Solar Power Supply, BLE, WIFI controlled actuator

Hi all,

I am trying to control a servo/actuator from a wifi connected pcb, through an app on the phone. The actuator and PCB will be in an outside environment. Plan to power with a solar panel power supply.

Currently needing to know if Solar Power Supply can power the arduino, wifi and actuator. Actuator will only need to run 1-2x per day, the rest is in standby.

6v Actuator planning on using:

Type of Solar Power Supply thinking about using, 10W and 20W:

6v rechargeable Battery:

Not sure what Arduino Board??:

I assume the Nano? do I need to add a wifi stack ontop of this board? if its outside do I make a bluetooth low energy board talk to a wifi board that has 120v near by?

That battory looks small to me even if the data being checked didn't show any current need.
Why build a a solar panel device and not go for collecting more energy? 2000mA is "nothing".

Just found the data for current. If the motor runs shortly enough it might work.

I was thinking about form factor and not going too big if I am only running motor 2x a day.

The motor has almost 0 load on it as well. Just dont know how to take leakage current into account and consumption of wifi or arduino, so I can calculate the power needed and if I can charge fast enough.

Okey. Every transmitter uses quite some current, I guess a few hundred mA at least during transmitting. A Wifi receiver.... I know too little to tell.
One very important factor is the estimated hours of sunshine, the solar panel data, how much energy that is collected. I would go for a battory of higher capacity. Suppose a few cloudy days bringing not so much charging. Will there be energy left in the batory to survive until sunny days?

Is the actuator supposed to direct the panel towards the sun?

My opinion. Do not use 6V NiMh batteries.

The MPTT controller is designed for 12Volt Lead Acid or 12V LiFePo4’s.

The principle is that your project will run off the battery, not the solar cells. Even though the solar cell and voltage tap for the project will come from the battery. The MPTT or PWM controller will go through cycles in relation to the charge on the battery. Those cycles do not jive NiMH charging specs.

I use 2 servo motors to keep the solar panels directed at the sun. I use a 50W 12V loaded solar panel. I use a PWM controller. The battery is a 12V 8Ah LifePo4. In the summer the solar panel produces more energy than needed, right now I am not getting full recharges, winter.

WiFi is power hungry.

As a note, I used LiPo’s and a TP4056 for a while. It works but is not hands free. There is not real adequate way to control LiPo’s with a solar charger. Also, LiPo’s cannot be frozen, throw them away when they freeze.

LifePo4’s on the other hand… just look em up and you’ll see.

You can get small Lifepo4’s called/sized 14430’s. But best stay with the 12V models as the MPTT and PWM controllers are designed around t12V batteries.

Remember a MPTT or PWM controller is not a NiMh charger.

Idahowalker:
My opinion. Do not use 6V NiMh batteries.

The MPTT controller is designed for 12Volt Lead Acid or 12V LiFePo4's.

The principle is that your project will run off the battery, not the solar cells. Even though the solar cell and voltage tap for the project will come from the battery. The MPTT or PWM controller will go through cycles in relation to the charge on the battery. Those cycles do not jive NiMH charging specs.

I use 2 servo motors to keep the solar panels directed at the sun. I use a 50W 12V loaded solar panel. I use a PWM controller. The battery is a 12V 8Ah LifePo4. In the summer the solar panel produces more energy than needed, right now I am not getting full recharges, winter.

WiFi is power hungry.

As a note, I used LiPo's and a TP4056 for a while. It works but is not hands free. There is not real adequate way to control LiPo's with a solar charger. Also, LiPo's cannot be frozen, throw them away when they freeze.

LifePo4's on the other hand.. just look em up and you'll see.

You can get small Lifepo4's called/sized 14430's. But best stay with the 12V models as the MPTT and PWM controllers are designed around t12V batteries.

Remember a MPTT or PWM controller is not a NiMh charger.

Thanks for the controller direction and great notes on chemistry, I have some homework to do and revise my list!

I assume I can use the Arduino nano and a Bluetooth low energy add on board to keep wifi from sucking all the battery power if using wifi would be such a large drain. I can then have a sister board 20-30 ft away on 120v, that does the wifi heavy lifting?
I am a mechanical engineer but find myself stretching the skills when it comes to PCB and wifi communication!

I do not ever receive direct sunlight on my solar panels, summer or winter and run servo motors. Thus my need for a 50Watt solar panel. If your solar panel would get direct sunlight for part of the day I figure, from past experimentation, a 10 watt 12V would work.

BT, which transmits, will, also, suck up power.

I use ESP32's that have both built in WiFi and BT modules.

Oh, another advantage for using a LiFePo4 is that to get a full charge on the battery the voltage should be slightly higher than 13.8. What that means is LifePo4's do not ever reach maximum charge, which adds to their life span. And those 2000 deep cycle rating's cannot blows away the deep charge cycles of a lead acid battery.

Thanks for the heads up on the ESP32 PCB!

This is a simplified version of what I am going for, just need 6v for the actuator.

Example system:

Would this Work?

6v Battery Pack and Solar panel combined:
Amazon.com : Campark Trail Camera Solar Panel DC 6V/3000mAh Solar Power Bank Portable Charger IP56 Waterproof for Hunting Game Cameras ( No Batteries Required for Trail Camera ) : Electronics

I do not know, haven't tried it.