Category Archives: Solar Power

A Simple Solar Irradiation Measurement Technique

A pyranometer or solar irradiation tester is measurement tool that is a must-have for every professional in renewable energy sector. However, owing one is not easy because it is both expensive and rare. It is expensive because it uses highly calibrated components and it is rare because it is not an ordinary multi-meter that is available in common hardware shops. Personally, I have a long professional career in the field of LED lighting, renewable energy (mainly solar), Lithium and industrial battery systems, electronics and embedded-systems. I have been at the core of designing, testing, commissioning and analyzing some of the

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Designing a MPPT solar charger

Solar panels collect energy from the sun and convert it to electricity. Because the sun is not consistent throughout the day, the output power from the solar cell is also not constant. MPPT stands for Maximum Power Point Tracking and is an electronic system for solar panels that allows them to produce and deliver maximum available power. In a solar-powered battery charging system, it is done by varying the ratio between the voltage and current delivered to the battery. For instance, if there is excess power harvested from the panels during high Sun conditions, the MPPT converts it to additional current to charge the battery much

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SolarSurfer: A robotic surfboard

The SolarSurfer is a neat concept of building a solar-powered robotic surfboard submitted to the 2014 Hackaday Prize by Rusty Jehangir and his team at BlueRobotics. It’w built using an 8 feet surfboard and is powered by a 120 W solar panel and a 12V lead acid battery. It’s also equipped with a GPS system, satellite modem, and sensors that collect ocean temperature and pH values during the journey. The surfer is guided by a 3D Robotics APM2.6 with a uBlox GPS. A RockBLOCK satellite radio from Rock Seven let’s us communicate back and forth with the SolarSurfer to monitor its position,

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SunLeaf: Solar-powered wireless sensor module

SunLeaf is a wireless sensor module designed by Adam Vadala-Roth for remote sensing applications. The module is solar/battery powered, low power, connected via WiFi, low cost, and highly scalable. SunLeaf interfaces with several variety sensors, samples, and transmits the data to the cloud. Data is viewed through a web interface. The SunLeaf module intends to be a solution for many remote wireless sensing applications, such as plant health, agriculture, monitoring pollution, and monitoring climate. Module Hardware Specs – ST Microelectronics STM32F446RET6 ARM Cortex M4F 168MHZ MCU – ESP-02 ESP8266 WiFi Module – 4x Seeedstudio UART/USART Grove Sensor Connectors – 4x Seeedstudio

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Solar powered USB power bank

Solo-lab’s new project article is about building a rechargeable USB power bank which harvests energy by using a solar panel. It uses a 3.7V, 4000mAh LiPo battery to store the electric energy generated by the solar panel. The LiPo charging circuit is based on MCP73831, which is a miniature single cell, fully integrated LiPo charge manament controller. The output of the battery is converted to 5V using a step up converter based on LT1302-5. The 5V output is available via USB ports. MCP73831 is miniature single-cell, fully integrated Li-Ion,Li-Po charge management controller. Since the input voltage range is 3.75V to

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