These Voltaic panels are fantastic (I use two slightly smaller 6W panels) but they come with really flimsy plastic nuts to go with the embedded screws, and these plastic nuts are also rather large and take up valuable space when you try to construct the panel fastening system. I got a set of #4-40 nuts and washers (you can get them from Amazon or eBay etc) to replace the plastic nuts and make the whole setup much more stable. I use aluminum profiles, not sure about the chemical implications as the nuts are stainless steel. Time will tell.
Post by s0urkraut86 on Mar 8, 2019 13:13:31 GMT -8
ok yeah I definitely see the need for the zener. Good advice to replace the plastic nuts as well. as soon as my breakout pins come in for my pi zero wireless i will be swapping out the pi. In the future i would like to hook up the camera to another pi zero with another suncontrol board with another panel =). You guys are awesome thanks for all the inspiration. I am off to find myself a 5.6v 10w zener !!!!
Post by s0urkraut86 on Mar 8, 2019 18:39:18 GMT -8
Oo0o0o0..... just realized i still had my usb wirerless keyboard dongle still plugged in (hidden by the pi2grover) which makes sense why the output voltage seemed higher than normal on top of using a raspberry pi 3 A+. Etiher way i will be switching to a pi 0 wireless ....Ahh yes i found one on ebay as well.
Post by s0urkraut86 on Apr 14, 2019 17:42:21 GMT -8
It looks like i burnt out my suncontrol board it will no longer send power to the pi via the 5 volt usb port. i havent had had time to order a 5.4v zener and it looks like the 6.2v tooks it's toll although i am unsure why. i can no longer power the pi with the usb input either. the yellow charging light and the green charged are both on and nothing is going to the 5 volts. the switch that powers the 5 volt output is still on as well. any suggestions?
Your 9V panel should be able to replenish a 20000mAh battery (basically, add another battery to your existing one, just make sure they have the same voltage when you wire them together), and maybe even give you a fighting chance with the 3A+. You can consider to disable HDMI, Bluetooth, Audio and the blinkenlights on the Pi to get the power consumption down a bit. And maybe even consider cutting power to the whole Pi overnight.
Last Edit: Apr 15, 2019 7:34:35 GMT -8 by lbendlin
It's 5.6V not 5.4V, although 5.4 probably would work too.
The zener diode could not blow up your board. Only protect it.
Sounds like you blew out the boost.
There are two things that can kill a sun control board. High VOC panels (like the Voltaics panels) or high temperature charging (above 125 F). You can put a heat sink on the board to help out with the former and a 5.6V 10W Zener to protect against the latter.
We guarantee these boards with our smaller 6V panels, but other manufactures need more protection.
Post by s0urkraut86 on Apr 15, 2019 13:26:28 GMT -8
I do have two 10000mah pouches that I was about to wire together. I bought the 10mm heatsinks for the zener and the new sun control when i get it. I also thought about making an 18650 pack since I have a ton of them, has anyone used them for power before?. I do not remember the board getting that hot although I really wasn't monitoring the temp of the sun control board either. Thanks for the help ordering the new board today!!!.
Post by s0urkraut86 on Jun 7, 2019 10:43:38 GMT -8
I am using the sun control board with 5.6v zener a 10mm heatsink and a voltaic solar panel. Is that what you were asking by what board I have connected to the zener? I think I have everything going as planned however the temp sensor every few readings going down to -5000 degrees any idea what is causing that?
Neat setup. Do you have enough ventilation in the box? maybe some small holes in the bottom? The excess heat from the Zener/heatsink needs to have a chance to dissipate. I usually have a second temperature sensor inside the box (and one next to the CPU :-) ) . I also used a secondary solar panel that I had lying around to drive a 5V PC fan at the bottom of my box that pushes the hot air out of the box during maximum solar input.
Post by s0urkraut86 on Jun 18, 2019 9:30:30 GMT -8
Thank you! I dont have any ventilation yet but i do have the zener on a 10mm heatsink outside of the box and plan to keep the zener in the box during the winter. I need to find a "smart ventilation solution" due to really harsh winters winds, snow etc. Also i will be moving the box over to the other side of the deck and pitched up a bit so everyone will be able to see the weather better.