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What formula can I use to determine the capacity of a USB battery bank (ex. emergency backup battery for a cell phone) to power a device that consumes x miliamps at 5 volts for y hours?

I'm specifically using this for a raspberry pi that consumes 1200 miliamps at 5 volts.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you sure the raspberry pi actually consumes 1.2 A? Or is that just the rating on the supply? Seems kind of high. \$\endgroup\$
    – user57037
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 23:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ raspberrypi.org/help/faqs/#power \$\endgroup\$
    – user57037
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 23:54

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It's not going to consume that. That's what the fuse is rated at. It will depend on what you're running. Maybe 200-300 for Ethernet would be the largest in a standard application, so typically I'd say under 500mA. The 5v supply tends to droop as well, so that isn't exactly a fixed number either.

If you go worst case then you can just use 1.2A x hours for an amp-hour rating if that's how the batteries are specified. There is more to it than that though. You don't really want to run the batteries too low etc. Google some pages. There's plenty of info.

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