Over the last few months Debasish Dutta has documented his ongoing work of designing a useful MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) solar charger unit, and recently the third revision has been published. The charger is based around an Arduino-compatible board, and allows for high charge and load current along with USB charging for portable devices and now with the use of an ESP8266 SoC module, data-logging via WiFi.
Originally the product of necessity, the solar charger project has evolved into a device which rivals commercial units at a much cheaper cost. This is a great example of what can be done with some time, research and inexpensive parts. Review the following video for more on this latest versIon:
Looking for a rapid-use LCD for your Arduino (or Raspberry Pi) projects? Save time and move forward with the Freetronics LCD & Keypad shield which contains a bright 16x2 character LCD and five buttons that can be read from only one analog input pin: