For decades, people have searched for ways to store ambient energy, and in the age of Internet of Things devices, this is combined with the desire to power sensors and mobile devices. This project demonstrates a basic eco-friendly implementation of a solar powered IoT sensor.
On a high level, The IoT Solar Harvester transmits sensor data using a WiFi connection. It is powered by solar energy, which is gathered and managed by an energy harvester (LTC3106) that powers the IoT sensor and stores excess energy into a rechargeable battery, to be used when the solar panel doesn’t provide enough power.
The entire system is monitored using the Cayenne software, allowing to check in real time the data delivered by the Sensor, the status of the Sleep mode and up-time; historic data delivered by the sensor is saved also and can be seen nicely.
Of course, improvements can be added, like using static IP to reduce the start-up time -saving more power-, a voltage divider to measure the remaining power of the auxiliary battery, more sensors, notifications and so on.
This project started as an Idea for the ESP8266 IoT Contest – Simplify the Connected World contest and once more, thanks to Sparkfun, I got a free ESP8266 Thing – Dev Board to get the project rolling.
So here it is, the IoT Energy Harvester using Cayenne project page, where you can find the schematics, code and a lot more details and useful information.