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4 Raspberry Pi Battery Packs for Portable Projects

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Raspberry Pi battery packs can easily turn your plugged-in Pi into a portable computer. It’s easier than you think.

Several mobile power options are available, from dedicated solutions designed for the Pi to custom-built DIY batteries. Get your Raspberry Pi out of the house and involved in some mobile projects, powered with one of these four options.

Requirements for Adding a Raspberry Pi Battery

Just like static Raspberry Pi projects, portable uses for the Raspberry Pi need to be powered by a good quality 5V micro USB (USB-C for Pi 4) supply with a 1.2A (1200mA) current (although 1000mA should suffice for most projects on older Pis).

However, the USB ports benefit from a supply of 2.5A (2500mA) if you plan to connect devices without a powered hub.

Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Which power supply you need depends on the final application of your Pi. The GPIO pins have a total requirement of 50mA, the HDMI port 250mA and keyboards as little as 100mA (dependent on model, of course). The Raspberry Pi camera requires 250mA.

Checking the power rating of any hardware you plan to connect will give you an idea of the likely minimum requirements. It should also help you determine the best portable power option.

A screenshot of a VGE battery pack next to product information

Any portable battery designed to charge a smartphone over USB can be used with the Raspberry Pi. Sold as a dedicated solution, the Battery Pack for Raspberry Pi from VGE is available on Amazon.

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This 4000mAh battery outputs 5V 2.4A and comes with a nano adhesive pad that sticks to most surfaces. Compatible with Raspberry Pi 4, two USB-C ports let you power your Pi and a portable display. There is also a micro USB version for other Pi models.

As you might expect, this battery pack can also double as a smartphone or tablet recharger. This makes it the perfect all-round portable battery for your favorite tech, ideal for the Raspberry Pi.

A screenshot of a RaspberryPi PiJuice HAT next to product information

Designed to the HAT specification, this compact solution makes your Pi self-powered and portable.

Doubling as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), the PiJuice HAT from Pi Supply can protect your Pi from sudden data loss. You can also configure the HAT to run a managed shutdown when power is low, which cuts in when the main power is lost.

Better still, the PiJuice HAT lets you take your Raspberry Pi out and about, making it ideal for a range of portable projects. A 1820mAh battery provides four to six hours charge, but there is support for a larger battery (5000mAh and 12000mAh). This potentially gives over 24 hours of power to your Pi.

Compatible with other boards, and with various features packed in (including a header for use with external devices), the PiJuice HAT is the most popular portable power solution for the Raspberry Pi. And if you didn’t already know, there’s even an option to connect a 6 or 12 Watt solar panel instead of a battery.

A screenshot of the Kuman RaspberryPi Battery Pack next to product information

Comprising a two-layer acrylic board, battery expansion board, and a 5V battery, this is a slick Raspberry Pi power solution. Shipping with all the required cables, screws, and risers, the Kuman UPS Lithium Battery Pack lets you mount your Pi along with the board.

The expansion board sits below the Pi, allowing access to the connectors and the GPIO. It also features a battery indicator for quickly checking the charge and auto-switching functionality. Double USB outputs are included: one to power the Pi, the other for a second device such as Kuman’s own 3.5-inch LCD screen.

4. DIY Portable Raspberry Pi Power Supply

Build a Raspberry Pi power supply with batteries and an UBEC

In keeping with the nature of the Raspberry Pi, you might opt to build your own portable power supply.

You can do this relatively cheaply, employing a battery box suitable for AA batteries and a Universal Battery Eliminator Circuit (UBEC). You’ll need six or more AA batteries for this solution, but it’s possible to hook up other cells if preferred.


The UBEC is a power regulator that prevents batteries from damaging the Pi, so should be considered a vital component.

A battery box and UBEC can be purchased for a total price of less than $15 including postage.

Building your DIY portable battery pack is reasonably simple. Connect the red wire on the battery box to the red wire on the UBEC, repeating for the black wire. You might do this using a terminal strip, or simply by twisting and soldering the wires together.

Depending on which type of UBEC you purchase, you may need to perform some customization here. They usually ship with a micro USB connector for your Raspberry Pi (or USB-C for Pi 4), but if you receive the three-pin GPIO connector, then you will need to move the red wire to the outermost pin slot.

Do this by releasing the catch on the connector; you can then pull the red wire from the middle slot and insert it in the outermost slot. This wire can be connected to the GPIO on pin 2 (the +5V red wire) and 6.

To power up your Raspberry Pi, insert all but one of the batteries into the box and connect everything. When you’re ready, add the final battery and watch the status lights as the Pi boots. Success!

How Long Will Batteries Last?

Your chosen power cell’s duration will depend on use. If you built a handheld gaming system, then it is likely the charge will be depleted with constant use. This contrasts with a project with a simpler use such as monitoring your network. It’s a good idea to test your project to get an idea of how long the charge will last.

4 Ways to Power Your Raspberry Pi on the Go!

With so many options for Raspberry Pi battery projects, it’s important to have a flexible power solution.

We’ve found the following four options are the best:

  1. Smartphone battery charger
  2. PiJuice HAT
  3. Kuman battery expansion board
  4. DIY battery pack

All these portable power solutions for the Raspberry Pi should help you run the computer outdoors, whatever the project.

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