Hi everyone, I’m looking at powering my raspberry pi 4b with solar panels using the PiJuice. I need it to continuously stream video to an LCD screen for ~10hours. From my calculations the 4b will consume ~1.5A so will need ~15000mAh to run for the 10hours. I was looking at buying the PiJuice 12000mAh LiPo to hopefully give me ~8hours of runtime. I then naturally thought the solar panels will need to supply 3000mAh to charge the battery to give the extra 2 hours. I want to use four 1.3W 5V solar panels in series to give around 4W with 5 hours of sunlight and to take into account any inefficiencies. The solar panels I am looking at are these: BUHESHUI 1.3W 5V Mini Solar Cell+15CM Cable Module Polycrystalline PET Solar Panel DIY Solar Charger 110*80MM Free Shipping|solar cell|mini solar cellmini solar cell 5v - AliExpress, I would connect the +/- terminals to a microUSB cable and then connect that to the PiJuice. I was just wondering if this setup would even work, I am skeptical because there would be nothing connected to the data cables. Unfortunately for aesthetic reasons I am not able to use the official pijuice solar panels, they have to be separate modules. I am new to these sorts of calculations and raspberry pi’s in general so sorry if I got anything wrong and hopefully someone can help!
Thanks for jumping on the forum!
That would be correct, although it’s worth grabbing an inline USB power meter such as the USB-Doctor to check that you’re drawing that much current consistantly, as that seems quite significant for the Pi and you may need to add some cooling if you haven’t done so already as that could get quite warm. Also, that’s to run the Pi without any power coming from other sources such as the panel/s and assuming that you can discharge the full capacity of the battery (always include a factor of safety to avoid issues with it).
It won’t matter how many panels you’ve got rigged up, just as long as the circuit is providing the required voltage and current for the board and doens’t spike dangerously then you should be good to go.
My collegue Tim created an excellent tutorial about using the PiJuice with solar panels recently and saving power on your Pi, I’ve linked it below for you:
Thank you so much for the reply! I’ll definately make sure to add a safety factor to the calculations as it needs to run smoothly and I watched the video and it was very helpful so thank you for that! I’ll give it a go and see how it goes
Sounds great Nic!
Be sure to let us know how it goes! My collegue @Tim would be quite interested as well if there’s anything you notice we may be able to add as some little tips on his tutorials for this.