Raspberry Pi on Battery Uptime Compilation

One of the main reasons why the Raspberry Pi is so popular these days is because of the size. The Raspberry Pi is so powerful in its size that desktops were required to do those tasks some 10 years back. The small size gives portability to the Pi and that is what drives us to find new applications for it. The major factor in hindering the portability of the Pi is the power supply. Since the Pi is driven by a 5V supply which is obtained from USB chargers connected to mains, the Pi cannot be truly mobile. In order to take it mobile, people are using it with Power banks and batteries. There are few people on the Internet who have posted the current drawn by the Pi under different circumstances and which could be helpful but it doesn’t give an estimate of how much a Pi will run on a particular batteries with a particular project. In this post I will try to compile the run time of Raspberry Pi  running under different circumstances using Power Banks. Although I am an Electronics engineer but I don’t work on Electronics, so I will not concentrate on current drawn but rather run time in hours.

Raspberry Pi on Le Touch Power Bank 4000 mAH

Le Touch Power Bank 4000mAH

In these Test, I ran the Raspberry Pi off of the Le Touch Power Bank having 4000 mAH capacity.

Test 1 Idle with Raspberry Pi Model B

I let the Pi run without connecting any peripheral and it ran for 7 hrs 40 minutes before dying.

Run Time 7 hrs 40 minutes 

Test 2 Time Lapse with Raspberry Pi Model B

I used the Raspberry Pi for Time Lapse photography taking 1 Snap every 30 seconds. Also, a WIFI dongle was connected to the Pi just to view some sample photos from time to time. The run time with this experiment was 4 hrs 20 minutes i.e. the Pi died after taking nearly 450 snaps.

Run Time 4 hrs 20 minutes 

Test 3 Life Cam with Raspberry Pi Model A

I used the Raspberry Pi as Lifecam taking 1 Snap every 7 seconds. The run time with this experiment was 9 hrs 20 minutes i.e. the Pi died after taking nearly 5000 snaps.

Run Time 9 hrs 20 minutes 

Test 4 Motion detection using Raspimjpeg with Raspberry Pi Model B and Bus powered off

The Pi ran for 4 hours 39 minutes with Motion detection using Raspimjpeg capturing full hd videos.

Run Time 4 hours 39 minutes

Test 5 Motion detection using Raspimjpeg with Raspberry Pi Model A

The Pi ran for 6 hours 52 minutes with Motion detection using Raspimjpeg capturing full hd videos.

Run Time 6 hours 52 minutes

Important Points

  • The battery can charge at the same time as provide power.
  • The battery does not work as a UPS.

Raspberry Pi on Promate Solarmate Power Bank 6000 mAH

Promate Solarmate Power Bank

In these Test, I ran the Raspberry Pi off of the Promate Solarmate Power Bank having 6000 mAH capacity. The good thing about this battery is that it can be charged via standard USB and also has a solar cell. So if your project is outdoors, the battery can also get charged from the sun while delivering power.

Test 1 Idle in Dark with Raspberry Pi Model B

I let the Pi run off of the battery under no load without connecting any peripheral to it but the battery was in dark. The Pi ran for 7 hrs 25 minutes before dying.

Run Time 7 hrs 25 minutes

Test 2 Time Lapse in Dark with Raspberry Pi Model B

The Raspberry Pi was made to do Time lapse and the setup was in the dark so that the solar cell does not charge the battery and the run time of the Pi will be solely due to the 6000 mAH battery. Under this circumstance, the Pi ran for 5 hours straight.

Run Time 5 hrs

Test 3 Time Lapse in Light with Raspberry Pi Model B

The Raspberry Pi was made to do Time lapse and the Battery was kept in the sun, so not only was the battery powering the Pi but also itself was getting charged via the Solar Cell. Under this condition, the Raspberry Pi ran for 6 hours straight.

Run Time 6 hrs

Test 4 Time Lapse in Light with no WIFI Dongle with Raspberry Pi Model B

The Pi ran for 8 hours 7 minutes powered by both battery and solar without the power hogging wifi dongle.

