Portable solar charging tracker

This is actually not any sort of product or public project (!) - it's something I designed to help me evaluate solar panels and how they act when charging batteries. Normally this requires a lot of multimeters and it's a bit of a pain to do if you have to constantly change out panels. So I decided I would build a specialized tool that would assist me. Here is what I 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

I figured if I had to build this, someone might find my notes useful. However, this documentation is primarly intended to demonstrate how to use the enclosure we carry in the adafruit shop.

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!

Please note, this project isn't a solar-powered datalogger. You do need to power it with batteries, it's only meant for analysis of panels!

This guide was first published on Apr 21, 2013. It was last updated on Apr 21, 2013.

This page (Introduction) was last updated on Apr 16, 2013.

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