Tuesday, 16 September 2014

SOLAR POWERED ARDUINO WEATHER STATION



In country like India most of the people are dependent on agriculture. For effective planning in agriculture weather forecast is of utmost importance. So farmers are always interested in the Weather Forecasts. As farmers stay in remote areas, they have to wait for the news updates in TV, radio or newspapers. Unfortunately this weather information is not the accurate data of their local environment rather it gives data of nearest weather forecasting station.

Being a son of a farmer, I decided to monitor the local weather and inform to my father earlier. So that he can take early decision for his farm.








My weather stations typically consist of two major parts:
1. The sensors that sit outside and measure temperature, humidity, rainfall, and barometric pressure. This data is send wirelessly through a RF transmitter module to the display unit. I named the entire module as Transmitter module. (TX).

2. The display unit that lives inside in a convenient place so any one can read the external temperature, humidity etc. It equipped with a RF receiver to receive data from transmitter module. I named it as Receiver module (Rx).

Both the module are run by the arduino micro controllers.





As the transmitter module is deployed in the field, we have to deal with the power management. It is impractical to run a long cable to provide power to the sensor’s location. This leaves relatively few practical options.

1. Connecting directly an Arduino board to a battery. Though it sounds good and obviously it would work, but your battery would be depleted in a matter of days because some components like voltage regulators, power led and USB interfacing chip in the arduino board are always drawing power.

But now day’s high capacity battery packs are readily available in the market. Solar panels are getting more efficient and cheaper.  Adding a boost converter in the circuits extract every last drops of juice out of battery.


2. Putting the arduino to “sleep mode" to consume even less power.

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