Grove / Headers SunAirPlus Solar Power Controller/Data Collector
SunAirPlus is now available.
Ever wanted to build your own Solar Powered Raspberry Pi or Arduino system? SunAir and SunAirPlus are 3rd Generation Solar Charging and Sun Tracking Boards designed by Dr. John C. Shovic at SwitchDoc Labs.
SunAirPlus is customizable with your software and hardware.
Note that the battery and solar panel plugs on SunAirPlus are of type JST-PH 2 pin.
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How to Buy SwitchDoc Labs Products
United States and Worldwide: SwitchDoc Labs Store
Another Choice Within United States: Amazon.com (Free Shipping with Amazon Prime!)
Note: For the latest information and specifications, go to the product page on store.switchdoc.com
What are Grove Connectors?
SunAirPlus Ships with a Grove Adaptor Cable
SunAirPlus can be used with the Grove Connector fast prototyping system. Both Pin Headers and Grove connectors are supported.
How Do I Connect the Grove Connector on SunAirPlus?
You connect the included Grove to Female Pin Headers Adaptor Cable to the “From Computer” header as shown to the right.
Wire colors on standard Grove Cables are always the same.
Pin 1 – Yellow (for example, SCL on I2C Grove Connectors)
Pin 2 – White (for example, SDA on I2C Grove Connectors)
Pin 3 – Red – VCC on all Grove Connectors
Pin 4 – Black – GND on all Grove Connectors
- – Stepper Motor Controller / SunTracker
- – Turn off A USB Power Control with SunAirPlus
- – Directly Charge an iPhone / Android Phone from SunAirPlus
- – More More More Analog to Digital Inputs
What are the LEDs next to the Battery Plug?
Charging State LEDs
|CH pin level(Red LED state)||OK pin level(Green LED state)||Statements|
|low level(on)||high level(off)||Charging|
|high level(off)||low level(last on)||Complete|
|pulse signal(flash)||pulse signal(on)||The battery doesn’t exist or has been deeply discharged|
|high level(off)||high level(off)||No charging is taking place as the solar cell input voltage is too low|
SunAirPlus Product Specification
Data! Data! Data! More Cowbell!
SunAirPlus includes an I2C INA3221 3 Channel Current / Voltage Monitor and a I2C 4 channel 12 bit Analog to Digital Converter (ADS1015). The INA3221 allows you to monitor all of the major currents and voltages in the system (Battery / Solar Panels / Load – Computer ). You can tell what your solar power project is doing in real time.
Here are some results from the SunAirPlus board using the onboard INA3221. You can see that the battery is almost fully charged and the solar cell voltage (actually a variable power supply on the test bench) is 5.19V and it is supplying 735mA. The Output voltage is 4.88V because we are fiddling with the board. The Library works like a champ.
Test SDL_Pi_INA3221 Version 1.0 - SwitchDoc Labs Sample uses 0x40 and SunAirPlus board INA3221 Will work with the INA3221 SwitchDoc Labs Breakout Board ------------------------------ LIPO_Battery Bus Voltage: 4.15 V LIPO_Battery Shunt Voltage: -9.12 mV LIPO_Battery Load Voltage: 4.14 V LIPO_Battery Current 1: 91.20 mA Solar Cell Bus Voltage 2: 5.19 V Solar Cell Shunt Voltage 2: -73.52 mV Solar Cell Load Voltage 2: 5.12 V Solar Cell Current 2: 735.20 mA Output Bus Voltage 3: 4.88 V Output Shunt Voltage 3: 48.68 mV Output Load Voltage 3: 4.93 V Output Current 3: 486.80 mA
You can use this board to power your projects and add a servo or stepper motor to allow it to track the sun using photoresistors to generate even more power! It incorporates a number of outstanding features in a very compact, inexpensive single fully assembled and tested PC Board.
The major features of the SunAirPlus board are:
- Uses 6V Solar Cells
- Use 3.7V LiPo Cells for batteries
- Has LiPo to 5V voltage boost built in
- Directly powers Raspberry Pi / Arduino
- Works Raspberry Pi (3.3V) GPIO and Arduino (5.0V) GPIO
- Built-in data gathering chips for system currents /voltages
- Built-in Interface for Solar Tracking Photoresistor devices
- Built-in Interface for Servo motor or Stepper motor
- Built-in Interface for Limit Switches
- Charges iPhones and other phones or devices
- Approximates an MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) charging system
- Comes with a iPhone / iPad based Control Panel App ($2 on App Store – SunAirPlusPiConnect / SunAirPlusArduinoConnect)
- 3D SunAir Tracker OpenSCAD files available and STL files
RasPiConnect / ArduinoConnect Control Panel
The RasPiConnect/ArduinoConnect control panel for SunAirPlus is shown below. SwitchDoc Labs has completed a licensing agreement with MiloCreek to put a version of RasPiConnect and ArduinoConnect up on the Appstore for SunAirPlus customers for $2.00 (in April 2015). Those current owners of RasPiConnect / ArduinoConnect can download the configuration files from github.com/switchdoclabs in late March, 2015.
3D Printing Files for SunTracker
- Put it with your favorite project and make it solar powered!
- Make a Solar Powered Robot
- Install a servo motor or stepper motor and track the sun
- Add a SwitchDoc Dual WatchDog Timer to recover from failures, bad code or brownouts!
- 3D Print your own SunAirPlus solar tracker