I came across a page about peak-power tracking in solar PV applications. I decided I wanted to goof around with solar stuff, so I started tinkering. This is what I have so far:
So far there's not much going on. It measures voltage generated by the panel, and current being delivered to the load (a little red LED in this picture; the circuit is powered from a bench supply). I started adding a 5-volt LDO, which I'll use to regulate power to the MCU and LCD when powered from the panel.
If I can get AVaRICE to stop hosing my ATmega324P parts, I'll slow this down to 4 MHz (it's running at 16 MHz here) and power it from 3.3 V. That should work better in actual sun-powered applications.