Solar Power System

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

We’ve been working on the power system for our Spirit II Mars Rover, which, like the real Spirit robot on Mars, will be solar powered.¬†We plan to use four small solar panels. Each one is about 7″ x 9″ and delivers about 9.5 Volts / 0.65 Amps / 5.2 Watts.

We wired two pair of panels into a series circuit to double the voltage of the output, then wired the pairs together into a parallel circuit to double the current amperage. We the combined unit to a little voltage regulator that feeds a lithium polymer smart battery, which in turn will feed the electronics, motors, and servos of the Mars Rover robot.

Today we wired the panels in series/parallel, hooked everything together, and powered our main Arduino microcontroller. It worked and it was very cool!



Comments (4)

  1. victor
    October 19th, 2011

    Very cool! I’ve been looking for something under that same construct~ but for an autonomous data collector. Do you have any specifics, particularly the charge regulator scheme?


  2. Camille Beatty
    October 19th, 2011

    Victor, Thanks! The “Smart Lithium Power Pack” that you see in the drawing is a MP3450i R2 from a company called Tekkeon. We are also using the Extended Battery ( and Solar Charging Adapter.

  3. victor
    October 20th, 2011

    Awesome! much appreciated.
    Now my daughter is inspired by you guys, she soldered for the first time last night (repairing her spooky BlinkM glowing eyes).

  4. sreejith
    September 30th, 2012

    do any have the details or drawing of the chassis pls be kind to send to my mail

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