Since the time I got my Raspberry Pi camera, I have been so impressed with its versatility that I have done almost all experiments that can be done with it. The thing which impressed me the most was making time lapse videos. As I made more and more Time Lapse videos, I was limited by the time I could do it as I was powering the Pi via battery banks as the setup was at remote locations. This caused me to research more ways by which I could maximize the time a Pi is ON on limited battery capacity. The first thing I did was take a battery which had a solar panel on it so that it could charge in sunlight at the same time as deliver power to the Pi. This did increase the Pi run time but it was still not enough. Following are the tips I can give for increasing the run time of the Pi based on my journey. Also, the various run times under various situations are documented in this post.
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. Continue reading