5 months ago
#3504 Quote
QUESTION
"We would like to use the OmniSense system for monitoring a timber construction. There are no nearby accessible power outlets for the gateway. We were thinking about the possibility of eventually powering the gateway with a solar panel. What are your thoughts on this? Have you already installed gateways with solar panels? Is this a possible solution and if so what do we need to watch out for?  We do not need a constant connection, if the gateway works only during the day and in sunshine for this purpose it is sufficient."

ANSWER
The short answer is you can power anything from solar with a large enough solar panel and proper battery backup.  The longer answer is that the OmniSense gateway draws about 3 watts when using its built in cellular modem.  You will have to use a solar insolation calculator to compute the solar panel size you will need.  We also recommend the use of a battery such as this one.  Note that not all USB batteries are suitable.  Some will not automatically turn on their output power when they are drained and then recharged.  In other words once they detect that their battery is low they will shut down output power and after your solar panel charges them back up they will _not_ turn their output power on again.  They require a human to push a button.  The link we provided is for a USB battery that is known to "do the right thing" and restart output power if and when the battery has the power to drive it.  Note that you do not need a battery and the OmniSense gateway is designed to tolerate random power outages however the use of a battery is the "right way" to design a solar power system.

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