The Solar Website

Under development


This website is entirely powered with solar energy. It also has its own internet, using a SIM card, so it will be online as long as there are sun and mobile signal.

It is running in a Django server hosted in a Raspberry pi Model 3b.

Currently under development (Click me)

This project is currently under development and in testing phase.

Current challenges:

Face the south
The server only works if it faces south during all sun hours. Currently that's not possible due to personal situation (my windows face north).
I can only set the device facing south when in certain situations. That's why the web is mostly offline.This situation should change in early April.
Power consumption
The Raspberry Pi 3 Model b requires a lot of power for the current battery and it only lasts 01 day (~30 hours) without sunlight. I'll buy bigger batteries.
Process power
If I use a Raspberry Pi Zero W, it lasts around 5 days with the current battery, but the process power is barelly enough for the Django server.
Limited knowledge about electronics
This project is not only to power a server just with the sun, but to track it's power generation and consuption, to understand better the capabilities of green energy and limitations of small computers.
I'm a programmer and have little knowledge about electronics, I learn by doing. It means that I can be wrong and not all what you see here is 100% reliable. Also, in many ocasions I need time to figure out what's not working and solve it.

Battery level

The following graph shows the Voltage present in the cirquit. It could be generated by the 12V battery when there's no sun or, when there is sun, the battery plus the solar panel (up to 18V).
The battery is considered charged when it is over 13.80V and discharged when the voltage drops to 10.9V.
The data is collected with an INA219 connected to the I2C ports of the Raspi.
When the current is positive, the energy flow out of the battery (discharge), when it's negative, it flows inside the battery (charge).


These are the measurements taken by the INA219 every 5 minutes or when the page is reloaded.


The Solar Website in Hack And Tell (Berlin)

I am super happy to share that this project was in the #86th edition of the Hack And Tell event and the public elected the project as Hack of The Month.

Roadmap and future development

The project is entirely depeloped during free time and as a hobby. Future things to be done, not necessarily in this order:

  • Keep track of Raspberry pi power consumption
  • Weld properly the different cirquits (now everything lays in a breadboad) Actually I will not need anything else than the Raspi
  • Improve webpage design
  • Document how to replicate the project
  • Make a list of components

For any comment or suggestion, please contact me in my LinkedIn account: Alvaro-c

Code available in GitHub. Bear in mind that it's still under development.