using solar power to power arduino

hi there.

i'd like to purchase some solar power panels to power my arduino. this is where i got the idea:
https://www.cooking-hacks.com/documentation/tutorials/arduino-solar/

unfortunately, the shield they demo on that website is not available for sale so i have to figure out another way to do this. but i'm so green with everything electronics that I don't know what to buy.

So far, I've found the following components:

or this one:

http://www.banggood.com/DIY-5V-2A-Voltage-Regulator-Junction-Box-Solar-Panel-Charger-Special-Kit-p-1035493.html

and then as far as the solar power panels, i'm thinking of two of these:

and then battery pack:

http://www.banggood.com/DC-12V-4800mAh-Super-Rechargeable-Portable-Lithium-ion-Battery-Pack-p-977838.html

am i way off? or would something like this work to power my UNO?
thanks!

You have not said what you want your Uno to do, how many hours per day it needs to do it or whether it will have any external peripherals that also use energy.

You can usually organize a program so that the Arduino goes to sleep to reduce its energy requirement - although that is a lot more effective if you just use the Atmega 328 chip without the rest of the Arduino baggage.

Before you can specify a solar panel you need to know how many watt-hours per day your Arduino will use.

You need to allow for a lot of energy inefficiency in the battery - I suggest at least 50%.

Then, taking account of local sunshine patterns, you need to figure out what size of solar panel is needed to deliver the required energy. Keep in mind that a 1 watt panel will only produce 1 watt in bright sunshine when the panel is directly facing the sun.

If you want your Arduino to run continuously you need to size the battery so it has enough capacity to keep things going during a succession of dull rainy days.

Personally, unless weight is a problem I would use a 12v lead-acid battery because they are very safe and a very simple solar regulator would be sufficient.

If the battery capacity is very much larger than the solar panel it may not even be necessary to have a regulator. I charge a 200Ah battery with an 80Ah solar panel without a regulator. The max output of my panel is about 5 amps which is not enough to overcharge the battery. And most of the day-time the output of the panel is only 1 or 2 amps. (In case of doubt I am not suggesting you need a 200Ah battery for your Arduino).

...R

Adafruit has matching converters and solar panels.
Video : Collin's Lab: Solar - YouTube

Your links to Banggood.com give an error: "No Access".

I prefer not to use just any DC-DC converter. The solar-charger-lipo-rider is a better solution, but I don't know if it is good quality.
Normally, a single cell Li-ion or Lipo is used with a solar panel. A single cell is safer. That means you need a special circuit for it.

Don't buy those 12V packs. Many of them have a smaller battery inside and the rest is filled with cardboard. They also quickly start to bulge.

i just retested my links and they work... strange.
in any case, thanks for the cool video. but it doesn't explicitly tell you which products to buy.
but i'm looking at this: Overview | USB, DC & Solar Lipoly Charger | Adafruit Learning System

Robin2,
can you give me some links to the types of products you're talking about?

cpama:
can you give me some links to the types of products you're talking about?

This JRC website has good info about sunshine energy.

I'm not sure what other things you want links to. As far as I know I did not refer to anything specific.

...R

The links open in InternetExplorer, but not in Firefox (a reload does open them). Perhaps a problem with the website.
(I have the maximum blocking of third-party cookies, ads, and so on. Perhaps that is my problem with Banggood. I am a customer at Banggood myself. When I start at Banggood.com there is no problem).

All the links in the Original Post opened for me in Firefox. It's just a pity the OP did not make them active links so we could get to them with a click.

...R

Koepel:
Adafruit has matching converters and solar panels.
Video : Collin's Lab: Solar - YouTube

Your links to Banggood.com give an error: "No Access".

I

http://www.banggood.com/search/1003920.html
1035493
977838

The first Banggood link worked for me immediately before I wrote this.

…R

Lots of useful information on a solar powered (ultra low power remote sensor) Arduino project here.