This is actually not any sort of product or public project (!) – its something we designed to help me evaluate solar panels and how they act when charging batteries. Normally this requires a lot of multimeters and its a bit of a pain to do if you have to constantly change out panels. So we decided we would build a specialized tool that would assist us. Here is what we wanted!
Portable! Its hard to test solar panels inside
Ability to log to an SD card for long-term data analysis (to be added later)
Keep track of the solar panel voltage
Keep track of the battery voltage
Keep track of how much current is going thru the panel to the charger
This design is intended for ~6V panels, single Lithium Polymer cells and chargers. It can very easily be adapted to any kind of panel and charger, you’ll just need to adjust the resistor dividers and such!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.