DIY Portable Heineken Solar Panel

Decided to rip off  my Solar Focus Mio and reconstruct it. Reason for doing that, the rubber casing around the SF Mio started to crack and there is no option for direct USB charging. 

Material needed

  • Femal USB connector
  • Heineken Box
  • Duct Tape
  • Shrink Wrap

The female USB connector was first stripped  and removed the wire insulation. There were four colored wires only red and black was needed. Shrink wrap was used for the insulation.

 Re-solder the wirings, the panel are connected in series so it becomes a 6Vdc Solar panel. To join the panels together I used a 2-1/2 inch duct tape cut in half and joined the solar panel together.
Cut the shape out from the Heineken box, glue the solar panels on it and duct tape around it.
Added 2 holes for securing on to backpack

The Heineken box have a latex coating on the outer skin so this will have some water repellency. 

These solar panels are water proof, each panel is a 2V 420mA. So far it was able to charge my 10,000mA Battery Bank, however with my phone it was not charging. I think the ampere out from the Solar panel is insufficiency to charge the phone. Well.. will try again when the sun is out.

If you need to buy solar panels, it is important to know what output you need. Normally panels are rated in V (voltage) and W (watts). Then calculate how you want to connect the panel, in Series or Parallel. Connecting in Series will increase Voltage and connecting in Parallel with increase the Ampere.

So in another words, my this current solar panel to completely charge my 10,000mA power bank @ 420mA will take around 3 days with 8hrs sun each day....DOH  


  1. This looks awesome!
    Did you eventually have any success with the phone charging?
    Any idea if this is really pulling in 420ma?
    Perhaps your series wiring 2V*3=6 >> USB 5V is the issue with the phone but the power bank isn't as picky? Perhaps adding a 6V to 5V converter/regulator (about $1 on ebay) would give a cleaner signal to the phone?
    I'm hoping to use one of those solar cells and a boost convert to go from 2V@420ma to 5V@168ish-mA to use as a watch strap to provide constant trickle charge for the Sony liveview watch ($15 ebay) so I can squeeze some more life out of it.

  2. What I always look for in a portable solar panel is high energy conversion, compact size, smart charging and quality I can control. If these are what the Heineken solar panel offers, then I will try it out. See more: