Sunday, March 10, 2013

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How to Build a Simple PWM Controlled DC to DC Cell Phone Charger Circuit – Science Fair Project

The explained circuit can be easily made at home by any school kid and used for displaying in his science fair exhibition. The circuit is a simple cell phone charger that may be operated in conjunction with any DC source, from a car or a motorcycle battery or from any ordinary 12 V AC DC adapter.

Nowadays we find most of the vehicles have their in built cell phone battery charger units which surely becomes very handy for travelers who mostly remain outdoors travelling in their vehicle. 

The proposed cell phone charger circuit is as good as the conventional chargers which come fitted inside the cars and bikes.

Moreover the circuit can be simply integrated to ones own vehicle if the feature is not originally available in the vehicle.

Alternatively one may think of manufacturing the present unit and selling them in the market as an automobile cell phone charger and earn some hard bucks.

Circuit Description

Cell phones as we all know are highly sophisticated gadgets by nature and when it comes to charging cell phones the parameters no doubt also needs to be of very high standards.

The AC/DC cell phone chargers which come with the cell phones are all SMPS based and are extremely good with their outputs and that’s why the cell phone gets so efficiently charged by them.

However if we try to make our own version, it may fail altogether and the cell phones may just not respond to the current and display a “not charging” on the screen.

Cell phone battery cannot just be charged by supplying DC 4 volts, unless the current is optimally dimensioned the charging won’t initiate.

Using voltage regulator IC for making a DC to DC charger, which I myself have discussed in one of my earlier article is a good approach, but the IC tends to become too hot while charging the cell phone battery and therefore requires adequate heatsinking for remaining cool and operative.

This makes the unit a bit bulkier and moreover some significant amount of power is wasted in the form of heat, so the design cannot be considered very efficient.

The present PWM controlled DC to DC cell phone charger circuit is outstanding in its respect because, the involvement of PWM pulses helps to keep the output very suitable to the cell phone circuitry and also the concept involves no heating of the output device, making the entire circuit truly efficient.

Looking at the circuit we find that again the work horse IC 555 comes to our rescue and performs the important function of generating the required PWM pulses.

The input to the circuit is supplied through some standard DC source, ideally from an automobile battery.

The voltage powers the IC which instantly starts generating the PWM pulses and feeds it to the components connected at its output pin #3.

At the output the power transistor is used for switching the DC voltage at its collector directly to the cell phone.

However only the average DC voltage is finally fed to the cell phone due to the presence of the 100uF capacitor, which effectively filters the pulsating current and provides a stable, standard 4 volts to the cell phone.

After the circuit is built, the two pots will need to be optimized perfectly so that a well dimensioned voltage  is produced at the output which may be ideally suited for charging the cell phone.   

Parts List

R1, R2, R3 = 1K,
P1, P2 = 47K,
C2 = 1n,
C3, C1 = 100uF/25V
IC1 = 555
D1, D2, D3 = 1N4007
T1 = TIP127

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