Show your final product through photos and/or video
(phone on the right side indicates that the phone is dead, out of battery and needs to be charged)
(phone on the left indicates that the phone is charging but still shut down)
- shown in the video
Explain how it works/doesn’t work using scientific terminology
My solar powered charger works by transforming sunlight, renewable energy(energy radiating from the sun – solar energy) into electrical energy, this happens through a so-called photovoltaic process. Then the electrical energy is sent to the USB module through an electrical wire connecting the 2. In order to charge your phone, you can use any type of charger but with a USB cable and connect it with the USB module that is on the solar panel, just like how you would use it with any charger block.
There are many factors that stopped the solar-powered charger from working efficiently. To be able to charge, your phone has to be dead. From several tests I conducted, my observation concludes that the efficiency of the solar charger in my case is most likely to do with of the amount of sunlight the solar panel is able to harvest. Since the solar panels we have school aren’t the best and can not collect as much sunlight needed, there isn’t enough energy converted into electrical energy, therefore there is not enough energy or voltage to charge a phone, from research I found out that 5 volts is the official requirement and the minimum for charging all types of IOS devices(iPhones – what I used in my experiment). I also found out that when the phone is on while charging, the device is consuming battery/energy at the same time, which explains why the phone is only able to charge when its dead or off. When it is shut off, there are no other factors that can impact the charging process, when you charge the device when power is on, the RAM, the Processor, the background apps and many other things utilizes the battery and it leads to slower charging as compared to charging when the device is off. Therefore, leading to having to charge with a higher voltage when it’s on. The USB module that I used in my design is a 5V one, so I have to keep it shut down/dead when charging in order to not use up any energy for other things when the phone is on. All these factors and research explains why my solar charger can only charge when the phone is off.
Explain the areas you were successful in the product/process
The parts that I was successful at was mainly the aesthetics and the idea of the design, if not looking at its functionality it actually is a very simple and easy to use design (also from the feedback of others). Other than the product, the process was a very important part of my final product, I did many testings, created many prototypes, and I looked at many ideas & tutorials. My time-management skill was very helpful in the making process, I used all of the lab time given after school to figure out and complete my design as fast as possible, which is why I was able to change my entire design up half way through but still have extra class time to test my final product. I also planned out my time to work on my blog post according to my progress in the making of the design which made everything more clear and easier to work with.
Explain the areas you need to improve in the product/process
For weaknesses and improvements, several of them are stated in the feedback section of blog post #3, many of which are mainly focused on the functionality of the product. As explained above, it does not function the same as any other portable charger in the market. It still needs many improvements, for example, if I were to create this project again, I would use a solar panel that can collect more sunlight either buy it myself or find one at school if there is any because the main factor which impacted the efficiency of my product is caused by the solar panel. Other than that, I also need to fix the positioning of the solar panel (explained in blog post #3), I need to reposition the solar panel diagonally, not parallel to the ground in order to collect more sunlight.
Explain the impact of this project on the environment and potential client/consumer.
This project uses clean, renewable power from the sun to create electricity instead of using fossil fuels which is harmful to the environment and is very expensive for the clients/consumers. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy is free and readily abundant which helps potential clients save money on electric bills. Also, generating electricity with solar power instead of fossil fuels can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases, which are produced when fossil fuels are burned, lead to serious environmental and public health issues, for example, extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and ecosystem changes. Not only is solar energy harmless for the environment, but it also reduces respiratory and cardio health issues. One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is that it results in very few air pollutants, which can help with health problems.
Matasci, Sara. “2019 Health & Environmental Benefits of Solar | EnergySage.” Solar News, EnergySage, 15 Jan. 2019, news.energysage.com/health-environmental-benefits-of-solar-energy/.
Sontag, Mark, and Rick. “Q&A: Will My Phone’s Battery Really Charge Faster If It’s Turned off?” Rick’s Daily Tips, RicksDailyTips.com, 11 June 2018, www.ricksdailytips.com/charging-iphone-battery/.