My new Internet of Things project is a solar powered mini weather station. Sensors will be able to measure temperature, humidity, and UV index. Since this unit is solar powered, it has an on board battery that keeps the station going at night time when the sun goes down.
Also, the solar panel is so small that, even in bright sun light, it can not power the weather station alone. So the unit will have to shut down the wifi radio and go into sleep mode and only wake up every once in awhile to connect to the Internet and report the observations. The 500maH battery that gets charged by the sun should be able to power the unit at full power for 6 hours when the battery is completely charged up, so there is plenty of reserve power.
As well as being able to measure the weather information, the device can also monitor the amount of power the solar cell is generating and the battery level. This will help the device get smart at how much power (how many times a day it can connect to the Internet) is can use without depleting the battery backup.
I’m thinking, since it is connected to the Internet it can also get weather forecasts to predict how much potential sun energy is will receive in the future. The idea is to have a weather station that can operate autonomously without having to connect an external power source.
I’ll be updating the progress of this experiment as new information comes in. The battery is almost charged up, soon I can load the software on the device and turn it on.