German Engineer Unveils DIY Solar-Powered Weather Station with E-Ink Display
Check out this cool DIY solar-powered weather station that an engineer in Germany built! Ricardo Sappia managed to create the device using just an e-ink display, a solar panel, and a lithium polymer battery.
The key was using an e-ink display instead of a standard LED screen. E-ink only uses power when the image changes, so it’s perfect for a weather station where the info doesn’t need to update constantly. And since it runs on solar, the battery can charge up during the day to keep things running all night.
Sappia even made the display tri-color so the animated sun turns red to show nice weather. Nifty! He was able to get it working with just 0.5V from the solar panel, which is wild. The device barely sips any power thanks to the e-ink screen and Sappia adding a nano timer to completely cut the power when not needed.
For anyone wanting to DIY their own, Sappia shared detailed instructions online. He used a low-power ESP32 chip to get weather data from the internet and programmed it to display nicely on the e-ink screen.
The whole thing is housed in a 3D printed case that Sappia designed in three parts. He did some fancy tweaks like removing the RGB LED on the chip and adding a voltage regulator, but those are optional if you’re less experienced.
Even without those, it seems totally doable to recreate the solar weather station as a fun weekend project. Especially if you follow Sappia’s advice to start on a breadboard first before final assembly.
I love the idea of having a little solar-powered weather display that sips virtually no power. Sappia really tapped into the potential of e-ink with this build! It’s a slick way to stay informed while keeping things sustainable.