Powering Particle Photon with battery and solar

i have a Particle Photon and want to power it with a LiPo battery and solar.
I understand I will need a battery/power shield but which is better?

  1. Spark Fun SKU: DEV-13626 but read some issues about it not charging the battery when the Photon is off?

  2. Particle Power Shield for Photon SKU: CE05024 seems the best option?

Anyone know the pros and cons of each?



Hi Kim,

CE05024 will certainly do the job. DEV-13626 isn’t designed for Solar so there might be some quirks.

There are other options, such as:


Some DIY needed for connectors etc. This is handy for making custom power leads:

Hi Graham,
Thanks for the quick answer. I like the look of the Solar Lipo charger, or rather the price, but am a bit worried about the input voltage rating with solar as I know some panels can go up to 20V.

So I think I will go with the CE05024. Any advice on a solar panel? For my electron projects I have been using the Adafruit SKU: ADA200 which is great but too expensive and overkill for this.

Do you know anything about the SEED studio panels, was thinking of the 1W panel. The photon will only be on once an hour for a minute at most.



If in your position, I’d work backwards from a safe-guess for how much energy my project would use in a day. I’d pick a panel that can get about double that wattage within 6 hours.

For the battery, I’d perhaps triple the safe-guess energy needed.

With all that safety baked in, I’d be feeling fairly comfortable ignoring all of the efficiency curves / science behind those choices!

Good advice. If you’re worried about voltage spikes coming from your panel, you could always implement a voltage clamp on the input of the board to protect it, but if you follow Graham’s advice as above, you shouldn’t have any issues.