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Solar harvesting into supercapacitors

This is a 0.8x0.6 inch board with AEM10941 solar harvesting IC charging supercapacitors

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The AEMSUCA is a 0.8x0.6 inch board for the AEM10941 Solar Harvesting IC from E-peas. It efficiently converts solar panel energy into supercapacitor charge, it even works with indoor light. It features 3.3V and 1.8V regulated outputs that are enabled when the supercapacitor has sufficient charge, and a low voltage warning that informs the user of impending shutdown when the supercapacitor runs low. It easily integrates in other projects because of the castelllated via's, and when soldered onto 0.1' pitch header it fits in a bread board. I am selling this board on Tindie. This project is related to https://hackaday.io/project/159139-tiny-solar-energy-module-tsem and https://hackaday.io/project/160376-solar-harvesting-into-li-ion-battery

I designed it because I took part in the HackadayPrize2018 Power Harvesting challenge with a 1x1 inch Tiny Solar Energy Module and found a lot of interest in selling it. However since most projects have different power demands and people want to choose their own solar panel, I decided to remove the onboard solar cells. In addition I wanted a variant of the board that could charge a supercapacitor. 

This board is special because it integrates maximum power tracking, supercapacitor charging and two regulates outputs in a tiny and easy to integrate board. There's is no other board with so little passive components.

Ideal for indoor applications

The AEM10941 harvesting IC is very suitable for indoor applications because it has an ultra low power startup. The boost converter starts at a very low 380 mV input voltage and 3 uW input power. The IC gets most power out of the solar cells by doing MPPT maximum power point tracking every 5 seconds.

Specifications

  • PCB 2 layers (0.8 x 0.6 inch)
  • solar input voltage 50mV to 5V
  • ultra low power startup 380mV/3uW
  • solar input current max 110mA
  • MPPT every 5 secs, MPPT set to 70% (adjustable)
  • Storage element: you need to connect two supercapacitors
  • 3.3V/80mA and 1.8V/20mA regulated outputs that are enabled when the supercapacitor voltage has exceeded 3.92V (enabled theshold) and not fallen below 3.60V (disable threshold)
  • 3.3V status output pin that warns the host MCU if supercapacitor voltage drops below 3.60V and 600ms before shutting down the regulated outputs.

Q&A about supercapacitors

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