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Arduino Solar Capabilities Answered

So I went and bought a 1.5 Watt 9v solar panel from radioshack today. It gets ~10.5v and ~80mA in full California sun, and ~10.2v and ~75mA in afternoon light.

Does anyone have any experience with running an arduino only on solar power? If so how much load can it take at this power level?


Try this

The PROCESSOR on an arduino will run down to 1.8V IIRC. You need a smart powersupply to use the variable voltage to drive the board efficiently.

I figured what I will end up doing is the trickle charging thing described by caitlinsdad below. I figure a 7.2v battery pack will be enough.

from arduino power requirements: 
should be between 9V and 12V DC (see note below);
must be rated for a minimum of 250mA current output, although you will likely want something more like 500mA or 1A output, as it gives you the current necessary to power a servo or twenty LEDs if you want to.

Most solar powered stuff uses the solar cells to trickle charge a battery.  You can run an arduino off of a 9v battery or 4 AA cells in a power pack.