Raspberry Pi batteries turn a connected Pi into a portable computer. It’s easier than you think.
Several mobile power options are available, from dedicated solutions designed for the Pi to bespoke DIY batteries. Get a Raspberry Pi from home and get involved in some mobile projects using one of these four options.
Requirements for Adding a Raspberry Pi Battery
As with static Raspberry Pi projects, portable Raspberry Pi devices should be powered by a good quality 1.2A (1200mA) MicroV 5V AC adapter (although 1000mA should be enough for most projects on older Pis).
However, the USB ports benefit from 2.5A (2500mA) if you plan on connecting devices without a powered hub.
Which power supply you need depends on your Pi’s end use. The total load on the GPIO pins is 50mA, while the HDMI port is 250mA, and the keyboard is only 100mA (depending on the model, of course). The Raspberry Pi camera requires 250mA.
Checking the power rating of any equipment you plan to connect will give you an idea of the possible minimum requirements. This should also help you determine the best portable power option.
1.Battery for Raspberry Pi 3 B+
Any portable battery designed to charge your smartphone via USB can be used with the Raspberry Pi. A Raspberry Pi 3 B+ battery from VGE is sold as a separate solution.
Supplied with a case that can be attached to your Pi, this 4000mAh battery delivers 5V Compatible with Raspberry Pi B+ and later, two USB ports let you power the Pi and the display.
As you would expect, this battery can also be used as a smartphone or tablet charger. This makes it the perfect all-in-one portable battery for your favorite technology, perfect for your Raspberry Pi.
Designed to the HAT specification, this compact solution makes your Pi standalone and portable.
Doubled as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), PiJuice HAT from Pi Supply can protect your Pi from sudden data loss. You can set the HAT to initiate a controlled low power shutdown that will turn off when the main power is turned off.
What’s more, the PiJuice HAT allows you to take your Raspberry Pi with you, making it ideal for a range of portable projects. The 1820 mAh battery provides four to six hours of charging, but there is support for a larger battery. This can give your pi over 24 hours of power.
Compatible with other boards and with various features (including a header for use with external devices), the PiJuice HAT is the most popular portable power source for the Raspberry Pi.
3. Kuman lithium battery
Composed of double layer acrylic board, battery expansion board and 5V battery, it is a great solution to power your Raspberry Pi. Supplied with all necessary cables, screws, and standoffs, Kuman’s rechargeable lithium battery allows you to mount the Pi along with the board.
The expansion board is located below the Pi, allowing access to headers and GPIOs. It also has a power LED indicator and a switch and controls charging. The kit includes a dual USB output, one for powering the Pi, the other for a second device such as Kuman’s own 3.5″ LCD.
Using this solution, you can expect up to nine hours of charge, although this will depend on your Pi. For example, a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ running on all four processor cores runs out of battery faster.
4. DIY Portable Raspberry Pi Power Supply
According to the nature of the Raspberry Pi, you can create your own portable power supply.
You can do this relatively cheaply by using a battery case suitable for AA batteries and a universal battery eliminator circuit. For this solution, you will need six or more AA batteries, but you can connect other elements if you wish.
UBEC is a power regulator that prevents damage to the Pi’s batteries, so it should be considered a vital component.
The battery and UBEC can be purchased for a combined price of less than $15 including postage.
Assembling your portable portable battery is easy enough. Connect the red wire on the battery pack to the red wire on the UBEC, repeating for the black wire. You can do this with a terminal block or simply twist and solder the wires together.
Depending on which type of UBEC you purchase, you may need to make some adjustments here. They usually come with a micro USB connector for your Raspberry Pi, but if you get a 3-pin GPIO header, you will need to move the red wire to the outer connector.
Do this by releasing the lock on the connector; then you can pull the red wire out of the middle slot and insert it into the outermost slot. This wire can be connected to the GPIO on pins 2 (red wire +5V) and 6.
To turn on your Raspberry Pi, put all but one of the batteries into the box and plug them all in. When you’re ready, add the last battery and watch the status lights as the Pi boots up. Success!
How long will the batteries last?
The duration of the power cell you choose will depend on usage. If you have built a portable gaming system, then it is likely that the battery will be depleted with constant use. This is different from the simpler use of the project, such as monitoring your network. It’s a good idea to test your project to see how long it will take to charge.
4 ways to power your Raspberry Pi on the go!
With so many options for Raspberry Pi battery projects, it’s important to have a flexible power solution.
We believe the following four options are the best:
Kuman Battery Expansion Board
Create your own battery
All of these portable Raspberry Pi power solutions should help you run your computer outdoors, no matter the project. And if you need help adding a power button to your Raspberry Pi, check out our guide. You may also want to consider purchasing a few of these top accessories to get the most out of your Raspberry Pi.
Using your pi outside? Make sure your Raspberry Pi is secure before starting your next project.