Teardown Tuesday: Portable Power Bank and Solar Charger

In this Teardown Tuesday, we will look at what's inside the Hiluckey solar charger with an inbuilt lithium-ion battery.
Warning! (Achtung!)
Opening devices with lithium-ion batteries can be dangerous (as I found out the hard way). Be very careful not to short such batteries or pierce them with screwdrivers when prying them out! Also, bending is very bad…so is crushing…and throwing them onto the ground…oh, and don’t put them into the bin!

The Charger

Portable power banks are designed to make charging on-the-go easier. Combine that with solar charging capabilities and you get portable charging made for the outdoors.
The solar charger includes an integrated solar panel for charging an internal lithium-ion battery. Because the charger is designed for outdoor use, it is rain-proof, dust-proof, and shock-proof.
Also integrated into the charger is a very bright LED light source. The side of the unit has a button for turning on and off the light while the top side of the unit has two USB A ports and a micro USB connector for charging from an external power source.
The front of the charger has LEDs indicating current solar levels and whether the battery is charging.


The solar charger


The LED on/off button

The back of the solar charger has technical information regarding electrical characteristics and company information. According to this, the unit can deliver 5V @ 2.1A and has a 10000mAh capacity which roughly allows the unit to spit out 2.1A for 4.76 hours. That's pretty darn good for mobile devices.
However, assuming the 5V / 1A relates to the input current for charging, the battery (from empty) would take 10 hours to charge. Considering that the solar cell shown here is unlikely to supply 1A of charging capacity, this could take two sunny days to fully charge!


The back of the solar charger


Close-up of the technical specifications

The unit is held together with four screws (one in each corner) which are protected with small plastic stoppers that are snugly fitted into the screw holes.
The water-proof and dust-proof capabilities are thanks to the orange rubber membrane that is sandwiched between the two halves of the case. Removing the screws allows for the two halves to be separated, exposing the internal components.


One of four screw holes

The Innards!

The inside of the charger reveals a PCB with circuitry, a large lithium-ion battery, and a solar cell.
The battery is rated at 3.7A (with a 10000mAh capacity) and the solar cell has the designation RESUN-SOLAR 107-61 V5. A quick search on Google reveals that this solar cell is a 6V @ 1W (170mA) which would require a minimum of 49 hours of daylight (assuming that the light is enough to fully saturate the solar cell) to charge the battery from dead.

To that end, this solar cell is more of a “topper-offer” when not in use so that, when you do need to use the battery, the solar charge has provided some additional run time. (Trust me, you won’t complain about getting an extra two minutes on your phone when all other power sources are diminished.)


The top cover removed from the charger
 
The solar cell


The battery

The lithium-ion battery shown here is stuck down to the bottom of the case with sticky foam.
Removing the battery was difficult and, despite writing an entire article on lithium-ion battery safety, I use a sharp-ended screwdriver to pry the battery out. There was a spark, a bang, and a puff of smoke which had me throwing the battery out of the workshop in case it decided to catch on fire (remember, this is a 10000mAh battery so it packs a wallop). Luckily, the battery was fine and my dramatic reaction was seen by no one else, which helped to preserve my dignity for another day.

The lithium-ion battery has the designation LL 126090P 3.7V and a quick search on Google suggests that this battery is instead an 8000mAh battery instead of the stated 10000mAh capacity.

The Main PCB

The main PCB is a double-sided, FR4 PCB with many thick traces, copper pours, and components.
The top side of the PCB shows two USB A female connectors and a micro USB charging port. The top side also has numerous components including inductors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, and resistors.


The top side of the PCB

One of the two ICs that stands out is the TC4606 which is a power driver that consists of an N- and P-type MOSFET. Fitted into an 8-pin SOP package, the two MOSFETs can be used in power circuits suitable for low-power designs including laptops, notebooks, and mobile devices.


The TC4606 IC

The second IC on the top side of the PCB is a 14-SOP package that is unmarked. This IC is most likely a microcontroller based on the complexity of lithium-ion charging cycles, the fact that the LED button needs to be held down for a while to activate, and the fancy LED display that indicates charging. There's a decent chance that the producers of this charger got a microcontroller supplier to supply unmarked ICs so as to hinder reverse engineers.


