Solar panel for Rak 4631

I saw you have this solar panel here, but it didn’t mention anything about the rak 4631 Solar Panel

I was curious if this solar panel in this kit was the same panel. If not, where can I get a panel like this to charge my rak 4631 chips? Is a li-po 3200mAh battery the best battery to pair with the solar panel?

Yes. The solar panel is the same. But it is hard to say if that will be enough in your application.

You have to measure how much charging it can give you (by considering the amount and intensity of sunlight in your place). It can be a case to case basis.

If you want a stand alone system, you have to consider that the solar panel should be able to replenish whatever amount of energy was lost from your battery during night and no sunlight operation. The bigger the battery might be better but if your solar panel can’t keep up the pace to charge it, then sooner or later the battery will be just get drained.

That’s physics we can’t avoid. Energy in = Energy out + Energy losses.

Makes sense. What sized solar panel would be a better fit? Looking to order a few of them for future projects. Also is the 3200 the right size battery or should I get a little bit bigger to be safe?

Hmm. You have to know the values like what is the average discharge current on your device. Basically (ideal scenario), if you can charge the battery on the same value, you should be able to keep it up.

Just note that in solar panels (realistic scenario), you have to consider the worst case like what if there is a five day continuous rain, most likely you won’t get any charge from the sun so the battery should be able to keep up. Then when the sun is back, the solar panel should be able charge back again the battery full. It is up to you how will implement this. Batteries and Solar Panel is just a compromise of size and cost. If your application can allow you to have any size and whatever cost, they won’t have any headache.

1 Like

So I fixed the polarity on the battery, but for some reason when I put the pins all the way in, the board flashes green for a second and then it turns off. If I lightly barely put the connectors to the top, it stays flashing green but as soon as I push the pins in it turns off. Update, so the light doesn’t seem to be on but the chip is definitely sending data so looks like it works! Is there a reason the green light doesn’t stay on? Also if I attach a solar panel, how can I measure battery levels

Also does having it plugged into usb charge the battery?

The LED will only start at the beginning while the WisBlock Core is booting up. You can still control in code if you need.

You can measure the battery level via AIN(AIN0 in Schematic). We also have example code for that which you can find in your Arduino examples.

Plugging in the USB cable charges the battery too.