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Ever on the lookout for creative applications for tech, [Andres Leon] built a solar powered battery system to keep his Christmas lights shining. It worked, but — pushing for innovation — it is now capable of so much more.

The shorthand of this system is two, 100 amp-hour, deep-cycle AGM batteries charged by four, 100 W solar panels mounted on an adjustable angle wood frame. Once back at the drawing board, however, [Leon] wanted to be able track real-time statistics of power collected, stored and discharged, and the ability to control it remotely. So, he introduced a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian Jessie Lite that publishes all the collected data to Home Assistant to be accessed and enable control of the system from the convenience of his smartphone. A pair of Arduino Deuemilanoves reporting to the Pi control a solid state relay powering a 12 V, 800 W DC-to-AC inverter and monitor a linear current sensor — although the latter still needs some tinkering. A in-depth video tour of the system follows after the break!

All the electronics are housed in a climate-controlled box which kicks on when the Pi’s CPU heats up — this is in a Florida backyard, folks — and powered off the battery system, with a handful of 40amp breakers between the components keep things safe. [Leon] has helpfully provided links to all the resources he used, as well as his code on GitHub.

We love homebrew solar power systems, but if only there was some way to take them on the road with us.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Raspberry Pi, solar hacks

[Bruce Helsen] built this dual axis solar tracker as one of his final projects for school.

As can be experimentally verified in a very short timeframe, the sun moves across the sky. This is a particularly troublesome behavior for solar panels, which work best when the sun shines directly on them. Engineers soon realized that abstracting the sun away only works in physics class, and moved to the second best idea of tracking sun by moving the panel. Surprisingly, for larger installations the cost of adding tracking (and its maintenance) isn’t worth the gains, but for smaller, and especially urban, installations like [Bruce]’s it can still help.

[Bruce]’s build can be entirely sourced from eBay. The light direction is sensed via a very clever homemade directional light sensor. A 3D printer extruded cross profile sits inside an industrial lamp housing. The assembly divides the sky into four quadrants with a light-dependent resistor for each. By measuring the differences, the panel can point in the optimal direction.

The panel’s two axis are controlled with two cheap linear actuators. The brains are an Arduino glued to a large amount of solar support electronics and the online energy monitor component is covered by an ESP8266.

The construction works quite well. If you’d like to build one yourself the entire BOM, drawings, and code are provided on the instructables page.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, solar hacks

6 Volt 5 Watt solar charge controller

arduino, charge controller, Si2369, solar Commenti disabilitati su 6 Volt 5 Watt solar charge controller 


Steve made this 6 volt 5 watt solar charge controller project, that is available at Github:

Here is a 6 volt 5 watt solar charge controller project using a dedicated printed circuit board from and an Arduino pro-mini.
The board uses sot-23 low RDSon P channel mosfets (Si2369). It has voltage and current sensing, and 3 configurable switched or unswitched outputs.

Additionally, using a Bus Pirate you can grab charge controller voltages, currents, and other variables at 5 times a second using a Python3/tkinter program I wrote to go with this project. This program uses uses I2C to connect to the Arduino.

6 Volt 5 Watt solar charge controller – [Link]


A basic Arduino Solar PV Monitor

arduino, monitor, Photovoltaic, solar Commenti disabilitati su A basic Arduino Solar PV Monitor 



I have just recently had solar pv installed, mainly to future proof my energy costs, I do not expect it to be like drilling for oil in my back garden, however the return looks to be encouraging.

The install gives you another single unit meter, from this you will see the total amount the panels produce, but that is about it.

I wanted to know how much the production was as it was happening, I discovered the light blinks on the front of the meter will flash 1000 times for each kWh of electricity which passes through. The rate of the flashing of the LED tells you how much power is currently passing through the meter.

A basic Arduino Solar PV Monitor - [Link]


Solar Panel System Monitoring Device Using Arduino

arduino, arduino hacks, electricity, LCD, ldr, LED, meter, panel, photo resistor, photocell, photoresistor, power, solar, utilities Commenti disabilitati su Solar Panel System Monitoring Device Using Arduino 

[Carl] recently upgraded his home with a solar panel system. This system compliments the electricity he gets from the grid by filling up a battery bank using free (as in beer) energy from the sun. The system came with a basic meter which really only shows the total amount of electricity the panels produce. [Carl] wanted to get more data out of his system. He managed to build his own monitor using an Arduino.

The trick of this build has to do with how the system works. The panel includes an LED light that blinks 1000 times for each kWh of electricity. [Carl] realized that if he could monitor the rate at which the LED is flashing, he could determine approximately how much energy is being generated at any given moment. We’ve seen similar projects in the past.

