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Solar Powered Weather Stations

Solar Power Systems For Weather Sensors

Remote sensors used in wireless weather stations are powered by one of two sources of energy; batteries or solar power systems. Remote sensor and batteries will eventually be depleted and must be replaced on a regular basis. Unfortunately data can be lost during those times. Many wireless weather stations have to be completely reset when replacing sensor batteries, which typically means you will have to remove the batteries from the indoor console as well (always power up the weather sensors first before turning on the indoor console). A solar powered weather station has the advantage of being able to provide energy for long periods of time. The downside is that over time, solar power systems collector panels degrade and will eventually have to be replaced. Overall, solar power systems are the most dependable source of power for remote sensors.

Typically, solar powered weather stations are made up of several components. The solar panels power the sensors during the hours of daylight and at the same time recharge an attached battery pack, which is then used for sensor power after the sun goes down. In some professional weather stations, such as the Davis Vantage Pro2, the solar panels charge up a capacitor that then discharges during nighttime providing power to the sensors. This system also relies on a lithium battery pack for backup power should the capacitive discharge component be depleted. Rechargeable lithium batteries are also highly recommended for use as as opposed to rechargeable alkaline batteries. Lithium batteries last longer and are much less susceptible to failure in cold temperatures.

After following the weather station set up guidelines elsewhere on this site, there may be times during the day (early in the morning and late in the afternoon) when nearby buildings and landscaping throw the area your solar powered weather station sensors are placed into shadow. You may also live in a location that is prone to a significant number of cloudy days or long periods of darkness such as Alaska. Should any of these scenarios be the case, before you purchase your solar powered weather station it would be prudent to investigate the effectiveness of the solar energy system in being able to power the sensors during those conditions. This would definitely be an issue to discuss with a technical support representative.

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