Several years ago [Michael Davis] built a charge controller for his wind turbine and published his construction plans online. This build became quite popular, especially among people that live in remote regions. He states that he is flooded with email each day with questions about his charge controller from people trying to troubleshoot its construction or from people who are unable to source the proper parts.
In order to make things easier for people, he decided to revisit his controller design to see what could be improved, and more importantly, what could be removed. The revision was shelved for awhile, but while in the process of working on another project, he realized that most of his original circuit could be easily replaced with a 555 timer. Since the 555 chip is so ubiquitous, he figured it was a fantastic way to simplify his charger, even if he wasn’t using the chip in the manner for which it was originally designed.
He continued revising his charger, sourcing very basic components and simplifying the circuitry enough that even he was able to build it correctly the first time around. Needless to say, this charging circuit will be his entry in the 555 Design Contest.
Be sure to keep reading for a quick video of his charger in action.