Powering a Raspberry Pi with a 5W solar panel

My plan was to make a solar powered raspberry pi. To run a Facebook AIML chat bot written in c#. (In the daytime)

What you will need:

1 x Raspberry pi (we used model B)
1 x 5 Watt solar panel with USB connector
2 x Female breadboard connector (we used something similar)
1 x USB wire with connector
1 x Toggle switch
1 x Brain
1 x Soldering iron & solder

Powered by the HACKSPACE LEICESTER and INSTRUCTABLES for supplying the solar panel.Powering a Raspberry Pi with a 5W solar panel

Step 1: Find the required GPIO pins

Find the Required GPIO Pins

I googled the GPIO pin layout on google, and luckily there was a nice diagram which worked with my model B.
The pins match up with the ones on the raspberry pi.

We want the red 5V and the black Ground on the top left of the diagram.

Step 2: Find the USB power wires.

Find the USB Power Wires.

Now we want to find the power wires from a standard USB wire. Like mine!

In my case it was the red and black, but may be different depending on your wire, so remember to check it with a volt meter before soldering.

Step 3: Soldering


Now you want to solder the wires together, I used a switch aswell.

I soldered the red wire from my USB to one of the female connectors which would go on pin 2 on the raspberry pi,
and I soldered the black wire from my USB to another one of the female connectors which would go on pin 6 on the raspberry pi.

I made a ascii circuit diagram for you: (It Looked better on notepad)

Red USB+——————————-+5V Red GPIO (Pin 2)
Black USB+——————-+Switch+—–+round Black (Pin 6)

Step 4: Test


Now its time to test it. Because this 5 Watt solar panel is not powerful enough to create a lot of electricity, It might struggle to run the raspberry pi unless it’s a bright day.

Mine worked under a bright light, but wasn’t able to run under a normal light bulb.


Source: Powering a Raspberry Pi with a 5W solar panel

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