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!