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I have a 300 watt solar panel whose voltage and current need to be monitored by installing a device there. There is no source of power supply that I can use for this monitoring device but the solar panel itself. How do I extract this small voltage from the panel? Note that the solar panel is a variable source of energy. Hence, Just voltage divider won't work. The panel produces voltage in the range of 0-40 V depending on sunlight. In absence of sunlight my circuit can switch off.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You need to specify a minimum voltage significantly greater than 0V to get a proper answer. If you can live with a minimum voltage of 1.5 volts and the required current is low you might be OK with a buck/boost regulator. You also need to specify how much current the controller takes and what its minimum power supply voltage is. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jun 13 '16 at 10:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can get buck converters that take input voltages of 1-40V from Ebay for a dollar (or slightly more, depending on your current requirements). \$\endgroup\$ – Dampmaskin Jun 13 '16 at 11:22
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Maybe if you can live with 3V and above this will do the job: -

enter image description here

Basically as the solar panel drops to below 3V the controller will switch off - is this going to be a problem? Also the output voltage doesn't have to be 5V.

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