Run Time 8 hours 7 minutes

Test 5 Time Lapse in Dark with no WIFI Dongle and Bus Powered Off with Raspberry Pi Model B

The Pi ran for 12 hours straight powered by battery without the wifi dongle.

Run Time 12 hours

Test 6 Time Lapse in Light with no WIFI Dongle  and Bus Powered Off with Raspberry Pi Model B

The Pi ran for 13 hours powered by both battery and solar without the wifi dongle.

Run Time 13 hours

Test 7 Time Lapse in Dark with no WIFI Dongle with Raspberry Pi Model A

The Pi ran for 20 hours 15 minutes powered by battery without the wifi dongle.

Run Time 20 hours 15 minutes

Test 8 Time Lapse in Light with no WIFI Dongle with Raspberry Pi Model A

The Pi ran for a phenomenal 1 day powered by battery without the wifi dongle.

Run Time 24 hours

Test 9 Motion detection using Raspimjpeg with Raspberry Pi Model B

The Pi ran for 4 hours with Motion detection using Raspimjpeg capturing full hd videos and with ssh ON with ethernet connectivity. Also, the Wifi dongle was connected to the Pi but no load was put on it.

Run Time 4 hours

Important Points

  • The battery cannot charge via USB at the same time as provide power.
  • The battery can charge via Solar at the same time as provide power.
  • The battery does not work as a UPS.

Raspberry Pi on Sony Portable Power 5000 mAH

Sony Portable Power

In these Test, I ran the Raspberry Pi off of the Sony Portable Power Ban having 5000 mAH capacity. One thing I must say off the topic is that the device is gorgeous.

Test 1 Life Cam with Raspberry Pi Model A

I used the Raspberry Pi as Lifecam taking 1 Snap every 7 seconds. The run time with this experiment was 13 hours 20 minutes i.e. the Pi died after taking nearly 5600 snaps.

Run Time 13 hours 20 minutes 

Raspberry Pi on RS Power Bank 2200 mAH

This data has been taken from Raspi.tv and the test had been run with a WiFi dongle connected under Idle and Load conditions. Under Idle condition, the Raspberry Pi lasted for 3.5 hours. Under load of running Full HD videos, the Pi lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Important Points

  • The battery can charge via USB at the same time as provide power.
  • The battery does work as a UPS.

Raspberry Pi on RS Power Bank 5200 mAH

This data has been taken from Raspi.tv and the test had been run with a WiFi dongle connected under Idle and Load conditions. Under Idle condition, the Raspberry Pi lasted for 9 hours. Under load of running Full HD videos, the Pi lasted for 6 hours and 40 minutes.

Important Points

  • The battery can charge via USB at the same time as provide power.
  • The battery does work as a UPS.

Please post your Results

In order to be beneficial to anyone intending to run Raspberry Pi on batteries, I will appreciate if you could post your experimentation with batteries in the comments so that I can incorporate it in the article. This will be useful to those who intend to run the Pi on batteries such as knowing uptime, whether it can be used as UPS, etc.

Time Lapse Videos

If you are interested in having a look at the time lapse videos generated, you can go to my Youtube channel here.

I hope my post has been helpful in your life but the only guide which can help you in the hereafter is the Qur’an. You can download the English translation of the Qur’an here.

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5 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi on Battery Uptime Compilation

  1. Pingback: Power Saving Tips for Raspberry Pi | Baba AweSam

    • Thanks. There are 3 things which I can say here. First is that a cheap power bank will lots of juice might seem attractive but over time, it will lose its charge holding capacity i.e. it will take lots of time to charge and it will discharge very fast on use. Second is that not all power banks can be used as UPS. This behavior varies so much in different manufacturers. Some disconnect power output when input drops, some don’t allow simultaneous charge/discharge, etc. Even if it did work, it is not advisable to use it as UPS as the battery life reduces. Third is that there are circuits available for Raspberry Pi using which you can implement UPS. Pi UPS and UPiS are the 2 I know but have no exposure with.

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