May 10, 2010 AT 11:39 am

3 Ways to Power an Arduino Off-Grid

6V-Solar-Panel-Arduino-235X235
Three Ways to Power an Arduino Off-Grid @ Voltaic DIY Solar!

We get a lot of questions about how to run an Arduino off of solar panels. We decided to do a bit of testing and came up with three pretty simple ways to run an Arduino even if you aren’t near your computer or an AC plug.

Direct to a Solar Panel – We plugged our 2.0 Watt, 6Volt panel into the Arduino’s 5.5mm x 2.1mm DC Jack via our Generator Circuit Box. On a hazy day and through a screen, it lowered the basic blink application. Of course, this will only work when there is sunlight and your application can work with extended downtime. The circuit box set has two outs so you can send power to another part of your application if needed. The panel is also available from Adafruit.

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2 Comments

  1. I have several questions. This may be good for a small article.

    1. If I put several solar panels in series what pitfalls do I need to look out for?

    2. If I place them in parallel to up the current are the pitfalls different?

    3. Doing both together are there other problems that will come up?

    4. If I want to charge a battery I have heard that I need a blocking diode in some places, in others I have heard that it is not needed that the cells themselves act as diodes. This must change from light to dark. What do I actually need to do?

    Like I said this could be an article not a reply as there are so many different questions stacked. I am not wondering how the cells work on the quantum level, but on a charging circuit level.

    Any pointers for where to look, or even better one good do it all whack would be nice. :)

    Thanks.

    -C

  2. I have several questions. This may be good for a small article.

    1. If I put several solar panels in series what pitfalls do I need to look out for?

    2. If I place them in parallel to up the current are the pitfalls different?

    3. Doing both together are there other problems that will come up?

    4. If I want to charge a battery I have heard that I need a blocking diode in some places, in others I have heard that it is not needed that the cells themselves act as diodes. This must change from light to dark. What do I actually need to do?

    Like I said this could be an article not a reply as there are so many different questions stacked. I am not wondering how the cells work on the quantum level, but on a charging circuit level.

    Any pointers for where to look, or even better one good do it all whack would be nice. :)

    Thanks.

    -C

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