Like most people new to a technology, [Carl] built his project up by cobbling together other examples he found online. He started off by using a sketch that was originally designed to calculate the speed of a vehicle by measuring the time it took for the vehicle to pass between two points. [Carl] took this code and modified it to use a single photo resistor to detect the LED. He also built a sort of VU meter using several LEDs. The meter would increase and decrease proportionally to the reading on the electrical meter.

[Carl] continued improving on his system over time. He added an LCD panel so he could not only see the exact current measurement, but also the top measurement from the day. He put all of the electronics in a plastic tub and used a ribbon cable to move the LCD panel to a more convenient location. He also had his friend [Andy] clean up the Arduino code to make it easier for others to use as desired.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Maximize Your Solar Charging With a DIY Arduino Controller

arduino, Charger, Electronics, MPPT, solar Commenti disabilitati su Maximize Your Solar Charging With a DIY Arduino Controller 

Here’s how to build a buck converter using an Arduino Nano (as well as another 28 listed components) to supply the maximum power that you can to your PV cell. This is known as maximum power point tracking, abbreviated MPPT. Photovoltaic (PV) cells produce different amounts of current and voltage depending […]

Experiencing the solar flux with an interactive installation

arduino, Featured, Interaction Design, LED, mega, solar Commenti disabilitati su Experiencing the solar flux with an interactive installation 


Dmitry Morozov shared with us a new interactive installation called  Solarman at the Polytech Museum in Moscow. 2014 and It’s a work he created with Julia Borovaya and Edward Rakhmanov using 64 ultra bright LEDs, 12-channel sound system and 8 electrical nerve stimulation electrodes controlled by Arduino Mega :

Data on power of X-radiation flux from the Sun is received in real time from the satellite GOES15 which is tracking solar activity. It is being converted into streams of sound, light and electric discharges, thus allowing a spectator to experience in more intensive and evident way the influence of the main luminary of the solar system.

The data, which is measured in watts per square meter, come with a frequency of once per minute. A special computer algorithm transforms it in sound waves, distributed by 12 channels in the space. The radiation power directly controls the height of tones and spectral changes in the sound. The speed of sound displacement in the space is also dependent on these parameters. Light is generated by algorithmic transformation of X-ray emission into physical modeling of light particles, which also affect the muscle stimulators in the chair to produce weak electric discharges.

Check the video below to see the power of the sun:


Arduino solar charge controller and energy monitor

arduino, charging, Energy, monitor, PWM, solar, Test/Measurements Commenti disabilitati su Arduino solar charge controller and energy monitor 


by deba168 @

One year ago, I began building my own solar system to provide power for my village house.Initially I made a LM317 based charge controller and an Energy meter for monitoring the system.Finally I made PWM charge controller.In April-2014 I posted my PWM solar charge controller designs on the web,it became very popular. Lots of people all over the world have built their own. So many students have made it for their college project by taking help from me.I got several mails every day from people with questions regarding hardware and software modification for different rated solar panel and battery. A very large percentage of the emails are regarding the modification of charge controller for a 12Volt solar system.

Arduino solar charge controller and energy monitor - [Link]


Solar battery charge controller

arduino, arduino nano, battery, Charger, Lead Acid, Photovoltaic, power, solar Commenti disabilitati su Solar battery charge controller 



This Arduino Nano controlled solar battery charger can charge a standard lead acid 12V battery and runs with 90% efficiency under 70ᵒC (158ᵒF). The circuit can take up to 24V input from the solar panels. The maximum power point tracking is implemented in the circuit by measuring the output voltage and current from the solar panel to get the maximum possible power from it.

Solar battery charge controller - [Link]

The Beach Buddy

When you venture out onto the beach for a day in the sun, you’re probably not preoccupied with remembering the specifics about your sunscreen’s SPF rating—if you even remembered to apply any. [starwisher] suffered a nasty sunburn after baking in the sunlight beyond her sunscreen’s limits. To prevent future suffering, she developed The Beach Buddy: a portable stereo and phone charger with a handy sunburn calculator to warn you the next time the sun is turning you into barbecue.

After telling the Beach Buddy your skin type and your sunscreen’s SPF rating, a UV sensor takes a reading and an Arduino does a quick calculation that determines how long until you should reapply your sunscreen. Who wants to lug around a boring warning box, though?

[starwisher] went to the trouble of crafting a truly useful all-in-one device by modifying this stereo and this charger to fit together in a sleek custom acrylic enclosure. There’s a switch to activate each function—timer, charger, stereo—a slot on the side to house your phone, and an LCD with some accompanying buttons for setting up the UV timer. You can check out a demo of all the Beach Buddy’s features in a video below.

[via Dangerous Prototypes]

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, digital audio hacks, solar hacks

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