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Solar Panel Project: Will it Work?

  1. Jul 9, 2017 #1
    So I'm building raspberry pi & camera powered buy a solar panel system to make a automatic timeline of a constructing site (It needs to work for about ~9months).
    The rasp only needs to be on a few minutes a day to take a picture or really small video (max 1min). So this is my plan:

    1x Solar Cell 6V 330mA
    1x RaspBerry Pi Zero W (latest edition) + Camera
    1x Normal SmartPhone Power Bank (Input: 5V 1000mA && Output: 5V 1000mA && 2600mAh)
    1x Pololu 5V Step-Up/Step-Down Voltage Regulator S7V7F5
    1x Arduino Nano
    1x RTC Module
    1x Transistor

    My main goal is to maintain the Arduino with the RTC Module turned ON all the time and every day at, for example, 4PM it turns on the rasp and after 10minute it cuts off the rasp's power again via the transistor (the rasp will auto shutdown itself after the picture/video is taken). PS: All of this is powered by the power bank
    The solar cell will always be connected to the voltage regulator and in turn, the voltage regulator will always be connected to the power bank.

    Will this work? What would you improve?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2017 #2
    Providing that the available sunlight is sufficient to keep this setup functional I guess it should work.
    Can't see anything wrong with the idea.
  4. Jul 10, 2017 #3
    Thanks for your feedback!
  5. Jul 10, 2017 #4
    I too think that it can work.

    However, I would use a mobile phone with a solar charger/power bank, without a SIM//on plane mode.
    There are apps for periodic photo save, and without any wireless connection the solar charger would be able to provide enough power, with decent margin for rainy days.
  6. Jul 10, 2017 #5
    The arduino does not have a real time clock, if all you are using it for is to turn the Pi on and off, there is probably a better way, I assume the PI has some type of sleep mode and use the RTC to drive an interrupt.
  7. Jul 12, 2017 #6
    Yes! That'd be perfect! to use the rtc as an direct on and off "switch" for rasp! But the thing is, how can I do it? Without an ardudino?
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