The unmarked IC

The underside of the PCB reveals that the LED light consists of multiple white LEDs in a matrix. Despite being at a low voltage, the high currents involved (2.1A for example) require thick traces and the designers of this PCB have used solder on traces to increase current capacity. The lower resistance of such traces reduces overall resistance, which in turn reduces the heating effect caused by the current flow and also reduces voltage drop.


The LED matrix


The left side of the PCB, showing the exposed traces to allow solder to carry current


The right side of the PCB showing more thick traces

Summary

This solar charger shows that even something as simple as a battery charger can be complex with many design considerations that must be taken into account.

Overseeing correct charging cycles require the use of a microcontroller. Dust-proofing requires the use of rubber sealants and even screws need to be kept away from moisture with the use of a rubber insert.


This charger is a well-built piece and, even if the battery is rated for only 8000mAh, that is still a lot of juice for a mobile device set to power saving mode!
Previous
Next Post »
My photo

Hi, I`m Sostenes, Electrical Technician and PLC`S Programmer.
Everyday I`m exploring the world of Electrical to find better solution for Automation. I believe everyday can become a Electrician with the right learning materials.
My goal with BLOG is to help you learn Electrical.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Label

KITAIFA NEWS KIMATAIFA MICHEZO BURUDANI SIASA TECHNICAL ARTICLES f HAPA KAZI TU. LEKULE TV EDITORIALS ARTICLES DC DIGITAL ROBOTICS SEMICONDUCTORS MAKALA GENERATOR GALLERY AC EXPERIMENTS MANUFACTURING-ENGINEERING MAGAZETI REFERENCE IOT FUNDAMENTAL OF ELECTRICITY ELECTRONICS ELECTRICAL ENGINEER MEASUREMENT VIDEO ZANZIBAR YETU TRANSDUCER & SENSOR MITINDO ARDUINO RENEWABLE ENERGY AUTOMOBILE SYNCHRONOUS GENERATOR ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION CABLES DIGITAL ELECTRONICS AUTOMOTIVE PROTECTION SOLAR TEARDOWN DIODE AND CIRCUITS BASIC ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS MOTOR SWITCHES CIRCUIT BREAKERS MICROCONTROLLER CIRCUITS THEORY PANEL BUILDING ELECTRONICS DEVICES MIRACLES SWITCHGEAR ANALOG MOBILE DEVICES CAMERA TECHNOLOGY GENERATION WEARABLES BATTERIES COMMUNICATION FREE CIRCUITS INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION SPECIAL MACHINES ELECTRICAL SAFETY ENERGY EFFIDIENCY-BUILDING DRONE NUCLEAR ENERGY CONTROL SYSTEM FILTER`S SMATRPHONE BIOGAS POWER TANZIA BELT CONVEYOR MATERIAL HANDLING RELAY ELECTRICAL INSTRUMENTS PLC`S TRANSFORMER AC CIRCUITS CIRCUIT SCHEMATIC SYMBOLS DDISCRETE SEMICONDUCTOR CIRCUITS WIND POWER C.B DEVICES DC CIRCUITS DIODES AND RECTIFIERS FUSE SPECIAL TRANSFORMER THERMAL POWER PLANT cartoon CELL CHEMISTRY EARTHING SYSTEM ELECTRIC LAMP ENERGY SOURCE FUNDAMENTAL OF ELECTRICITY 2 BIPOLAR JUNCTION TRANSISTOR 555 TIMER CIRCUITS AUTOCAD C PROGRAMMING HYDRO POWER LOGIC GATES OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIER`S SOLID-STATE DEVICE THEORRY DEFECE & MILITARY FLUORESCENT LAMP HOME AUTOMATION INDUSTRIAL