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June 20, 2014 AT 7:00 am

How to build a solar powered Raspberry Pi #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

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Julian Sarokin posted about his solar powered Raspberry Pi build on his blog. Very cool!

While messing around with a bunch of parts I purchased from Adafruit, I ended up building a solar powered Raspberry Pi.

The build is pretty simple once you get everything soldered on correctly.

I’ll be following up this tutorial with another post detailing the ‘why’ behind this project, the final product design, as well as some really cool software I’m building to demo what this device is capable of.

To get started building your own solar powered Pi, check out the materials list below. Once you’ve got that down, watch the video for a step-by-step tutorial on how to put it all together.

*Note: this is not a full tutorial – there are several installation steps involved that I do not cover, but you can find existing tutorials on how to acomplish this on learn.adafruit.com.

Build List (Hardware):

Raspberry Pi: https://www.adafruit.com/products/998

Pi TFT 2.5’ Touchscreen: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1601

PiBow PiTFT Acrylic Case: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1723

8 GB SD Card w/ Noobs: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1583

Mini Wifi USB (802.11b/g/n): https://www.adafruit.com/products/814

Mini Wireless Keyboard w/ Touchpad: https://www.adafruit.com/products/922

Solar Panel (6w, 2V): https://www.adafruit.com/products/200

DC / LiPoly Charger: https://www.adafruit.com/products/390

LiPoly Battery (3.7V, 2500mAH): https://www.adafruit.com/products/328

DC Power Adapter (2.1mm): https://www.adafruit.com/products/369

Powerboost 500 (5v USB @ 500mA): https://www.adafruit.com/products/1903

Read more.


Featured Adafruit Products!

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Medium 6V 2W Solar panel: These panels come to us from Voltaic Systems, makers of fine solar-powered bags and packs. These are waterproof, scratch resistant, and UV resistant. They use a high efficiency monocrystalline cell. They output 6V at 330 mA via 3.5mm x 1.3mm DC jack connector. The substrate is an aluminum / plastic composite, specifically designed to be strong and lightweight. They can easily stand up to typical outdoor use including being dropped and leaned on. They’re very high quality and suggested for projects that will be exposed to the outdoors. Read more.


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PowerBoost 500 Basic – 5V USB Boost @ 500mA from 1.8V+: PowerBoost is the perfect power supply for your portable project! This little DC/DC boost converter module can run from 1.8V batteries or higher, and convert that voltage to 5.2V DC for running your 5V projects. Like our popular 5V 1A USB wall adapter, we tweaked the output to be 5.2V instead of a straight-up 5.0V so that there’s a little bit of ‘headroom’ long cables, high draw, the addition of a diode on the output if you wish, etc. The 5.2V is safe for all 5V-powered electronics like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or Beagle Bone while preventing icky brown-outs during high current draw because of USB cable resistance. Read more.


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1 Comment

  1. great idea, although I’d be concerned that there’s no way to have the Pi shut down gracefully when the battery gets low – perhaps a sensor on the battery connected to the GPIO could detect that, though.

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