Here is a Solar and Battery unit suitable for the Raspberry Pi.
Its a neat way to power your Raspberry Pi:
1. You can power your Pi directly from the sun using the solar panel and 4 x nimh batteries (not supplied) which act as a 'buffer' if the sun goes in
2. or... You can let the sun charge the batteries using the solar panel during the day and then switch on your Pi when you want to use it. - great to use free energy.
Of course, you can use the solar battery pack to power other Micro USB devices but the size of this panel is just perfect for the Pi and would form the nice basis for making a Solar Pi Project box.
This is a hand made unit not a professionally made device! - I made one for myself and find it very handy that I thought others might be interested. As you can see it includes a nice box to put the pi into - a great snug fit with holes made for the external connectors.
The panel supplies a little over 300ma (so for 3000mah nimh batteries means that it is charging at a perfect C/10) and has blocking diodes to prevent battery discharge.
Typical Pi version B users are finding that they are using about 400ma an hour with various keyboards, mice, network and TV plugged in and running, so when in full sun it could run from mainly solar and when the sun goes in the batteries will seamlessles take over. Even using much lower capacity AAA cells (which also fit) my kids played on Scratch for over an hour and half in the dark with juice to spare at the end. AA cells hold about 3 times as much energy so you should have plenty of power.
The panel is large enough to charge 3000ma AA nimh batteries in under 10 hours or my smaller 750ma nimh AAA cells in under 3 hours. So you could leave in the sun in the day, and use the Pi in the evening.
The Raspberry Pi and Batteries are not included, but the micro USB lead obviously is.
This model has a * Switch so you don't have to keep pulling the lead out to swich it off (but switching it off won't stop the batteries being charged) * Blue LED so you can see when the batteries are being charged by the sun * USB Socket so you can charge other USB devices like phones. Add $5 or £3 if you need added Apple circuitry to charge ipods/phones/pads * USB Lead, so in winter you can just plug the lead in to a USB socket to charge the batteries (won't fully charge them this way) and run the pi when the batteries are flat and theres no sun
This model is also 'Linkable' If you buy 2 units and connect them together you can use twice the solar capability and twice the storage capacity.
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Brilliant. Arrived yesterday safe and sound, working perfectly. Once I get some nice weather I will set it up with the projector and surround sound system that is already to go in the garden. If I can find my camera I will send some pictures in.