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Solar Power Operation of MINI-MAX Boards

Powering microcontroller boards from a solar power is useful in situations where a mains power source is not readily available. A good example is remote data collection. Many times, it is necessary to collect scientific data in nature. A remote weather station, a data collector that measures water level of a river, a roof-top humidity sensor are applications that can take advantage of solar power as the simplest power source.Our MINI-MAX boards are low-power microcontroller boards that allow solar powered operation.

Usually, a solar cell is coupled with a rechargeable battery that provides power to the system during night. Our boards are also suitable for battery powered operation.

The current consumption of MINI-MAX boards are typically well under 50mA. This amount can be reduced further by putting the microcontroller in idle mode when not in use.

Which solar cell should you use ?

MINI-MAX boards can accept power sources from 6 to 26V DC. This means that most solar panels are suitable for powering our boards. Typically, solar cells that are designed for trickle charging vehicle batteries are suitable since these already have a 12 Volts or higher output voltage and can typically supply at least 1-2 Watts of power which is more than sufficient for a MINI-MAX board.