Self Sufficient Arduino Board





Introduction: Self Sufficient Arduino Board

This is a self sufficient Arduino board, which is powered by harnessing solar power and using a 9V rechargeable battery. It is perfect for anyone who is interested in doing Arduino projects that do not require a computer or any power supply. You can take this to the most remote places for any project.

What you will need:
9V Rechargeable battery
Solar cells (About 11V)
1N4001 diode
100uf 10V capacitor
Arduino board
9V battery connector
Power connector (to connect to the Arduino board)

Step 1: Setting Up the Arduino Board

This is probably the simplest step (please use the schematic as reference for wiring before doing anything else).

Change the jumper of the Arduino board to "EXT"

Step 2: Understanding the Components

This step would require you to have a basic understanding of the components and their polarities. This is probably the toughest bit of the setup. For easier understanding, I have used red wires for positive and black wires for negative.

Step 3: Getting the Power Connector Ready

Solder the positive and negative wires to the power connector as shown in the picture. The power connectors come in different diameters, so do choose the correct size to fit the Arduino board.

Step 4: Wiring Up the Circuit

This shows the circuit I have soldered. I have made it bigger for easier understanding. It can actually be made much much smaller (half the size or even smaller).
You can download a more detailed document on this from my website at:

You're done! Now you can break away from power points and even have Arduino projects out in natural environments without a problem.



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    61 Discussions

    I have a 12V 150W pannel on my roof. Can I use this schematic also for it our the W is to high? I think it will generates 7A on its maximus.

    The link is dead. Please update the link. Link the file with dropbox or google drive.

    Shoud it need some sort of charging control? To protect the battery from overcharging or prevent full discharging?

    1 reply

    I too have this doubt. Anyone should give hand.

    how big your solar call en because if you have 12v solar cell en it is 3.5 watt it can do up to 200mA

    Is there any way where I could replace the battery with a 12v AC adapter and still use the solar power mostly during the day and AC adapter at night?

    1 reply

    not sure if yr question is still actual,but the problem u havewith that is that the 12 v is higher than the 9 V from the solar power and thus in the current circuit, the solarcel would never be used. You would need to bring down the adapter voltage to about 8 Volt to do what you want

    @wakojako that's correct. Sorry for such a late reply! It does improve the overall performance a little bit. It was also to protect the batteries from too many fluctuations as well.

    I am surprised no one added this, so I will: for a standalone Arduino, I would seriously consider a 3.3 volt board not the standard 5v edition.

    Adafruit has a tutorial on converting an Arduino Uno from 5v to 3.3v. There are loads of 3.3v Arduino designs about (including the awesome JeeNode, which fits in a medicine bottle and can last months on a boosted AA battery).

    Very cool project. I've been wanting to use this myself for some time. What's the capacitor for? Is it to even out fluctuations in the voltage? I'm new to electronics and am just trying to understand stuff that doesn't make sense. I'm sure its correct, just trying to "get it".

    4 replies

    The capacitor is to "smoothen" out the current. It is quite useful to have one in the circuit. :)

    Actually, the battery anyway absorbs the current spikes and lows so the capacitor isnot needed at all.

    Good Project. I Think you dont need the Cap. My Arduino (Duemilanove) Has Smoothing-Capacitors  "On Board".



    Yes it does "smoothen" the flow of electricity to the batteries, as the electric output from a solar cell is not always constant. Here is a link that might help you understand more on capacitors :)

    Your "Direction of flow of electricity" on your schematic is wrong. Electricity flows from negative to positive.

    2 replies

    With the advent of the transistor, this theory was proven wrong and has since been replaced. BTW: I have an old electronics textbook that teaches using this theory. Including the now outdated Fleming's Right-Hand Rule.