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nick.mccloud
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:08 pm

Once I get my hands on a 'spare' Raspi my website will be going green!

(the first one will be cherished, the second will probably explode when I try the GPIO)

hgat
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:43 pm

I also would like to do this! However I have never set up my own server before, how much traffic could it handle?

Lynbarn
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:57 pm

Hgat said:


I also would like to do this! However I have never set up my own server before, how much traffic could it handle?



RAM might be an issue, but it looks like it could be done: see here: http://www.lowendbox.com/blog/.....w-end-vps/

i haven't looked, but this site may have other useful resources for this sort of thing.

prodata
Posts: 163
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:10 pm

'Solar-powered'? Is this planned to run 24/7/365? If so then you do appreciate that it will take quite a chunky solar PSU to run reliably? Even 5V @ say 0.5A continuous needs more than a modest solar PSU for 24/7 operation, especially at this time of year.

We run something similar (perhaps a little more power-hungry than the Pi, though not by much) and it's down at the moment because even a 60W 12V panel and a 75Ah battery isn't fully sufficient for mid-winter conditions in the UK.

But maybe you're not intending it for winter operation or only when the sun is shining?

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alexandru.cucu
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:02 pm

I was also considering a similar solution.

The solar powered web server sound nice, but you will have problems during the night or cloudy days

To keep it running 24/7 you will need expensive solar panels ( + charging / discharging controller + rechargeable batteries.

A 10 Watt solar panel is twice the price of a Raspberry Pi. If you add a 7.2 A Pb rechargeable battery and a charging controller you get at about 100 Euros.

A good idea would be to add a wind turbine to compensate for the lack of sunlight.

The price continues to grow...

Add a weather proof enclosure + voltage regulator + ...

Suddenly you don't want to do this any more
https://launchpad.net/~alexandru.cucu

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nick.mccloud
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:10 pm

OK buzzkills - no one ever said it would be cheap or easy.

As for traffic, you'll be surprised what a low memory optimised config can do.

As for solar panel, charger, battery etc, that's part of the fun isn't it?

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alexandru.cucu
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:15 pm

Someone was thinking about something similar in 2009:

http://www.whatsmykarma.com/blog/?p=252
https://launchpad.net/~alexandru.cucu

spurious
Posts: 343
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:31 pm

wind, solar and batteries, with mains backup!

prodata
Posts: 163
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:08 pm

nmcc said:


OK buzzkills – no one ever said it would be cheap or easy.

As for traffic, you'll be surprised what a low memory optimised config can do.


Sorry – no-one wants to do that. But to avoid disappointment/wasting time and money, it is worth being vaguely realistic about how much power even a very low power (PC-type) device uses relative to the limited power (looked at as a 24/7 average in eg a UK winter) that even a sizeable solar panel generates.

What would be interesting (when possible) would be to get a real-life estimate of how much power a Pi operating in a minimal configuration (but still doing useful work) might consume. I guess since this idea involves a web server that it would need to be a Pi-B and so maybe the minimum might be eg 300mA, but there's no substitute for real data. And there's going to be some inefficiency supplying this from eg a 12v panel even with a good SM PSU, so you're probably looking at 2W continuous draw but it would be really interesting to know for sure. (As you might have guessed, I've got a first-hand interest in this – because this is how I'll be running a Pi.)

@Cracknel: I think you need to be thinking of at least a 30W panel and eg a 40-50Ah battery. Of course it all depends on how long you want the system to keep running if we get several days in succession of North Sea gloom (placed in a Cambridge, UK context), but even for non-critical systems, people often like to factor in a 10-day reserve.

And yes I agree, the wind turbine would be a nice supplement, but the cheapest 'serious' turbine I know of would be a Rutland 504 or similar where you're looking at eg £300 or thereabouts as the cost.

Overall, I'd suggest that the current draw for a Pi-type device needs to drop into the 20-50mA range (@5V) before it comes practicable to power it continuously from a relatively small/cheap solar PSU.

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alexandru.cucu
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:09 pm

DIY wind turbine from a bicycle dynamo/servo motor with some blades made from a PVC pipe?
https://launchpad.net/~alexandru.cucu

slacer
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:13 am

Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:18 pm

I like the idea to have a solar powered RPi, too. But this is not the only device in your infrastructure if you are going to connect it to the internet.

A router, a modem, a harddisk,...

But you could think about a webserver with solar power support.

Use the sunlight if it is available, and don't think about night time.

There really is no need to switch completly from power grid to you own solar powered system, because a hybrid system is less expensive ( smaller panels/rechargeable batteries,...).

Just stick a dynamic logo on your website which shows if your webserver is currently solar powered or not. A nice chart could display some statistics about your solar project.

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alexandru.cucu
Posts: 75
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Re: Solar powered web server

Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:29 pm

This project:

http://www.david-brenner.net/2.....-repeater/

With many articles on:

http://www.danlampie.com/

Looks interesting
https://launchpad.net/~alexandru.cucu


Dapa
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:02 pm

Re: Solar powered web server

Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:35 pm

From two years ago (before pi) this person attempted a solar powered, zero energy, ARM-based web server using a SheevaPlug :-

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/11 ... me_server/

bblood
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:54 am

Re: Solar powered web server

Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:46 pm

I have a rpi server running from 45 watt solar and 75 or 80 AH rv battery....no where near enough capacity. My Pi is streaming on demand mjpg at 1 frame per second, and powering an arduino that monitors temp and voltage...the internet connectivity is wifi, which is a huge drain...adding more sensors soon...also adding a small wind turbine soon...I am at 45 degrees north and my pi went dark sometime in October due to lack of sunshine.....I have to charge the battery every couple days now....even if the sun comes out....I am eagerly awaiting the A model Pi as I hear it consumes a third as much power....

During the summer my system had a surplus of power....this is a fun project and really illustrates how robust a solar system is required for even a tiny, low voltage load.

I will be adding current sensors to measure load amps and supply amps from sun and wind soon.....

Vub
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:21 am

Re: Solar powered web server

Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:27 am

how about using a golf cart battery?
They are 6vdc
Best bang for the buck

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