Solar Power for a 12V Circuit?

Hi folks, first post here so sorry if I miss some standard information!

I’m looking to use a LiPo being charged by a set of solar panels (currently looking at a few of wired in series, though their output would be less than 12V) to run a 12V circuit. I’ve only ever dabbled in some basic Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects before, but I’ve always been a bit nervous around LiPos so could use any pointers you’ve got!

My initial thought was using SparkFun’s Sunny Buddy ( to charge a single cell LiPo, which was then connected to some kind of voltage regulator ( to step up the output from the cell to 12V.

Would this kind of a setup work? Or is there an issue with discharging from the battery while it’s being charged at the same time? Alternatively, is there any way I could rig up a way to charge a 3s LiPo using solar panels rather than charging a single cell?


Hi Cormac,

Welcome to the forum! :smiley:

That sounds exactly right. I’ve linked a list of all of the parts that you’d need to get set up with that and then you should be able to use it for your project. Battery capacity must be greater than 450 mAh but is able to be almost any value above that.

If you can use a 6 V panel this would be a great choice too:

All the best with your project!

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