PowerFilm Solar Inc

Indoor Solar: Powering Higher Draw Devices

Posted on 10/19/2018 at 01:12 PM by Samuel Jones

Indoor Solar: Powering Higher Draw Devices Blog Post Title Graphic

In some cases, devices may require more power than a reasonably sized solar panel can produce. If the device doesn’t need to run continuously, a solar solution is usually still possible.


The simplest solution is to use a solar panel to charge a battery.


The battery can charge while the device is off, then provide adequate power when the device is on.


As long as the energy produced by the solar panel is greater than the average energy used by the device, the battery will be maintained.


Another simple method is to collect energy and then turn the device on once you have stored up enough to run the device. This pulse-like method works well with higher power consumption applications where the frequency that the device turns on is not critical.



The Solar Development Kit (DEV-BASIC) can be configured to implement this pulsing method. The video above shows a fan being powered using indoor solar.


This functionality is implemented by taking advantage of the load disconnect feature on the BQ25570 energy harvesting chip utilized by the Indoor Solar Development Kit.


The DC motor requires much more power than is available at indoor light levels. The workaround is to collect and store the available energy in a capacitor.


Once the capacitor is fully charged, the output to the DC motor is enabled and the fan will turn on.


To make devices run longer per pulse, a larger capacitor, which can store more energy, can be used.   


The more energy collected, the more often the device will turn on. To make the device turn on more often, additional solar can be added or the device can be moved to a brighter indoor environment.


The Solar Development Kit is compatible with any of PowerFilm’s Indoor Light Series Electronic Component Solar Panels and is a great tool for experimenting and prototyping with indoor solar.


If you have ideas, projects, or devices that could benefit from indoor solar we can work together to develop the optimal solar solution for your application. Contact us or leave a comment below.


Categories: Internet of Things

Janice, Thanks so much for your comment! Please let me know if you have any questions. We are happy to help any way we can.
Seth Hansen | www.powerfilmsolar.com | 08/28/2020 at 07:30 AM
I found it interesting that you state that the use of solar energy will greatly increase the energy output during the hours of the day where it is most demanded. My brother owns a small IT business that outsources to other companies and he wants to start decreasing the amount of energy he uses. I will send him this information so he can start looking into solar as an alternate source of power.
Janice Jenkiens | 08/28/2020 at 06:15 AM
Camelia, thanks so much for the kind words! We will most definitely continue sharing posts.
Seth Hansen | www.powerfilmsolar.com | 02/21/2019 at 08:23 AM
Thank you for sharing an informative blog! This blog increases my knowledge about solar power. Utilizing solar energy we can save the diminishing non-renewable fuel resources as well as also can be sustained for future generations. Keep sharing blogs.
Camelia John | 02/21/2019 at 04:23 AM
Shaalom, Thanks so much for reading the article and for your comment.
Seth Hansen | www.powerfilmsolar.com | 12/05/2018 at 07:59 AM
Shaalom alli | 12/05/2018 at 12:49 AM
Dilip Kumar j Thakker, please let me know the best email address to use to get ahold of you. Would love to share the information you need with you.
Seth Hansen | www.powerfilmsolar.com | 11/12/2018 at 07:12 AM
Interested for commercial use N marketing
Dilip Kumar j Thakker | 11/12/2018 at 12:12 AM
Thanks so much, Stak Ma-imjie. We look forward to being a part of your IoT solution!
Seth Hansen | www.powerfilmsolar.com | 10/20/2018 at 10:19 AM
We are building the Smart Farm Application that we plan to use PowerFilm as the Power Source of the IOT devices. This is perfect fit what we are looking for the IOT solution device in Asia Pacific Region customer. Thank you for PowerFilm to provide the best fit solution for future of Internet of Things. Thank you, Stak Ma-imjie PowerFilm Distributor in APAC
Stak Ma-imjie | www.drgreenenergy.com | 10/19/2018 at 04:57 PM
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