Power source is very Essential to operate any Electronic device, If you are using an Micro controller or Development board in remote area, you could not provide continuous power supply to the development board or micro controller board. To solve this issue we can utilize the solar panel with battery charger. It is capable of providing continuous power to the micro controller board.
In this Article we used Li-ion battery charger from libelium, 6V solar panel, and Rechargeable Lithium battery 3.7V. The Li-ion battery charger board is a DC-DC converter to provide 5V DC supply. This board has 12V solar panel input, 6V solar panel input and mini USB input. Voltage from these inputs are fed into low drop fixed and adjustable positive voltage regulator.
The MAX1551/MAX1555 charge a single-cell lithium-ion (Li+) battery from both USB* and AC adapter sources. They operate with no external FETs or diodes, and accept operating input voltages up to 7V. Here IC MAX1551 provides typical charging current of 280mA and a voltage of about 4.2V to the battery, though it may change depending on the battery and its state. The MAX1674 converts the 3.7V. that we approximately have in the output of the battery into the 5V. the SquidBee mote needs to work. This device bares an output current up to 300mA, which should be more than enough to supply the mote whatever the sensors you have added.
Interfacing Solar panel with Arduino
Connect the solar panel positive (Red) wire to the IN-6V pin of charger board and also connect the negative (black) wire to the GND of charger board. Place the Lithium battery to Bat + & Bat – (Be careful on terminals don’t make mistakes in polarity). Bring wire from 5V, GND ouput from the charger board and connect to 5V, Gnd pin of Arduino board, thats all we have made solar powered Arduino board.