Thanks to Rob for writing in to share this useful Arduino tutorial. Check it out on GitHub
Projects involving the Arduino family of microcontroller boards typically don’t need any special power management circuitry. You connect a power source, the device boots, does it’s job and then stops when the power is disconnected. Unlike a Raspberry Pi system, there is no risk of corrupting an SD memory card.
But for some applications you may want to monitor power status and respond in a more managed way, instead of just shutting down.
Consider a remote sensing device that logs temperature data, for example. If the battery runs out while it is unattended the logs simply stop. There is no way to tell immediately that low battery was the problem. It could have been software or hardware failure.
Likewise, for a portable system, it would be helpful to know how much battery life remains and when it needs recharging.
This project presents several approaches to Arduino power management with circuits, software and descriptions for each of them. Starting with a simple power-on/power-off switch all the way to a data logging system that includes battery status which is intended for unattended environment monitoring.
You can pick and choose which of the subsystems you are interested in. I’ll describe all of them in increasing complexity but you can comment out those parts you are not interested in.
Featured Adafruit Product!
Adafruit PowerBoost 500 Shield – Rechargeable 5V Power Shield: What’s a project if it’s trapped on your desk? Now you can take your Arduino anywhere you wish with the PowerBoost shield! This stackable shield goes onto your Arduino and provides a slim rechargeable power pack, with a built in battery charger as well as DC/DC booster. Read more.
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