Friday, April 29, 2011

Self-Rechargeable Power Supply

Summer quickly approaches and sun is starting to shine really bright. I found some old 0,5W solar panels in my drawer. 

These panels are really good at full brightness you can get 6V and 80mA. So I’ve been thinking what I could possibly do with them. Recently I’ve been using arduino just for some small applications like reading an analog input of some sensor. While reading input arduino have small power consumption. So I’ve bought 4 AAA rechargeable batteries and put together a portable self rechargeable power source. Batteries have 900mAh capacity so they can be fully charged in 10-12 hours which is not the best time, but as I’ve mentioned arduino have small power consumption (if you’re not using motors or etc.). So this device can be actually useful and also you can buy stronger panel and 9V rechargeable battery.


  1. I have a post on how to build your own arduino and program it with the arduino IDE but without need for the boot loader. I show how to set the fuses in post to run without a crystal and you could add code to go to sleep unless in interrupt fires. Then your custom arduino could run for days or months on your charger. Maybe forever if there is enough sun each day.

    1. Thank you, I've build some DIY arduinos after that, but your post is very useful

  2. And you seem to work on a budget so does this without a programmer. Just build a parallel port programmer cable like at at:

    Then you can push code over a parallel port to the ICSP just like using a USBtinyISP programmer. I build one before I had a USBtinyISP and it worked great but I pushed my hex files from the command line but it would work from the IDE if you configure the programmer list correctly like I cover in my post in the first comment.