>> IoT IN ACTION - REMOTE MONITORING STATUS UPDATE
I promised a follow up on this project, so here it is!
I made another road trip down to the building site to check on the status of
the project and like you would expect with any project like this - it didn't
go perfectly as planned; but thankfully I had a backup plan (which worked) and
have the opportunity to make adjustments.
I was confident that the system would operate without power issues for a few
days. The concern was if the power being provided by the solar panel to top-up
the battery was sufficient enough - the power being drawn needs to be lower
than the amount added.
In theory; since the battery was rated to support 36 Amp hours and the
Arduino Yún drains approx 300mA and I assumed the BlackBerry Z10
would draw 750mA only when needed to top-up the internal battery - the 15W
1A solar panel should be sufficient. Unfortunately - not.
The solar panel was rated produce max 1A in optimal conditions, however
this typically requires direct sunlight and since the plan was to conceal
the deployment and it was nested amongst trees and shrubs - even with summer
approaching, the days are typically overcast and the battery dropped from
a nice charge of 13.1V (full = 12.6V) all the way down to 12.0V - it would be
when it hits 11.8V; so I was running it close!
I did some research and I decided to pick up an additional
solar panel and connect it in
parallel with the existing one - placing them in different locations to
maximize the rays from the sun (one may be in the shade, other in the sun).
The net result?
A setup pumping out a maximum of 5.85A in optimal conditions - using
a multimeter I recorded a measurement of 2.50A in non-optimal conditions
- more than sufficient.
One of my neighbours informed the workmen of the setup - thankfully they were
not too upset about it; they thought it was cool and I can also reposition
After three hours mingling with the builders - I saw the battery go
from a stale 12.0V to 12.4V in spotty overcast conditions that confirms
sufficient power is being routed to the battery to operate the setup and
have enough left over to maintain a charge in it.
I will make a visit in a week or so to make some progress photographs of
the house from different angles
(I should have setup a drone for a fly-by option) and hopefully
confirm the setup is self-sustaining and be confident to keep an eye on
things when I return to Europe.