Rebecca B.

Hello, I’m Rebecca and I am a rising tenth grader at Andover. My main project is a solar panel phone charger. The idea was from a website, but my project is different from the instructions given. For one, the project is in two separate parts, one to charge the lithium battery using solar panels and the other to charge your phone using the lithium battery and a USB port. I decided to do this project because I love the environment and am ecstatic to have a clean way to charge my phone and a new academic understanding on how to make more environmentally friendly equipment.

Engineer
Rebecca B.
Area of Interest
Environmental Science
School
Andover
Grade
Incoming Sophomore

Main Project

My main project is a solar panel phone charger. The project has two main pieces, one charges a 3.7 volt lithium battery via a solar panel. The solar panel is plugged into the external charge input slot and the lithium battery goes into the other port. Both ports are connected by the sparkfun battery babysitter which is a circuit board that makes the charge transfer from port to port. When the lithium battery is charged, the battery is plugged into the powerboost 1000 basic, another circuit board, which is the second piece. The battery is plugged into one port and the 3.7 volts are fed into the boost converter. This converter lowers the current and increases the voltage to 5.2 volts. To charge your phone, you need at least 5 volts, so the boost converter makes it possible to charge your device. To make this device, I had to learn more about what each part and circuit did. I then soldered the lithium battery port and the USB port onto the powerboost 1000 basic. The next part was taking off the plug from the solar panel because there was no place to plug it in. Instead, I took the two wires from the inside of the plug and secured it into the circuit board. I then tested the device, which worked. During this project, I learned how to desolder. I also learned what a boost converter does and how it works. Throughout this project, I experienced a few difficulties. The major difficulty was the fact that there were no instructions, so finishing this project included lots of research and trials.
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I modified my project by 3-D printing a stand for a solar panel. I used Fusion 360 on my computer to create a model of it. I then printed it, which took roughly 16 hours. The stand is a ramp with a ridge on the lower edge to stop the panel from falling off. It allows the panel to maximize sun absorption.

Reflection

My favorite part of this project was the fact that the entire project was up to me, I had to figure out how to piece the components together so that it worked. There were no instructions, just the parts in front of me and I had to learn how to use each component. I also had to know how the circuits worked so that I knew what they were used for. In addition, for my modification I used Fusion 360 to create the model of the solar panel stand. I had never used the site before, but I figured it out on my own and created the model. After the first draft, the instructors helped me a bit, but learning how to use the program was up to me. Blue Stamp Engineering was such an amazing experience and I hope to repeat it during another summer!

Starter Project

My starter project is the TV B Gone, which is a remote that turns TV and DVD player’s off and on via infrared lights. The infrared lights are released in a code so that the television will pick up on it and not be confused by the infrared light all around us. These codes are very specific by emitting lights in intervals. The four lights at the front of the machine send the infrared light to the TV. The button sends power to a chip on the board which sends the code to the IR lights. The button is also connected to the micro controller’s reset pin, which causes the chip reset. When the chip is done emitting code, it shuts off and waits for another press of the button. The resonator creates a timing clock that keeps the chip on time and generating the right waveforms. The transistors are used to amplify the power of the microcontroller pin but also turn off currents that are over 100mA. This is used to make the IR LED lights turn on, but also to prevent them from exploding from too much current. The resistors prevent too much current from entering the IR lights. If this were to occur, the lights would explode. During the project, I encountered a few challenges such as soldering a wire and having the wire fall out and putting components in the wrong way, but I did get it to work.

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