Do I need a fuse for this?

Hello, I’m a bit new to all this, and not all that knowledgable about electronics, so I’m hoping that there is a simple answer to this. I’m powering a Particle Electron board with a 12V 50amp-hour solar-charged battery. I’m stepping down the voltage to 5V (with a Pololu D24V10F5) for the Electron, so as not to give it too much voltage as I know that solar batteries can exceed 12V. But I am concerned about the current. Should I be protecting the whole setup with an inline fuse, say, 2amp? If I don’t do this, is there any risk in ‘frying’ my setup?
thanks! :slight_smile: Ben

@Benzi, devices “draw” only the amount of current they need so a fuse will not protect anything except maybe blow when the Electron needs more current! What could damage the Electron is too high voltage but from the sounds of it, that may not be an issue. Your panel/battery will provide a steady 12v I suspect so you may not need the 5v stepdown to the electron since it can handle 17v max.

Am I correct in assuming the 12v/50Amp panel & battery is made up of a solar panel, a charge controller and a battery?

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Hello @peekay123, thank you for that! Yes, that is what I thought, about the draw.
Correct, that is the setup with panel, battery and charge controller.
I didn’t know the Electron can take up to 17V… the documentation says up to 12V: (see under VIN)

anyway, good news, thank you for the input, I can now sleep well at night :slight_smile:

AFAIK, the Electron can tolerate up to 17V but will only safely run with 12V (and a bit over) but will shut off when it gets too high above that threshold.

@Benzi, I stand corrected! The absolute max is 17V. Regardless, if your panel/charger/battery is designed to supply 12V, you would be fine. If you do decide to supply 5V to the Electron, make sure you can supply at least 500ma for charging the battery. Don’t be shy to use a 2A step down if you can.

Lots of 12 Volt solar panels will put out up to 20 volts. It depends on the quality of the charge controller as to how well regulated the load output is. I’d do some testing in full sun just to be on the safe side.