# Solar Powered Raspberry Pi

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## Introduction: Solar Powered Raspberry Pi

What i'm going to show you today is how to run your raspberry pi off the sun using solar power & Battery.

## Step 2: Connecting the Battery

First off we need to connect the wire to car power adapter then to the battery.

The battery is a 12V 1.3 ampHour battery The length of time the battery last very much depends on what you are doing with.

But here is quick calculation

If the raspberry pi uses 3 watts a hour then a 12v battery at 1.3 amp hours gives 15.6 watt hours

So 15.6 divide by 3 gives you 5.3 hours.

So the battery should last about 5 hours

If you want it to last long get a bigger batter or wire two up in parallel

## Step 3: Connecting USB

Next we need to plug in the usb power adapter.

I know it possible to make a power adapter from a 12v Battery to USB connection however this way is easier and almost as cheap.

If you would like to make your own adapter search on instructables

## Step 4: Connect the Solar Panel

Connect the solar panel to the battery and point it at the sun.

And now all thats left to do is power up the pi

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• ### Big and Small Contest

I know this is old, but, can someone explain how this is supposed to work??
I do NOT get it? it's a 1.3 Ah a battery. a PI requires 2.5 amps to RUN properly ( and a pi 4 requires 3 amps). So how can you use a 1.3 amps on something requiring more output?

1.3 Ah isn't 1.3 amps on the 12v Battery, it's the storage density. Amp hours (Ah) is an equivalent of 1 Amp draw per hour. This 12v battery is 1.3Ah, which means you could pull 1A of electricity continously for 1.3 hrs @ 12v before the battery is dead

A 12v 50Ah battery would mean you could pull 1A @ 12V for 50 hours for example, and if you had a device that pulled 2A @ 12v it would last half that because it's double the draw

I have this battery and panel laying around as well as a ups that don't have a battery in it could I make u.p.s solar also then use power adapter to step down voltage
???

This very useful my friend thank you

Does the Pi use 3 watts at 12 volts or 5? Your power consumption appears incorrect. It would be better to use a 6 volt system in order to minimize the power loss in the voltage regulator. A step down from 12v to 5v is wasteful.

I don't have a battery yet. How long does the Pi run off that battery during the night?

This is a very helpful post. I want to run a rpi off solar in a context where there is no other power source. I have read that the rpi or sd cards might be damaged if it suddenly powers off when the battery runs out. It would be best, therefore to include in the setup something that will initiate a clear shut down when the battery voltage dips below a certain point. I would like to use a cheap 3.3V arduino mini pro to do this job. Are there any instructables around that show how to set something like that up? are there any cheaper solutions that will do the same job?

Not bad, I just use a 7AH battery instead with a 5 watt and it runs continuously. Quick to charge when the sun comes up too. Might get a 12AH battery later for it. You don't wanna discharge them past a certain percentage too much.

5 watt solar panel i means.

Hello. I have a question to anyone who actually built above setup. What happens when the current from battery runs out and there is not enough sun to power the Pi? I imagine that it switches off but does it automatically switch on then the power is back?

You may want to look into a UPS instead. I have an advanced design for one, I just haven't actually built it yet. I can give you the plans if you like.

sparky3489 at yahoo dot com

this is a great project, but is there a way to make it switch to wall power once the battery runs dead? I use mine as a web server and I can't have it go down.

yes. it gets more complex though. you need a series of relays which can trigger when the battery voltage gets too low, and when the voltage gets back up to fully charged.

yes. it gets more complex though. you need a series of relays which can trigger when the battery voltage gets too low, and when the voltage gets back up to fully charged.

Checkout a charging circuit, which should get you on your way to a full blown UPS

Been out and got my bits. My plan in the future is to have a solar power cctv system

hey there is was just wondering if you could run the rpi using this solar panel continously, and if you touched the metal crocodile clips would you get electrocuted?

This is a peak 4W solar panel, and the raspberry pi generally uses about 1.4W (without any add ons), so it should be possible to run indefinitely with direct sunlight.

Touching the exposed metal on this is definitely ok: this uses a 12V battery, which is well within the safe limit.