You can follow updates to this project online by following the project at @SolarRobot7 on Twitter. This project is also a Hackaday Prize 2015 entry, which is updated here. This is still an active project, so the photos don’t show the final unit, but should be more informative as you can see the different items I am working on. I am keeping an active project log over at my Hackaday IO page.
Frequent readers here will note my fascination with solar power and renewable energy in general. I’m a big fan of efficient gadgets too- so I took the chance to update my older Arduino-based solar tracker with a more accurate Raspberry Pi. The original idea was a standalone solar setup that you could use in place of a generator. The trouble with the old version was this:
1.) The original design focused on the panel and tracking electronics, but neglected the other components like a solar charge controller and a battery for practical use.
2.) The deficiencies in the Arduino system meant that the math wasn’t quite accurate enough to track the sun effectively.
3.) The memory capacity of the Arduino couldn’t hold all the features that I wanted to implement.
4.) The GPS system added cost and wasn’t always reliable to the point I wanted, and was a weakpoint in the design (see #3 above).
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
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, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, 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.