This tutorial shows step-by-step how to power the ESP32 development board with solar panels, a 18650 lithium battery and the TP4056 battery charger module. The circuit we’ll build is also compatible with the ESP8266 or any microcontroller that is powered at 3.3V.
When you power your ESP32 with solar panels, it may be useful to use its deep sleep capabilities to save power. Learn everything you need to know about deep sleep with the ESP32 with our guide: ESP32 Deep Sleep with Arduino IDE and Wake Up Sources.
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The solar panels we’re using have an output voltage up to between 5V to 6V. If you want your battery to charge faster, you can use several solar panels in parallel. In this example we’re using two mini solar panels as shown in the following figure.
To wire solar panels in parallel solder the (+) terminal of one solar panel to the (+) terminal of the other solar panel. Do the same for the (-) terminals. It may help taking a look at the following figure.