Despite rogue couriers delivering my stuff to the wrong address, sweltering heat, and a very demanding (but lovely) girlfriend, I've somehow managed to gather the resources and time needed to assemble the various components into something that actually works (maybe).
What we have here is a solar panel with a cable that's connected to the first two terminals on the charge controller. The third terminal is connected to the 10 amp port on the multimeter, which in turn is connected to the positive terminal on the battery via the common port. Finally, the negative terminal on the battery connects to the fourth terminal.
The fifth and sixth terminals on the charge controller are used to provide power to load you want to put on the system, but as I don't have anything for this yet they're currently unused (although the 3rd project will soon rectify this).
In addition to the load terminals, the charge controller also features both 5 volt (USB) and 12 volt DC ports. Plugging my phone into the USB port one allowed it to gorge itself on power, and before I knew it, had fully charged itself.
The bit which is confusing me the most right now is the multimeter. I'll be honest, I'm not even sure that I have it on the correct setting.
While my phone was plugged in the multimeter gave a reading of
-0.60, which according to the book means current is flowing out the battery - this makes sense as it's being used to charge the phone.
While unplugged, however, it changes to
-0.02, which I don't think it correct. If it really was charging the battery from the panel, this should be a positive value.
For now, I'm happy to put it down to the fact it's late in the day and I'm inside. Tomorrow I'll see what I can do about putting the panel outside, even if only temporarily (we're having work done on the outside of the building, so we're not allowed anything on our balconies), and see if that changes anything.