3 Best Solar Powered Weather Station For The Money (2019)
The solar powered weather stations have recently become popular owing to the high level of convenience they have over the regular models. They entirely rely on the natural sunlight for their operation, eliminating the hassle of replacing batteries on a regular basis.
If you’re planning to buy a solar powered station but don’t know where to start, consider this post as your crash course.
We’ll outline for you everything you need to know about weather stations below—including how they work, why choose them over the regular stations, and the 3 top-of-the-line solar-powered stations on the market right now.
How Solar Powered Weather Station Works?
A solar powered weather station wholly relies on the natural sunlight to power its sensors. It comes equipped with solar panels on the sensor suite, which draw solar power from the sun and convert it into electrical energy to power the sensors. The panels provide sufficient power to run the weather station during the day and at night.
For the unit to perform optimally, you’ll need to properly set it in such a way it receives maximum exposure to sunlight. As the manufacturers of these weather stations explain, the units can effectively operate in any areas that receive around 4-6 hours of daylight a day, all year round.
These weather monitoring systems also come equipped with an internal rechargeable battery. As the solar panel powers the sensors during the day, it also charges this battery to ensure the station will continue functioning well at nighttime or when there’s no sufficient sunlight.
Some models also feature a super capacitor which is charged by the solar panels to provide power for the sensors at night. Note that these weather stations also have the internal battery pack which acts as a backup in case the capacitor charge dies before the sun comes out.
Now that you have an idea of how a solar powered weather station operates, let’s look at the 3 top-rated products you’ll find on the market today…
Our Top Solar Weather Station Picks:
1. Ambient Weather WS-1002-WIFI OBSERVER Solar Powered Weather Station
Ambient Weather is a popular name in the weather station industry, with a line of top-performance units loved by users all over the US. Their solar-powered weather station, the Ambient Weather WS-1002, is made for easy installation, reliability, and affordability.
We like the unit’s easy internet connectivity feature, which enables the display console to send/receive internet data via Wi-Fi connectivity easily. The observer comes with an all-in-one sensor array, enabling it to accurately transmit a variety of data—including outdoor temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity, rainfall, and UV & solar radiation.
What’s more, it records indoor temperature, humidity, and even barometric pressure.
You’ll also enjoy receiving text and email alerts for Low or High conditions for all these parameters to help you plan your day well. The extensive day/week/month/year graphing capability is also great.
Remember you’ll be viewing all this data in a full-color TFT LCD display which is backlit to make it easy to read both at day or night.
2. Davis Instruments 6152 Vantage Pro2 Wireless Weather Station
Davis Instruments 6152 Vantage Pro2 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a professional grade solar powered weather station within an affordable cost. This highly reliable and accurate unit comes with all the necessary installation hardware for easy setup.
It comes with an all in one sensor suite which enables you to get all the essential weather readings—including the temperature, rainfall, humidity, and wind. The humidity and wind sensors come enclosed in a radiation shield to help shield them from direct sunlight.
Because this is a pretty versatile sensor suite, you’ll also be able to customize it by adding consoles and other special purpose options to meet your specific weather station needs. Some previous users have successfully added UV, solar, and soil moisture sensors to this unit.
The professional weather station lets you monitor all your home and backyard weather conditions from an easy-to-read LCD color display.
Like all the other Davis Instruments stations, this model is engineered to hold up to the scorching sun, extreme temperatures, 200 mph (321 kmh) winds, corrosion, and so on—translating to a long-lasting service.
3. Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station
If the previous unit is too hard on your wallet, then the Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station is a great alternative. It has almost the same level of accuracy as the Pro2 model, making it a highly reliable weather station.
The self-contained system features an integrated sensor suite which provides you with data for all the essential weather conditions like indoor and outdoor temperature, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, humidity, rainfall, and dew point.
It boasts of the ability to transmit data from the sensor suite to the console within a distance of up to 300m (or 1000ft), with super-fast updates after every 2.5 seconds.
Like its cousin above, this unit’s console also features an easy to read, backlit LCD screen to enable you to easily view data recordings at day and night. Keep in mind that the console displays crucial info like weather forecast icons, sunrise/sunset times, moon phase/weather trends graphing, etc.
Above all, the manufacturer has included all the necessary mounting hardware for hassle-free, fast installation.
Should You Choose It Over Regular Weather Stations?
The regular weather stations (or we can refer to them as the battery-operated models) have been around for a pretty long time. It was not until recently that we witnessed the introduction of the solar powered models.
And now the debate is on:
Solar-powered vs. battery operated weather stations—which one should you choose?
FIRST…you need to understand that the main difference between these two types of weather stations is the source of power (battery and solar power).
The fact that a solar powered station fully relies on solar power for its operation gives it an edge over the regular model in that it eliminates the hassle of regularly changing the batteries.
The problem with the battery operated models is that you’ll have to keep changing its batteries all the time (this takes time and effort). If you don’t, your station stops working!
You’ll also need to regularly inspect these batteries for any damages. Remember these batteries contain acid. So, if they get damaged (which is very possible in the cold winter months or the event of a storm) can leak and cause irreplaceable damages to your sensor suite.
With a solar powered weather station, you’ll never have to deal with any of these problems.
BUT you might argue that solar-powered units have batteries as well, right?
The good thing about these batteries is that they’re just there for “back-up,” so they don’t need frequent replacement. What’s more, they’re usually enclosed inside the unit and are designed to withstand both hotter and colder temperatures (unlike the standard, disposable batteries).
Oh! Don’t forget that there’s also some spending involved with the regular models as you’ll have to buy new batteries once the current ones get depleted to keep your unit running.
And whenever you lose power in a solar power unit, you can rest assured that all your data remains intact. This is unlike in the battery powered models where the memory gets erased when changing the batteries.
The solar powered unit has a few downsides though;
Take, for instance, the effort and time needed to properly align the solar panels properly to ensure maximum sun exposure. This is something you don’t have to do with the regular models.
Something else…some regions might not receive sunlight for the most part of the day. This means less or no power to operate your weather station, meaning it’ll not meet your weather observation needs.
The solar powered weather stations are also priced a bit higher than the regular models.
So, should you choose a solar powered unit over the regular model?
In most cases, a solar powered weather station is the best option. This is true when you consider the convenience factor, which is actually what places them higher above the battery-operated models.
But before you get the solar powered system, ask yourself if the location you plan to set it in receives sufficient sunlight and if it’ll meet your weather station needs.
How This Products Can Save You Money In The Long Run?
Every time you need to change the batteries of a regular weather station, you’ll have to incur some expenses (in terms of a new battery pack).
In other words, the maintenance cost of your regular weather station is high as you’ll always have to spend year in year out to keep your unit functioning.
When it comes to the solar powered weather station, however, it entirely relies on the FREE solar power to operate, significantly reducing its maintenance cost.
And as we said earlier, these stations also come with super capacitors and internal batteries which act as a backup power source at night or when there’s no sunlight.
If you do your maths, you’ll realize that a solar powered unit can save you a significant amount of cash in a year, which you can channel to other important activities.
The popularity of the solar powered weather station is on the rise due to the many benefits it has over the regular battery operated units. It does away with the need to regularly replace batteries, saving you a great deal of cash in the long run.
For this system to give you optimal performance and meet your weather observation needs, you just need to set it in a region that receives 4-6 hours of daylight a day, year-round. You should also ensure you set in such a way that its solar panels enjoy maximum sunlight exposure.
For a great solar powered station that delivers you years of excellent service, consider the 3 models we’ve discussed above.