I want to build a power supply for my Raspberry Pi zero. It needs 5V and 2.5A (2A also working but only if 2.5A is not possible).

I want to use solar cells to get the 5V and 2.5A. I have already searched amazon for solar panels but somehow the ones I've found do only have an output of 80mA - 500mA what's obviously not enough...

Do you have any advice for me about suitable solar/photovoltaic panels...

Please also include some more (technical)details as I'm an noob in electronics.

Thanks in advance!!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I want to build a power supply ... I'm an noob in electronics. Hmm, have you thought about what would happen if there's too little (sun)light for the RPi to work at all? What is the RPi supposed to do? The 2.5A is a maximum, it depends on how active the RPi is, in certain applications the average current will be less. To make this in any way practical you probably have to combine this with a backup battery that's charged from the solar cells. Designing this from scratch is not for beginners. I suggest you get a solar charging power bank. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 15:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ The pi mines some monero/cryptocurrencies... A solar charging powerbank would be a good idea... \$\endgroup\$
    – Fipsi
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ A word of advice: take whatever current rating is mentioned on Amazon, and divide it by 10...50. You will be less disappointed when the stuff arrives. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 6:37

1 Answer 1


using a solar panel directly to power the raspberry pi would not be a good idea. in the same manner where solar panels power houses, not by direction connection, but in conjunction with power electronic converters, and storage systems, so also would those be applicable here. Now what you would need, would be a good rechargeable battery, a simple DC-DC converter, and finally, a linear regulator as the buffer between the battery, and the raspberry pi.

  1. Solar panel to DC-DC converter

  2. DC-DC converter to rechargeable battery

  3. rechargeable battery to linear regulator
  4. Linear regulator to raspberry pi.

NB: you can cascade the solar panels which you find to give you more current output, and have faster charge rate.


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