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An attempt at a brief summary of solar charging ICs for single-cell lithium batteries.

Solar panels provide the most power if you limit the current drawn from them, so a proper solar charger will do MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking). In reality, most cheap solar charger ICs imitate this by restricting the current drawn to keep the panel voltage constant (generally around 4.5V).

Best Bets

You probably want to use:

  • Consonance CN3083 or CN3082 - it seems, confusingly, that the CN3082 is the later model (available from ebay), ~£1 each. SOP8 package. Drawback: maximum 6V input voltage will necessitate either a high-power zener or a LDO regulator to protect the input for most solar panels.
Other Options
Packages probably unsuitable for hand-assembly
  • TI BQ24040, <£1 each, unimaginably small 10WSON package, otherwise ideal.
  • Linear LTC4121, ~£3 each, configurable maximum power point, QFN16 package.
  • Linear LTC4079 ~£3 each, 60V max input, DFN10 package.


MFN MFP Max U (abs) Max I Pkg Price/ea Source Datasheet
Consonance CN3083 6V (6.5V) 600mA SOP8 ~£1 Ebay [PDF]
Consonance CN3082 6V (6.5V) 600mA SOP8+EP ~£0.5 AliExpress [PDF]
Microchip MCP73831 6V (7V) 500mA SOT-23 ~£0.4 DigiKey [PDF]
Linear LT3652 32V (40V) 2A 12-TSSOP+EP £4-5 DigiKey [PDF]
TI BQ24040 6.8V (32V) 1A 10-WFDFN+EP ~£1 DigiKey [PDF]
Linear LTC4121 40V (43V) 400mA 16-QFN+EP ~£4 DigiKey [PDF]
Linear LTC4079 60V (62V) 250mA 10-DFN+EP ~£4 DigiKey [PDF]

Not a solar charger (USB or simmilar)

solar_charging_ics.txt · Last modified: 2020/06/27 23:02 (external edit)