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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?

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Try this
http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/solar-charger-shield-v2-p-914.html

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.