How to Power Arduino with Solar Panel

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of an exciting Arduino project only to realize you're limited by the availability of power sources? Whether you're out in the field conducting experiments or creating a remote IoT monitoring system, the need for a reliable power solution becomes apparent. This is where solar power comes into play, offering a sustainable and renewable energy source that can keep your projects running indefinitely. In this guide, we'll explore how to power your Arduino projects using solar panels, drawing from real-world experience and practical solutions.

Before we dwell into how we can power Arduino with solar panel we recommend the following previous tutorials on solar panel.

a. How to Choose a Solar Panel for Your Electronics Project

b. How to Make a Solar Power Supply with Battery

c. How to Make a DIY Joule Thief Circuit for Powering Batteries

d. How to Make a DIY LiPo Charger

e. How to estimate Battery life?


The Challenge: 

Picture this: you're in the great outdoors, far away from traditional power sources, yet you're determined to keep your Arduino project operational. The sun is shining bright, offering an opportunity to harness its energy. But how do you effectively convert solar power into a usable form for your Arduino?

The Solution: 

Enter the 5V solar cellphone charger, a compact and efficient solution for powering your Arduino projects. These chargers, such as the one depicted in the picture below, provide a convenient interface between solar panels and your devices, ensuring a seamless energy transfer.

arduino solar charging circuit

Why Use a Ready-Made Charger Circuit? 

Unless you're a seasoned electrical engineer designing custom circuits, opting for a ready-made charger circuit is the most straightforward approach to solar powering your Arduino. These circuits are designed to handle the intricacies of solar energy conversion, saving you time and effort in the process.

Calculating Power Requirements: 

To determine the feasibility of powering your Arduino with a solar panel, it's essential to consider the power consumption of your device. For instance, an Arduino Uno typically consumes around 50mA of current. With a 4Ah charger/battery, basic calculations reveal that:

400050=80 hours

This means that a fully charged 4Ah battery can power the Arduino Uno for approximately 80 hours.

Optimizing Power Consumption: 

While the Arduino Uno is a versatile ATmega328P microcontroller, it's not the most energy-efficient option out there. To minimize current consumption and prolong battery life, consider alternatives such as the Arduino Pro Mini. With its external USB interface, you only need to connect it when programming the Arduino, reducing current consumption to a mere 16mA.

Additionally, employing software techniques to put the Arduino into sleep mode periodically can further reduce power consumption, extending the operating life of your solar-powered setup.


In the realm of Arduino projects, the quest for sustainable power solutions is an ongoing journey. By harnessing the power of the sun through solar panels and leveraging efficient charging circuits, you can unlock a world of possibilities for your projects. Whether you're monitoring environmental data or creating remote sensing devices, solar power offers a reliable and eco-friendly energy source to keep your Arduino projects running smoothly, even in the most remote locations.

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