Solar Powered ATtiny85

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Visit this project on my website!

The ATtiny85 is a tiny microcontroller (like the Arduino). This project is designed to provide continuous power to the circuit using a solar panel.

A basic solar charging circuit uses a diode to basically "force" the electricity from the solar panel into a battery for later use. I am using an ATtiny instead of a larger board like the UNO because it uses less power, so the circuit will be easier to power with a smaller (and cheaper) solar panel.

Step 1: Materials

Step 2: Build the Circuit

    Visit my website for a circuit simulation.

    1. Connect the solar panel to the battery through a diode (positive to positive, negative to negative)
    2. The battery* goes to the Vin and ground pins on the ATtiny
    3. LED is connected to pin 0 and ground through a resistor
    4. Upload code** (This is just a "Hello World example, yours could be anything):

    *Needs to be rechargeable (not a regular AA)

    **How to upload code to an ATtiny85

    void setup() {
      pinMode(0, OUTPUT);
    }
    
    void loop() {
      digitalWrite(0, HIGH);
      delay(500); // Wait for 500 millisecond(s)
      digitalWrite(0, LOW);
      delay(500); // Wait for 500 millisecond(s)
    }

    Step 3: How This Works

    A solar panel gets energy from absorbed light (obviously), and it sends this energy to a battery, but it needs a diode to do this. Diodes are like one-way gates: electrons can flow through one way, but they can't go back.

    A basic solar charging circuit uses a diode to basically "force" the electricity from the solar panel into a battery for later use. I am using an ATtiny instead of a larger board like the UNO because it use less power, so the circuit will be easier to power with a smaller (and cheaper) solar panel.

    Make it Glow Contest 2018

    This is an entry in the
    Make it Glow Contest 2018

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      4 Discussions

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      BrownDogGadgets

      3 days ago

      You need a change controller in this mix or you risk overcharging the battery, which could end up causing a fire.

      0
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      JanT14

      10 days ago

      Be shure to protect the battery with proper charge/discharge circuitry if you care about safety for both your battery and yourself.

      0
      None
      JemChalweDoPorzygu

      Tip 14 days ago

      Try to read about overcharging/discharging protection circuits ;

      1
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      tytower

      16 days ago

      Once you have learnt and understand that on diodes it is time to learn another property of diodes . All diodes have a zener point . That is a voltage on the diode that is high enough to force current back the other way . IE a diode might have a zener point of 22 Volts . If you put 24 Volts on it then 2 Volts will flow backwards ! The 22 Volts will be stopped.