MPPT Solar Charger and 5V power supply for 24/7 operation of intelligent devicesDesigned by danjuliodesigns, LLC in United States of America
New Firmware 2.0 supports 12V LiFePO4 batteries Description The MPPT Solar Charger is an intelligent solar charging system and power supply designed to provide power to IOT-class devices (Arduino typ…Read More…
New Firmware 2.0 supports 12V LiFePO4 batteries
The MPPT Solar Charger is an intelligent solar charging system and power supply designed to provide power to IOT-class devices (Arduino type through Raspberry Pi 3 type) in remote, solar-powered environments. It manages charging a 12V AGM lead acid or LiFePO4 battery from common 36-cell 12V solar panels. It provides 5V power output at up to 2A for systems that include sensors or communication radios. Optimal charging is provided through a dynamic perturb-and-observe maximum power-point transfer converter (MPPT) and a 3-stage (BULK, ABSORPTION, FLOAT) charging algorithm. A removable temperature sensor provides temperature compensation. Operation is plug&play although additional information and configuration may be obtained through a digital interface making it an ideal companion to intelligent or internet-connected devices.
The use of commonly available 12V solar panels and AGM (UPS) lead-acid or LiFePO4 batteries allows for an inexpensive system capable of operating systems 24/7 even in inclement weather and over a wider temperature range than systems using other battery technologies. Lead Acid batteries can be charged down to -20°C and LiFePO4 batteries can be charged down to 0°C.
I developed the MPPT Solar Charger as a result of feedback from my Solar Pi Platter from customers that wanted 24/7 operation of their devices from solar power. The MPPT Solar Charger has been in development and tested in several locations and all seasons for years. If you're interested, you can read about its development on hackday.io.
Comes with a spare fuse and 6-pin header. An optional wiring kit includes battery and dupont cables for connecting to your device as well as remotely mounting the temperature sensor.
The MPPT Solar Charger comes with full software support.
Compatible Panels and Batteries
The MPPT Solar Charger is designed to use standard 25- or 35-Watt 12V solar panels with 6-cell AGM type lead acid or 4-cell LiFePO4 7-Ah to 18-Ah 12V batteries. It has a maximum charge capacity of about 35-38 watts. A detailed sizing method is described in the user manual but it is possible to use smaller or larger panels and batteries depending on the application.
Typically a 25-Watt panel is paired with a 7-Ah battery for small systems (Arduino-type up to Raspberry Pi Zero type). A 35-Watt panel is paired with 9-Ah to 18-Ah batteries for larger systems. Larger batteries provide longer run-time during poor (lower light) charging conditions. A larger panel can provide more charge current during poor charging conditions.
Solar panels should be the 36-cell types with a typical maximum power-point of around 18V and maximum open-circuit voltage of 23V (typical 21-22V). Available panels and batteries I have tested with are shown below.
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Colin | Oct. 5, 2020
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