makerPower Solar

An intelligent solar power system for the internet of things.

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24/7 Power for your remote projects

makerPower Solar is a combination intelligent solar battery charger and power supply for low- to medium-power devices freeing them from the outlet. It is designed to provide 24/7 power for a wide range of embedded systems and IoT gadgets.

Features & Specifications

  • 12 V Operation
    • Uses commonly available and inexpensive 25-35 W 12 V solar panels and 7-18 Ah sealed AGM lead-acid batteries (UPS batteries).
    • Lead-acid batteries are ideal for outdoor solar applications because they are lower cost that other battery technologies, operate over a wider temperature range and are safe.
  • 35 W Maximum Power-Point Charging
    • Implements a MPPT algorithm to operate the solar panel at the point of maximum power generation to extract every bit of energy the panel is capable of producing. More efficient that PWM-style chargers and much more efficient than just attaching the panel to the battery.
    • Three-state charger for fast and safe battery charging (BULK, ABSORPTION, FLOAT).
  • Charge Temperature Compensation
    • Temperature sensor monitors battery temperature and adjusts charge parameters to optimally charge the battery while protecting it from life-shortening overcharge conditions.
  • 10 W 5 V Power Supply
    • Available from USB Type A socket for plug&play with many devices or from a 0.1” header for direct connection.
    • Capable of powering a Linux SBC and long-distance radio like a cellular modem or SatComm module.
  • Low Battery Shutdown and Restart
    • Five-volt output disabled when the battery is almost discharged with automatic restart when the battery is recharged.
    • Alert signal available to provide warning of impending power-off for controlled shutdown. Use it to protect the filesystem in Raspberry Pi applications.
  • Digital Interface
    • I²C interface provides full access to charger measurements, state and configuration values.
    • Status signals allow direct control for simple systems.
  • Night-Only Mode
    • Automatically enable the system only at night.
  • Watchdog
    • Ensure system reliability by power cycling when the attached system crashes or hangs.

Applications

  • Remote sensing and control devices, connected by a variety of communication technologies or stand-alone.
  • Remote photography applications such as nature time-lapse, critter cams, and remote webcams.
  • Utility functions such as USB charging, night lighting or remote water pumping.
  • Power for remote lit art/sculptural installations.
  • Power supply with battery backup for Raspberry Pi Server or Router.

Software Support

  • Arduino library for access via the digital interface (compiles on Raspberry Pi too).
  • Linux daemon for custom configuration, data logging, remote access and automatic shutdown/watchdog support.
  • Desktop application for remote monitoring or data analysis.
  • Demo applications

Dashboard Application

Prototype powering remote web cam

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