Schedule

Schedule

Friday, October 31

1414774800 Tech News Today
1414778400 This Week in Law
1414785600 Android App Arena
1414796400 Tech News 2Night

Saturday, November 1

1414864800 The Tech Guy

Sunday, November 2

1414954800 The Tech Guy
1414969200 This Week in Tech

Monday, November 3

1415037600 Tech News Today
1415041200 Triangulation
1415046600 iPad Today
1415059200 Tech News 2Night

Tuesday, November 4

1415124000 Tech News Today
1415127600 MacBreak Weekly
1415134800 Security Now
1415142000 Before You Buy
1415145600 Tech News 2Night
1415149200 All About Android
1415158200 Padre's Corner

Wednesday, November 5

1415205000 FLOSS Weekly
1415210400 Tech News Today
1415214000 Windows Weekly
1415221200 This Week in Google
1415232000 Tech News 2Night
1415239200 Ham Nation

Thursday, November 6

1415296800 Tech News Today
1415300400 Know How...
1415304000 Marketing Mavericks
1415309400 Coding 101
1415313000 Home Theater Geeks
1415318400 Tech News 2Night
1415320200 The Giz Wiz

Friday, November 7

1415383200 Tech News Today
1415386800 This Week in Law
1415394000 Android App Arena
1415404800 Tech News 2Night

Saturday, November 8

1415473200 The Tech Guy

Sunday, November 9

1415559600 The Tech Guy
1415574000 This Week in Tech

Most Recent Episodes

The Giz Wiz

Spark Watch, blacklight flashlight, and more.

Home Theater Geeks

Brian Vessa and SMPTE report on cinema sound.

Tech News 2Night

Microsoft Health Announced

Know How...

Project Loon 2.0, Quad Motors & Props

Coding 101
Episode #41: Mark Smith October 30th, 2014

Speaking with "Smitty", master of the microcontroller.

Marketing Mavericks
Episode #29: Trey Ratcliff October 30th, 2014

HDR Photography, blogging and creative commons pays off

Tech News Today
Episode #1125: Cook Out October 30th, 2014

Samsung reports miserable quarter, Microsoft announces fitness band, Tim Cook comes out, and more.

Ham Nation

Bob Heil shows how to DX on a vintage station.

This Week in Google

Larry Page hands leadership of many Google products to Sundar Pichai.

Tech News 2Night

Moblie Payment Terminal Wars

Know How... 91

F1 Turbo, Solar Powered Rasp Pi, and Goat Sim Tips

May 1 2014

Mercedes is wining F1 with a new twist on an old technology, power your Raspberry Pi with the sun, and Goat Simulator Tips.

Solar 101: Solar-Powered Pi

Materials:
Solar Panels
Charge Controller
Battery
12v to 5v (USB Charger)

Tools:
Wire Snips
Wire Strippers
Screwdrivers
Multimeter

Steps:
1. Determine the Draw of your Device(s)
2. Size your Battery
3. Calculate your Solar Panel Needs
4. Choose your Controller
5. Wire it!

The Draw of your Devices:
* If you're building for a house, you can look at your electricity bill for the past 12 months. That gives you a good indication of your total usage as well as your high and low usage months.
* For medium-applications, a Kill-O-Watt works well, but it has a large margin for error, especially when dealing with smaller devices
* If you're building for a small device, check the specs of the device(s) you want to power.
- A spec sheet is a good place to start
- Remember that you must also account for the inefficiency of any charging unit

A Raspberry Pie pulls 700 mA of current at 5 volts at maximum power. (It pulls 300mA at idle)

Watts = Volts * Amps
- W=VA
- West Virginia

That means the RasPi draws 700mA at 5volts, or 3.5 Watt/Hours at maximum load.
** We need to supply the RasPi with 84 Watt/Hours of power per day.

Size your Battery
You need a battery that will support your application.
* Your typically want a battery that can support your device(s) for an acceptable amount of time, assuming that there will be days when your solar panels are completely ineffective.
* For an application like the Raspberry Pi, since it doesn't draw that much, I wanted to design a system that could go 2 days without ANY solar power input.
- Since the daily draw of a RasPi is a maximum of 84 Watt/Hours a day, I need at least 168 Watt/Hours of storage.
* Most small-application solar charge regulators work at 12 or 24 volts. I chose 2 x 12v 8Ah battery that will give me 192 Watt/Hours of storage

Make SURE to get a deep-cycle battery. If you don't you'll quickly find that your batteries don't provide their rated power because of the memory effect. (Most batteries are NOT designed to run all the way down.

Calculate your Solar Panel Needs:
You need to know (1. Draw of your devices) and (2. PEAK Hours in your Location)

Peak Sun Hours is the equivalent number of hours per day when solar irradiance averages 1,000watts per square meter.
- You want to know the amount of sun energy you'll receive per day on the WORST MONTHS of the year.
- Included is a "worst case scenario" solar map based on data from the past 30 years.

* You can use this information to determine how much panel you need.
* In our example. We know that our draw will be 84 Watt/Hours a day
- We need a panel that can generate 84 Watt/Hours a day with MY Peak Hour value
- We also need to keep in mind the charging of the battery. The more power OVER than number, the faster I'll charge a depleted battery.
- I also like to give myself a margin of safety to account for inefficiencies. (I use 20%)

In my location in San Francisco, the worst-case Peak Sun value is 3.6
- That means I can expect MAXIMUM solar exposure for a minimum of 3.6 hours a day
- I have two 90Wh batteries to fill and 84Wh of draw, but only 12.6 Watt/hours of that draw (3.6 hours x 3.5 Watts/hour) will come from the solar panel, the rest will come from the battery.
- I also want to account for the inefficiencies of the system. (I'll add in another 40W/h)
- That means I want a Solar Array that can give me ~240W/H in those 3.6 hours of Peak Sun.

I actually have a 240W/H solar panel… which means I am WAY over supplying the Pi!

Choose your Solar Charger
- You need a unit that will support the total wattage of your Solar Panels AND the total draw of your electronic devices.

Connect with us!
Don't forget to check out our large library of projects on this site. If you want to search for a topic, try this custom search engine. Also, check out our transcripts.
- Google+ Community at gplus.to/twitkh
- Tweet at us at @padresj and @Cranky_Hippo
- Email us at knowhow@twit.tv