ROBOTICS ANDROID COMPUTER ELECTRICAL DRIVES GROUNDING SYSTEM BLUETOOTH CALCULUS REFERENCE DC METERING CIRCUITS DC NETWORK ANALYSIS ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS ELECTRICIAN SCHOOL ELECTRON TUBES FUNDAMENTAL OF ELECTRICITY 1 INDUCTION MACHINES INSULATIONS ALGEBRA REFERENCE HMI[Human Interface Machines] INDUCTION MOTOR KARNAUGH MAPPING USEUL EQUIATIONS AND CONVERSION FACTOR ANALOG INTEGRATED CIRCUITS BASIC CONCEPTS AND TEST EQUIPMENTS DIGITAL COMMUNICATION DIGITAL-ANALOG CONVERSION ELECTRICAL SOFTWARE GAS TURBINE ILLUMINATION OHM`S LAW POWER ELECTRONICS THYRISTOR USB AUDIO BOOLEAN ALGEBRA DIGITAL INTEGRATED CIRCUITS FUNDAMENTAL OF ELECTRICITY 3 PHYSICS OF CONDUCTORS AND INSULATORS SPECIAL MOTOR STEAM POWER PLANTS TESTING TRANSMISION LINE C-BISCUIT CAPACITORS COMBINATION LOGIC FUNCTION COMPLEX NUMBERS ELECTRICAL LAWS HMI[HUMANI INTERFACE MACHINES INVERTER LADDER DIAGRAM MULTIVIBRATORS RC AND L/R TIME CONSTANTS SCADA SERIES AND PARALLEL CIRCUITS USING THE SPICE CIRCUIT SIMULATION PROGRAM AMPLIFIERS AND ACTIVE DEVICES BASIC CONCEPTS OF ELECTRICITY CONDUCTOR AND INSULATORS TABLES CONDUITS FITTING AND SUPPORTS CONTROL MOTION ELECTRICAL INSTRUMENTATION SIGNALS ELECTRICAL TOOLS INDUCTORS LiDAR MAGNETISM AND ELECTROMAGNETISM PLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS RECLOSER SAFE LIVING WITH GAS AND LPG SAFETY CLOTHING STEPPER MOTOR SYNCHRONOUS MOTOR AC METRING CIRCUITS APPS & SOFTWARE BASIC AC THEORY BECOME AN ELECTRICIAN BINARY ARITHMETIC BUSHING DIGITAL STORAGE MEMROY ELECTRICIAN JOBS HEAT ENGINES HOME THEATER INPECTIONS LIGHT SABER MOSFET NUMERATION SYSTEM POWER FACTORS REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE INDUCTIVE RESONANCE SCIENTIFIC NOTATION AND METRIC PREFIXES SULFURIC ACID TROUBLESHOOTING TROUBLESHOOTING-THEORY & PRACTICE 12C BUS APPLE BATTERIES AND POWER SYSTEMS ELECTROMECHANICAL RELAYS ENERGY EFFICIENCY-LIGHT INDUSTRIAL SAFETY EQUIPMENTS MEGGER MXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS PRINCIPLE OF DIGITAL COMPUTING QUESTIONS REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE-CAPATIVE RECTIFIER AND CONVERTERS SEQUENTIAL CIRCUITS SERRIES-PARALLEL COMBINATION CIRCUITS SHIFT REGISTERS BUILDING SERVICES COMPRESSOR CRANES DC MOTOR DRIVES DIVIDER CIRCUIT AND KIRCHHOFF`S LAW ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION EQUIPMENTS 1 ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION EQUIPMENTS B ELECTRICAL TOOL KIT ELECTRICIAN JOB DESCRIPTION LAPTOP THERMOCOUPLE TRIGONOMENTRY REFERENCE UART WIRELESS BIOMASS CONTACTOR ELECTRIC ILLUMINATION ELECTRICAL SAFETY TRAINING FILTER DESIGN HARDWARE INDUSTRIAL DRIVES JUNCTION FIELD-EFFECT TRANSISTORS NASA NUCLEAR POWER SCIENCE VALVE WWE oscilloscope 3D TECHNOLOGIES COLOR CODES ELECTRIC TRACTION FEATURED FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS FLUKE GEARMOTORS INTRODUCTION LASSER MATERIAL PID PUMP SEAL ELECTRICIAN CAREER ELECTRICITY SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION MUSIC NEUTRAL PERIODIC TABLES OF THE ELEMENTS POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS PROJECTS REATORS SATELLITE STAR DELTA VIBRATION WATERPROOF