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Arduino Projects to Save the World

Arduino Projects to Save the World shows that it takes little more than a few tools, a few wires and sensors, an Arduino board, and a bit of gumption to build devices that lower energy bills, help you grow our own food, monitor pollution in the air and in the ground, even warn you about earth tremors.

Arduino Projects to Save the World introduces the types of sensors needed to collect environmental data—from temperature sensors to motion sensors. You’ll see projects that deal with energy sources—from building your own power strip to running your Arduino board on solar panels so you can actually proceed to build systems that help, for example, to lower your energy bills. Once you have some data, it’s time to put it to good use by publishing it online as you collect it; this book shows you how.

The core of this book deals with the Arduino projects themselves:

Account for heat loss using a heat loss temperature sensor array that sends probes into every corner of your house for maximum measurement.
Monitor local seismic activity with your own seismic monitor.
Keep your Arduino devices alive in the field with a solar powered device that uses a smart, power-saving design.
Monitor your data and devices with a wireless radio device; place your sensors where you like without worrying about wires.
Keep an eye on your power consumption with a sophisticated power monitor that records its data wherever you like.

Arduino Projects to Save the World teaches the aspiring green systems expert to build environmentally-sound, home-based Arduino devices. Saving the world, one Arduino at a time.
What you’ll learn

Help the environment by using Arduino
Install and use environmental sensors
Use low-energy or solar energy sources for your Arduino board to avoid loading conventional energy grids
Build an Arduino-based seismic monitor to protect your home
Measure energy flows inside your home using temperature sensor arrays
Pull together your environmental data in an energy consumption monitor

Who this book is for

Programmers excited by Arduino
Arduino users looking for green projects

Learn more about the Arduino Microcontroller at


Solar & Wind Data Logging with the Arduino

Our solar and wind power monitor needs the ability to save historical data so that we can track watt hours and amp hours daily and weekly. A SD card provides enough capacity, and allows us to easily download the data to our PC. There is a nice data logging shield available for under $20 that fits the application nicely.


Monitoring your off grid power system

We use a multifunction display from Outback called a Mate to monitor the operation of our charge controller, our inverter, and our battery bank. We have another shunt coming in so that we can monitor the wind turbine and solar independently. But what about logging and historical performance. It would be handy to be able to compare monthly and seasonal performance. Our Mate has a serial port on the side for connecting to a computer, so we are evaluating 2 software packages that will allow us to track and record the complete operations of our system.

The first is WinVerter-Monitor OB from, and the other is WattPlot from We will let you know about the strenghts and weaknesses of both.


Battery Monitor

Now that we have upgraded our battery bank for long life, we need to be able to monitor it, so we know how many amp hours we are depositing, and how many we are withdrawing. Today we are installing a FLEXnet DC to replace our Trimetric. This will allow us to monitor the performance of our battery bank and wind turbine with the same display we use to monitor our solar panels, and inverter. This unit monitors the power to and from the batteries on three current shunts, one on the pv charge controller, one on the inverter, and one on the wind turbine.