I need to measure efficiency of of solar panels during various conditions such as amount of uv (full sun, shade, night, night with full moon) and various temperatures. I know there's a DataLogging Python script which can probably help with the data capture, but can anyone advise on hardware I'd need and how to interface it with a Pi?

I found this and they have many other options but can I just plug this straight into a GPIO port or should there be some other shield or ardiuno in the mix? Do I run it in a voltmeter board and are these just display only or pass can data be captured? Perhaps that's already an option on a base Pi?

  • Hello, that first link is to a small solar panel. Was that a mistake or are you trying to say you want to monitor the efficiency of that particular panel? The voltmeter search you linked to are just a display, no output for the Pi to read. Apr 1, 2019 at 9:50
  • I want to be able to measure the output of a panel under certain environmental conditions, so see how shade, night, temperature, baraometric pressure, humidty affect the output of the panel. I've come across the INA219 board which looks like I can monitor the voltage of a circuit, Apr 2, 2019 at 1:20

1 Answer 1


you can use various open source assemblies to build it. You can search on thingiverse or youtube. What you will need is a light sensor (photoelectric resistor) for detecting the amount of light and which direction to move for more, a servo motor to control angle of the assembly, A cheap hobby solar panel, and your microcontroller. It is much easier to do this project using arduino with sd card shield but you can also use Raspberry pi. Keep in mind that the solar panel doesn't detect UV light, rather it detects regular light like sunlight. The solar panel will then output voltage that can be recorded.

  • Thanks for the details. As far as meauring the output voltage, if I use the INA219 do I simply wire the solar panel straight to the dc terminal on the board? Apr 2, 2019 at 4:53
  • I believe it is possible to wire the panel to the board because i have made a project where arduino was being used as voltmeter. You can see the code for that on arduino website.
    – Krutav
    Apr 3, 2019 at 0:00

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