PiSolMan Lets Makers Continuously Power Raspberry Pi Zero Projects
Tom Spendlove posted on December 27, 2016 |

Abel Rodriguez de la Concepcion has a passion for electronics. While working during the day with wireless sensor networks and on side projects in his spare time he became more and more aware of the challenges facing makers. The competing restraints of size, power consumption and cost constantly caused frustration in projects. His developed PiSolMan as a solution to continuously power a Raspberry Pi and monitor power consumption, and is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund a first run of components.

PiSolMan is intended to be used with Raspberry Pi Zero but can work with any 40 pin header Pi models. The dashboard shows Battery State, Power Consumption, Efficiency, and Module Temperature, along with power, voltage, and current information. The entire system was designed to continuously power a Raspberry Pi module with a 12 Volt battery and a solar panel, while keeping the overall efficiency around 90 percent.

The unit is 6.5 x 3.05 centimeters, matching the Raspberry Pi footprint, and requires three general purpose input / output (GPIO) pins. The operation can be autonomous and alarms can be set for voltage, power or current limits. Everything is tailored to the Raspberry Pi platform but the system can also work with a 5 Volt device like Arduino or BeagleBone.

It's great to see makers continually developing tools for their own projects and then working to make them accessible to the overall maker community. This shield started out as a solution to Concepcion's application but several new applications are shown on the campaign page. A weather station, wireless camera, remote automation station, remote irrigation system, and remote IoT system are all demonstrated or imagined as uses for the PiSolMan. The campaign ends on January 6, 2017 and if successful the units are expected to ship by May 2017.

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