We know how complicated it is to sort out the power demands of your Raspberry Pi project, but this design by maker Mike Bell takes the idea to a new level. Hes managed to power a Raspberry Pi Pico with a few accessories. Weve seen a clever power solution in the past but never really.
According to Bell, it takes approximately two to three minutes to evaporate the water in the steam engine. The Pico runs for around two hours before the water in the boiler dissipates. The engine has a 135 ml boiler power and the engine has 1.5 bar of operating pressure. It’s heated using Mamod wax-fuel tablets which burn 15 minutes.
Image 1 of 2 by chance. 1 of 2 and 1 is the size of a mirror.
Image 1 of 2, by mistake.
Bell had to change the design of the system so that it could be a good idea to optimize the output. With the Pico and display module integrated into the setup, it was taking at 5V, between 9 and 13 meters. He then decided to hook up the dynamo, which produced around 3,3V, a voltage that can be easily used for the Pico.
A microsecond clock speed caused the recurrent issue with 250 kHz (again). To help combat this issue, Bell programmed the Pico to calculate more slowly, thereby increasing timer divider.
The engine that Bell uses is a Wilesco D6 with an M66 dynamo which also features an LED light. The display is a Dot-matrix chip from Pimoroni. The Dot-matrix can also be adjusted to reduce the voltage to 100 mA. This change made them illuminate at a lower brightness, but Bell assures that the content on the display is still readable and necessary to reduce the general power consumption.
This is one of the coolest methods that we have ever seen for a Raspberry Pi. If you want to try and get started with this Raspberry Pi project, check out the original project thread shared with Twitter, and follow Mike Bell if there are any cool creations in the future.
Source: PI PICO’S RASPBERRY PI RUNS ON A STEAM POWERED ENGINE