When it comes to the Raspberry Pi I love to come up with new projects and test things out and play around even if it fails its all about learning and enjoying the adventure. The Raspberry Pi has been a wonderful source of knowledge in my shop and office I really cant think of too many projects I have not attempted at one point or another on it even tho much not documented. Which now I have started to get a bit better at that and well bring them to everyone to check out and maybe try for themselves.
Today's project is exactly that a Solar Powered off grid Raspberry Pi.
Now when it comes to the project I had to think what would be the best ideal think that I want to accomplish with it I ran through my head of a nas server, using owncloud, setup a web server and even security camera's and so on. But one thing came to mind that I really wanted to do and test out to see how well it would work.
A Raspberry Pi Solar Powered Desktop. As you can guess since I have been using my Pi4 for a desktop and currently using to write this article with its been a work horse and has been nothing but fun using it as a desktop. But I also need one in my workshop so that's the plan.
So for my setup I will be using for now a temp setup but we will walk through it.
Here is the list of stuff being used in this project for now.
Raspberry Pi 3b+
We will be using the Studio Matrix Project that I made for the Matrix VOICE Dev Board - Review
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3783458 is the main unit
20w Solar Panel
12/24v solar charge controller
2x 100ah universal batteries.
7" Kuman touch screen LCD.
Will also be using since its already connected is the Matrix Voice will do something with this in a future project for automating more of my workshop.
12v - 5v stepdown with usb
(I do have another 12v - 5v step down unit attached near the controller but it wont be used for this project) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2449638
Many Years ago I always dreamed about having a 12v solar powered workshop. Now its time to start building it bit by bit then putting it into a small shop outside off the grid.
First thing we need to look at is the Raspberry Pi and power consumption. From testing my Pi 4 which I think consumes a bit more It will give me a baseline of whats to come. on idle with keyboard attached and wifi on is roughly about 8 watts of power. Not bad and under full load with monitor on the pi 4 I get about 35 watts. So if we take away the power hungry monitor and use the 7" touch screen it should be more then sufficient now I wont be using it all the time but want it available when I need it even being able to connect remotely to it would be good as well which then would use less power with the touch screen not being on.
Yes If I want to run the Pi for more then a certain amount of time I would have to upgrade my solar panel. But on the bright side the panel is in a location that gets a lot of sun through the day and even at night with a street light it's still producing 2.2v which I thought was weird.
Now I will say I did do a whole video on this but seems it helps if you wireless lav microphone actually works so no video this time. Was a fun project, once I get an upgraded panel for outside or more to add to it then I will start building up the devices added to it so far its been a something I have been meaning to completed and finally got it up and running.
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