Cheap Solar Power Source

Hi All,

I was thinking about ways to solar power a barebones ATMEGA328 when I stubled across this solar cell online...

The price is what attracted me - it's much cheaper than buying cells and batteries individually. The reported charge current is vastly in excess of the requirements of my power managed projects (temperature/nrf24l01) and therefore should never run out of power day or night. I'll let you know how we get on once the solar packs i ordered are delivered 8)


The description "1350mah solar charger" seems to only cover the capacity of the internal battery. It says nothing about the solar cells and how quickly they might charge the battery. Other references say the cels are good for 100 mA at 5V so it should only take 13.5 hours of direct sunlight to get the battery up to a full charge. If you draw 50 mA continuously you only need 27 hours a day of direct sunlight to keep the battery charged. :slight_smile:

Tres drole johnwasser :P,

I hope to use circa 20ma for a few milliseconds in every 8s (regularly sending wireless data, then back to powered down mode). Thereby leaving plenty of daylight charging to maintain battery charge (in theory!)

We'll soon see :wink:

This charger isn't worth even the price they are asking. If you are comfortable making your own charger, you can get some really nice minipanels from SeeedStudio. I have several of the 1 watt (5.5V at 170 mA, US$ 3.50 each) panels, being used to power remote sensors, and think they are the best deal around. The panels do deliver the rated specs. Seeed Studio Bazaar, The IoT Hardware enabler.

Do you even get sunlight in Aberdeen?- especially as the Northern winter approaches? 8)

"The typical open circuit voltage is around 5V, depending on light intensity. In those bright summer days with clear sky and big sun, the peak OC voltage can rush up to 10V. "

With an idiotic blurb like that, I'd avoid this product.

ha ha jimboZA - we do get plenty sun, but not much heat at all :disappointed_relieved:

The solar panel is supposed to have a built in battery which is trickle charges and then supplies 5v from the USB socket - so hopefully no fried breadboard arduino for me (fingers crossed!)