It was scorching outside when I read this blog post: We Are Now Solar Powered. I wondered how much it costs here in Thailand to buy a simple solar kit: a solar cell, a charge controller, and a battery. It turns out to be very cheap: 1200 baht or around 39 USD.
I got a 50W solar panel (around 0.3 square meters), a cheap charge controller, and a 12V 5A battery with that price. I already have a Pi Zero W (which costs 10 USD); and a USB board for Pi Zero W (4 USD). Checking at some websites, Pi Zero should only use around 0.6 to 0.8 Watts. I also have an old 16 GB Micro SD card which now costs about 5 USD. If you want to replicate my setup, in total, you would need 58 USD.
The hardware setup is simple. I just put the solar panel outside of my room and connected the cable inside. The sun is shining brightly here in Chiang Mai, so I don’t care for the optimal sun-facing set up for the panel. The software setup will be for another post.