Solar Powered Telemetry

A long-term and uninterrupted monitoring of the environmental and geological data is being implemented by many countries for the purpose of safeguarding the environment and wildlife. In such remote ecologically vulnerable areas, utilizing telemetry-applications is the only option to implement an unattended monitoring system so that the requirement on cost and safety can be satisfied. Like any other system, the telemetry-applications systems also need power to function. But the coverage rate of the power grid in these areas is usually lower than the average level and often not available. In these cases, solar powered systems become the most feasible option in terms of stability, reliability and ease of maintenance. Moreover, they are increasingly becoming the best solution for power supply of telemetry-applications systems.


The combination of the two systems forms a solar-powered telemetry-applications solution. It is widely used in applications such as water management, navigation, wildlife research and management for unattended monitoring and data logging.

A solar-powered telemetry-applications system is commonly made up of three subsystems: solar power system, telemetry-applications system and communication system. The solar power system consists of solar panels, rechargeable battery, charge management and power conversion. This system is used to collect solar power and store electrical power, and then convert the stored power into the one that is suited for the telemetry-applications system. The telemetry-applications system may have different designs depending on the different applications. In general, it basically includes three blocks: sensors, signal conditioning and MCU.

The telemetry-applications system is responsible for the collection of environmental data and equipments’ operation status and the transmission of the collected information to the control center. The communication system employs different modules and structures according to the communication modes applied by the system and the control center. The direct communication with the control center is realized mostly by the high-power module dedicatedly designed for long distance transmission. In some areas where there are existing cellular networks, the GPRS/CDMA modules in these networks can be used as the substitutes. The indirect communication can be implemented using the lower-power modules and repeaters. After receiving the data from those modules, the repeaters can boost the transmission power to resend the data to the control center.


Hover over the diagram blocks to view recommended products for this solution:

Collects solar power and converts it into electrical power.
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Charges the battery
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Li-ion battery and lead-acid battery stores electrical energy.
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Senses enviromental or geological information from the surrounding and constantly feeds it to the system
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High precision amplifier is the core chip of signal conditioning circuit.
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MUX can accommodate multiple analog input channels. Some ADCs have them integrated internally.
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High performance ADC converts analog signal into digital signal.
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Control of conditioned signal from the telemetry-applications block

Texas Instruments

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Communication by GSM/GPRS protocols


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Power Management
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Voltage Reference
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Communication of controlled signal(s) enabled with RF transceivers

Texas Instruments
Analog Devices

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Texas Instruments
The eZ430-RF2500-SEH is a Solar Energy Harvesting (EH) development kit creating a perpetually powered wireless sensor network based on the MSP430 microcontroller. The EH module includes a high-efficiency solar panel optimized for low-intensity light, providing enough power to run a wireless sensor application with no additional batteries.


The Machine-to-Machine (M2M) PICtail Daughter Board, based on GSM/GPRS modules, creates easy M2M applications capable of location-awareness. The daughter board interfaces with Microchips Multimedia Expansion Board and a PIC32 Starter Kit to develop a turn-key platform for apps such as texting, email, and GPS


A highly integrated wireless ethernet bridge module includes a radio, a base-band processor, an application processor and software for a "drop-in" web-enabled WiFi solution. Airborne™ modules provide instant LAN and Internet connectivity through standard ethernet interface to a wide variety of applications. The module is interoperable with industry standard 802.11 LAN and Internet connectivity with advanced security standards such as WEP, WPA and EAP. The built-in TCP/IP stack, RTOS and application software provide embedded devices with instant connectivity with simple configuration using Quatech ’s HTML interface.


MC75i Wireless Module offer the fastest transmission standard in GSM networks. The MC75i comes with a TCP/IP stack over AT, serial and USB ports, and a RIL driver for Microsoft® Windows™ Mobile 6.1 based devices. The module provides 236 kbps in both up and down link, opening path to applications with high-volume data transfers.


CBC-EVAL-09 is a universal energy harvesting (EH) kit, combining any one of multiple EH transducers with the EnerChipTM EP CBC915-ACA Energy Processor and the EnerChip CBC51100 100uAh solid state battery module. The platform enables designers to quickly develop Energy Harvesting applications. The EVAL-09 ships with a solar cell for initial evaluation kit testing.

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