Power Pi Brings Up to an Hour of Uninterruptable Power to Your Fully-Loaded Raspberry Pi

Accepting anything from 3.9-14V as its input and hosting a common 18650 battery, the Power Pi is an affordable UPS for your SBC.

IoT developer Tony John has taken to Kickstarter to fund production of a smart yet affordable uninterruptible power supply for the Raspberry Pi family of single-board computers: the Power Pi.

"Power Pi is an intelligent and cost efficient uninterruptible power supply for a Raspberry Pi that can provide more than an hour of backup power and safely shutdown the Pi when battery is drained," John writes. "It protects the Pi from power outages and brownouts. It is based on BQ25895 power management IC and TPS61236P boost converter IC from Texas Instruments.

"This UPS can power a Raspberry Pi via the 40-pin GPIO header or any other device requiring a 5V up-to 3A power supply through its screw terminal output or the USB A port."

The board, which is designed to sit atop any model of Raspberry Pi with the 40-pin general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header, takes between 3.9-14V at 2-3A as its input and provides a regulated 5V at up to 3A as an output. The UPS communicates with the Raspberry Pi via I2C, allowing for power input and battery status monitoring as well as safe automated shutdown in the case of low battery power.

For non-Raspberry Pi projects, the Power Pi also offers its regulated power output on a pair of screw terminals and via a USB A connector. The software side is handled by a Python program capable of reading input power, charge status, battery voltage, battery charge percentage, and an estimation of the time remaining — the latter being up to an hour, John claims, based on a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ running at full load and the recommended-but-not-supplied Samsung INR18650-29E 2.9Ah battery.

The Power Pi is now funding on Kickstarter, priced at €12 per unit (around $13); fulfilment of the first batch of orders is expected to take place this September. More information is available on the campaign page.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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