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How to connect the solar panel?


#21

Hi @marciszewski,

I don’t think the solar panel in your link would work to power the SCK alone, nor charge the battery enough to make it worth it.

The LiPo battery supplied with the kit puts out 3.7v. If you removed it and substituted the solar panel in your link, you would be under-powering the SCK.

I also don’t think it would make for a good alternative for the current solar panel. The current unit’s specs are 17 volts, 10 watts, 0.58 amps, which is stepped down and converted by the on-board components to fully charge the LiPo battery every day.

If you end up trying it, please post your results. I’d love to see the what you find.

-Matt
SCK 685


#22

ok - what about something like this and plugging it into the USB port?


#23

Hi @marciszewski,

I don’t know. The website says it takes 6-7 hours to charge the battery when it’s plugged into the wall, and says that the solar panel is only for emergency use. I couldn’t find any specs on how long it takes to charge when using only the sun (other than some of the Amazon reviews that says it takes much longer than a day to fully charge the battery).

This one costs more than the regular solar panel you can get for the SCK. Is there a reason you’re looking for alternatives?

-Matt
SCK 685


#24

Hi @dionor,

In fact it is the oposite. The PV panel is designed to simply charge the battery and then the battery power is feed in to the board.

Your problem can be the panel or the sun around is not enough to charge the battery. It can also be there’s is some problem with the electronics of you board but better you do some tests first.

What are the specs of your solar panel? How many volts and watts? Where are you located in order to calculate solar radiation?


#25

I am using a combination of battery and solar panel. The solar panel provides power but does not charge the battery. Is this just and issue for me or does everyone have this issue - could be the solar setup on the board is not designed to charge the battery?


#26

I am getting a steady 5v from the solar panel. The battery is a Lipo 3.5v
A pic of the settings can be seen here https://www.dropbox.com/s/9vjpdz9sftd6pzo/batPlusSolar.png?dl=0


#27

Hi @dionr,

As you can see in the docs (https://docs.smartcitizen.me/#/start/attaching-the-solar-panel) the solar panel should deliver a voltage bigger than 8v and less than 15v , so the battery can be charged.


#28

got it. I am upgrading to a 12v panel.


#29

Hi all,

I am also looking for a combination of a battery and a solar panel. The reason for this is that I want to run my kit day and night for quite a long period. An alternative would be having a 5 meter long micro-usb cable running from an adapter to the kit.

Does anyone have any experience that I can learn from?

Thanks for your reply in advance!

Cheers, Marc


#30

Hello @MarcBrugman,

Two suggestions:

  1. Using a solar panel: I will suggest you try the same approach as mloebl. You can even contact him by writting him a comment. He’s using a 6Ah LiPo battery from Sparkfun (this is 3 times more than the standard battery) and a 20W solar panel.
  1. Using a power adapter: You should be able to run a 5m cable USB with no problem. However if you want a longer cable you can also power the kit using the Solar Panel input. This will allow to bring power to it at 12V so you’ll have less power losses. You will need a 2A 12V DC power supply and some cable.

Let us know if you have any questions!