For a robotic project, I need to keep an Arduino powered up for a long time in an outdoor environment. What can I use to power the board? If battery is the only solution, can the device tell me remotely that battery is getting low?

It needs to be powered for at least few days ( at least). The unit monitors an outdoor sensor that is shaded from sun but still exposed to wind and moisture. The unit does not move.

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    This is very vague. How long do you need your system up? Are the circuits unprotected? Is it in a sunny environment (allowing for the possibility of a solar panel)? For the second part of the question: How far will the robot be? What communication interfaces do you have in mind? Do you have existing interfaces in your robot? Lastly, have you done any research starting from a basic Google search? The more detailed the question, the better the answers you will get. – asheeshr Feb 15 '14 at 16:23
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    Yes, this needs a lot more detail. Is it a mobile robot, static, how much power does it consume, what kind of voltage do the motors need, what kind of life do you need. Etc. – Cybergibbons Feb 15 '14 at 17:10
  • And robot definition is vague too... a robotic arm could be a robot. – Anonymous Penguin Feb 17 '14 at 19:11
  • Power requirements? 1W? 10W? Other than the Arduino and "sensor", do you have other components? – asheeshr Feb 18 '14 at 16:38

There are several options for Arduino power in an external environment.

  • Wall wart: Connects to a wall socket, provides a great long-term source of power
  • Rechargeable battery: Doesn't last long, but they can be recharged and monitored with a low cost board
  • Alkaline Battery: Last longer, there are some monitoring systems available.
  • Solar: Only works when the sun is out, unless you combine it with a rechargable battery (example)
  • Nuclear power: NOT RECOMMENDED!!!
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    Nuclear power is the best option. The OP should totally go nuclear. – asheeshr Feb 15 '14 at 16:32
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    Don't forget about hydrogen fuel cells, hydroelectric, or even wind energy. Geothermal might be an option depending on what/where the device is. Gasoline engines/generators are an option as well. Most renewable sources should be coupled with a battery to store excess energy when the source ceases for a time period. (I'm being totally serious, with the possible exception of hydrogen fuel cells.) – apnorton Feb 15 '14 at 16:46
  • Come one, go for the fusion power (The sun have been using it successfully for a long time now). I think that with fusion on a robot it will go near eternally. – Faux_Clef Feb 15 '14 at 22:17
  • @Faux_Clef - Fusion power is nuclear power. – Connor Wolf Feb 17 '14 at 4:00
  • @FakeName: yes, nuclear as in fusion of atomic nucleus into new elements ie. the sun. Nuclear power is also fission, the kind used in nuclear reactors/power stations. – Faux_Clef Feb 18 '14 at 12:01

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