Solar Panels / Batteries for Powering Outdoor Things?

(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #1

I know this is something that others may say belongs on a completely different forum (and it does), but for ways in which it could apply here, to SmartThings, home automation, etc, I figured there may be enough acceptance to see how it goes. So, here goes…

Bloomsky Weather Station
(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #2

I know there are other threads that relate, and over time, I will try to link them here.

For starters, for people that have a BloomSky weather station, since the solar panels that come with it are more than is needed for the unit itself, it makes sense to try to use it for other things, if at all possible…

Continuing the discussion from Bloomsky Weather Station:

[quote=“sgnihttrams, post:1249, topic:38202, full:true”]
No sorries required. It’s great info that we should capture.
So, I created a thread for it…[/quote]


I was just actually thinking about it this morning when I was in my patio pondering how to power an outdoor wireless camera. That’s as far as I’ve gone with that thought though lol.

(Michael Hess) #4

Grab a bunch of old UPS batteries, they still hold a good amount of charge as long as you don’t need to run AC stuff off them, throw a charger between the panel and batteries, real cheap and not so efficient power source. Just make sure the batteries are in a NEMA enclosure or something.

Power sensors with this too. Replacing batteries outside, or even just having batteries in sensors outside when it’s cold would be terrible, this could solve that issue. BAM relevant to this forum again!

(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #5

ya, this is HUGE.
I have thought a lot about different kinds of things like this (e.g. I have an always-on, solar-powered, security cam system in my car) and I’m really looking forward to getting into more of it; especially around the house (i.e. whenever and wherever I can implement solar to replace fossil fuels for electricity it’s a ‘Smart Thing’, regardless of the exact tech involved).


I think I’m going to try and copy this one when I get a hold of a cheap panel, maybe even get one from harbor freight.

I can probably mount the camera on the post I used for my BS and camouflage it a little.

(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #7

Here’s a project idea for anybody looking for a way of killing some time…

For those of us with the BloomSky weather station (LINK), it has become painfully obvious that this unit suffers from the ‘direct sunlight is bad for temperature readings’ syndrome.

One of the solutions for this particular problem in the industry in general is to include a fan in the mix to continuously remove excess heat build-up from the temp monitoring element.

Well, I thought it would be cool to see if it’s possible to connect a fan of some sort to the BloomSky and have it powered by the same solar panel as the BloomSky unit itself.

Any takers?

(Andrew) #8

For your consideration:




It doesn’t seem like a solar/battery powered solution would be that hard.


I’m afraid my fan would need a fan to cool it down here in AZ :slight_smile:
:sunny: :sunny:


I’ve been searching for an answer to this question for a water shut off valve. My intake from the city to the house is in my front yard and I don’t have easy access to an outdoor outlet for it. I’ve been surprised how hard it is to find a ready-made solar panel/battery/charging circuit solution in a waterproof housing.

(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #12

Do you actually have to put it outside?
In my house, I am able to get to the main water line in the basement. Ya, it comes from outside in the front yard, but unless there’s something I’m forgetting, it doesn’t seem necessary to put the valve outside too.

(Paul) #13

In warm climates, and especially in mid century homes) it’s pretty common to have the meter and main shutoff outside (either above or below grade) and then have the pipe dive below a slab foundation.


Yeah that’s exactly me. I’m in a mid-century home on a pier and beam foundation in Texas. No basements in these parts. :slight_smile:

(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #15

OK…ya, I get the ‘no-basement’ thing (I know peeps in TX).

So, there’s no access point to the main line inside the house before it branches off, eh? Bummer.