Solar Power Recommendations

Introduction

This section of the manual is intended to give you some examples of solar power systems being used by other Raspberry Shakers that you can use as a starting point to design your own system. In the end, the actual dimensions of the solar power system you design will be based on the amount of sunlight at your latitude, the time the system is expected to run without street power and other factors.

Warning

The Raspberry Shake requires a 5V DC (2.5 Amp) power supply. Passing 12V will fry the Raspberry Pi computer and, in all likelihood, also the Raspberry Shake board. For any USB charger, be sure it gives 2.5+ Amps and then test it when it comes as we have found that many manufacturers report 2.5 or 3 Amps but the equipment does not meet spec.

Warning

Depending on the design, the solar panel system may generate vibration (similar to trees but higher frequency) so it might need to be located some distance from your Raspberry Shake.

For Raspberry Shake power consumption requirements, see: Technical Specifications Documents

Example 1: The Thorsten setup

A 150 Watt solar panel >> standard 65 Amp hour lead acid car battery >> solar regulator with USB output >> Raspberry Shake.

Location: Germany

_images/thorsten-solar1.jpg
_images/thorsten-solar2.jpg

The regulator being used: MPPT L60A. Powering the Raspberry Shake with a USB cable is plug-and-play.

Example 2: The Jochen setup

This solar powered solution drives a lot more than just the Raspberry Shake.

Location: Switzerland

Includes:

  • Waterproof aluminium box for 2 x 12V 200 AH batteries.
  • Solar Tracker to catch the most amount of sunlight possible, especially in the short winter days. (It worked now for two winters with temps down to minus 20°C without any problem)
  • 240 Watt Solar Panel
  • MPPT Solar Charger with RS422 Port, which delivers statistic abt. the charging and discharging of the batteries.
  • In the box is a 12 Volt LAN Switch, a LAN controllable 8 Port Relay switch, a small PC (18Volt) a 4 Port Serial to LAN converter and a 5 GHz Radio Link to the house plus
  • The box is also chucky jam full of science equipment
  • 12 to 5 V power converter with 3-4A continuous output for Raspberry Shake
_images/jochen-solar1.jpg
_images/jochen-solar2.jpg

For more pictures and details, see: Die Wetterstation.