The Maker Greetings, I saw a slew of discount solar panels and I want to use one to power my iPhone or possibly netbook. I’ve researched this but it seems the more I learn the more I realize how little I actually know. There appears to be a wide variety of charging circuits and methods out there. Some use big bulky capacitors and through hole. I have come across some circuits that use SMT for 15W of power though. I am wondering how a modern solar controller works. I’ve learned how old school solar panel charging works with diodes. But I don’t know how “smart chargers” work. My goal is to end up with a project that I can plug my iphone or possibly netbook into and charge it up while not in use, contribute to the battery power when in use, and possibly allow for a backup battery (I haven’t decided if that makes any sense yet). Should I choose an external battery, are the battery types interchangeable? Solar panels found here http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G18569 What can you tell me about modern charging? What do you think of my project?