Solar power subsystem

Hi there!

I’m building a Raspberry Pi / Navio2 / Ardupilot solar-powered boat based on Flytec and would appreciate advice on power system design. So I have:

  • brushed motors with unknown specs, originally powered with 7.4V - so this is my input voltage and I use these drivers
  • 7.2V NiMH AA battery pack (1.2V x 6)
  • power module to route the original 7.2V to motors and regulated 5V to Navio2
  • 14.5V / 1.3A solar panel

So the question is how to design the power system so that the boat uses the battery pack (and charges it) and solar panel simultaneously? I’m fairly unexperienced with electronics - is there an off-the-shelf power controller with such functionality?

Or maybe a good online tutorial on it?


Good day, if you are good in soldering or design a pcb, you can project a board for the use you need… you need an adjustable voltage regulator, capacitor for protects from the static discharge, a diode for protects from the reverse polarity.

Thank you @Dave84. It looks like a more or less standard task to me, so I was hoping for an off-the-shelf module.

it’s important you can find the right module with reverse protection

You’ll need a component called a “solar charge controller” matched to your panels and battery: