The TOFFEE Project
HOMEDOCUMENTATIONUPDATESVIDEOSRESEARCHDOWNLOADSPONSORSCONTACT


RESEARCH 》 Off-Grid Solar Power System for Raspberry Pi

Off-Grid Solar Power System for Raspberry Pi

When you choose to use your Raspberry Pi device as your IoT based remote weather station or if you are building Linux kernel (like kernel compilation) within the same, you need a good uninterrupted power source (UPS). But if you are using it on site or in some research camping location you can choose to power your Raspberry Pi device with your custom off-grid solar power source.

You can choose to use a small 12 Volt 10-14watt solar panel like this. This is quite ideal for charging a standard 12 volt - 7.2Ah Lead-acid battery. And while charging it will have sufficient to current left to power your Raspberry Pi device.
Off-Grid Solar Power System for Raspberry Pi

You can charge your battery via a solar panel to battery charge controller as shown below. The voltage output of these charge controllers should be around 13.5 to 14.5 volts which is ideal to charge your 12v battery. This will also ensure that the battery is never overcharged and will trickle charge if the battery is fully charged. The solar panel which is rated 12volts will generate around 18 to 19 volts in peak sunlight. So it is never a good idea to control the solar panel directly to a battery without a charge controller.
Off-Grid Solar Power System for Raspberry Pi - solar battery charge controller

Here is my compact low power UPS. This is a general purpose CFL/LED UPS with few power sockets (in this case 220volts AC). The advantage of this UPS is that it is meant to be used continuously 24/7 unlike high-power standard 600VA UPS (such as your APC UPS). The high-power UPS beeps if there is a power failure and a micro-controller restricts charging the battery via external charging units. This low power UPS delivers 45-50VA power output which is ideal to power Raspberry Pi, a small LED monitor, and charge your mobile devices. It dissipates less heat which is what we need in this case. It case without battery installed. So I need to purchase a standard 12volt sealed maintenance free (SMF) 7.2Ah lead-acid battery and installed the same within it.

Sometimes these are also called as Mini-UPS, and sometimes as LED UPS. These are mainly meant to serve as emergency power-backup (as an emergency lamp) and besides you can also charge your Mobile Phones, Tablets, etc. However they are not suited for a Laptop. Since a laptop charger typically consume 95-110W AC when it charges the laptop. And in normal operating mode, it consumes around 35-50W AC. And for the same reason it is well suited for powering your Raspberry Pi device. If you have a standard 120/240v AC to 5v 2Amp DC power adapter you can use with this UPS to power your Raspberry Pi.

The truth is sometimes it is better to call this device as a mini Inverter than a UPS.
Off-Grid Solar Power System for Raspberry Pi - low power CFL or LED UPS

You can see various power outlets/sockets of the UPS along with an 1-Amp protection fuse.
Off-Grid Solar Power System for Raspberry Pi - low power CFL or LED UPS power socket

Backside of the UPS as you can see in the picture below. I hacked the same and connected its battery terminals internally to this power socket. Which this I can directly bypass the UPS, charge the battery when in need via my solar panel or draw power 12volts directly from the battery terminals. It is quite unsafe to use this socket since you can connect reverse polarity, so alternatively you can use safe Molex 12v 5v computer power connectors or a standard DC power jack for this purpose.
Off-Grid Solar Power System for Raspberry Pi - low power CFL or LED UPS battery socket

So with this setup you can power-up your Raspberry Pi via standard 110v/220v 5volts 2amp power-supply. Or you can use directly 12volts to 5volts 2amp Car USB power adapter. Alternatively you can build a 5volt 2Amp Raspberry Pi power supply adapter with LM78S05 voltage regulator. You can find the circuit and instructions HERE.

WARNING: Never use any untested car 5v USB power supply since it may not deliver the required 2Amp current. Since these adapters are mainly meant for charging your low-power mobile phones.

WARNING: Never build a 5volt power supply adapter with LM7805 voltage regulator, since it delivers just 1Amp maximum current.

Just for thought: In Bangalore (India), the government insists home owners to install these Solar Water Heaters on their terrace. They provide subsidy and moreover these days it is becoming a mandatory requirement for new home owners before they apply for new home utility power connection(s) to their home(s).
Bangalore India - Solar Water Heaters installed on a terrace

These Solar water heating units are incredibly efficient as they convert the solar power directly into heat. They contain heat exchangers inside these large heat insulated reservoirs where the heated water is stored or later use in the home. Unlike a solar based electricity generation process, a solar based heating system is lot more efficient. The amount of power loss during the process is way too less. And the heat (energy) stored in this system is efficient than the way energy stored in a battery in the form of chemical energy. Which is why we need better power (electricity) storage systems such as super-capacitors and so on.
Bangalore India - Solar Water Heaters installed on a terrace

Here is my live detailed video-log of the same:

Power Consumption of Raspberry Pi: Raspberry Pi consumes way too less power. However it is important to understand the power consumption of the same with respect to the load on the device, such as casual browsing, kernel compilation, etc. Hence I connected a Raspberry Pi device via my Kill-a-watt kind of kilowatt power meter as shown below and measured its power consumption parameters. This I did along with my other lab equipment and published the same as a complete detailed article HERE.
Power consumption of my Home Lab devices for research - Raspberry Pi

💎 TOFFEE-MOCHA new bootable ISO: Download
💎 TOFFEE Data-Center Big picture and Overview: Download PDF


Recommended Topics:

Amazon Prime video - Video Acceleration No more Buffering Problems - WAN Acceleration ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021

Bitcoin Mining - Blockchain Technology - Network Optimization via TOFFEE Data-Center WAN Optimization ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Bitcoin Mining - Blockchain Technology - Network Optimization via TOFFEE Data-Center WAN Optimization

iPerf Network Optimization - WAN Optimization Demo ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021

Replacing in Lab Intel Core i7 5820K Desktop PC with Intel Celeron 1037U Mini-PC ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
As a research experiment I replaced my Intel Core i7 5820K desktop PC with my Intel Celeron 1037U Mini-PC as my everyday desktop system. This is an attempt to reduce my overall monthly power consumption. As well an attempt to do feasibility tests and research to know how far Mini PC will dominate the market in future and to study the real potential of Mini PCs.

YouTube Video Network Traffic Optimization - WAN Optimization Demo ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021

TOFFEE-Butterscotch Bandwidth saver software development - Update: 28-Oct-2016 ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Here is my first software development update of TOFFEE-Butterscotch. In my first TOFFEE-Butterscotch news update I have introduced about TOFFEE-Butterscotch research, project specifications, use-cases, etc. Introducing TOFFEE-Butterscotch Alerts: These are simple packet counters which corresponds to the filter type. For example if the incoming TCP-SYN packets are blocked then its corresponding alert counter will increment whenever such a packet arrives and gets filtered (dropped).

Watch on Youtube - [92//1] 155 VLOG - TOFFEE-Mocha WAN Emulation Software Development live update - 20-Oct-2016 ↗


INDEX :: Content Delivery Networks or Content Distribution Networks (CDN) ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021

TOFFEE Benchmarks :: TOFFEE-1.1.28 ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Here is the TOFFEE WAN Optimization benchmarks of the TOFFEE version: TOFFEE-1.1.28. This is the current TOFFEE development version till date (2-Jul-2016). This is a HPC TOFFEE variant meant for high-end custom build servers and high-end desktops (i.e High Performance Computing a.k.a HPC). TOFFEE built this way often needs customized kernel compilation and build such as processor specific and hardware specific tune-ups since it is highly CPU intensive (if not offloaded via Hardware Accelerator Cards).

Tracking Live TCP Sessions (connections) - WAN Optimization Device ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021

Building my own CDN - choosing a web-hosting to deploy my CDN - Update: 28-July-2016 ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
The TOFFEE Project website is hosted on Inmotion Hosting. And so I am looking for alternate hosting provider to build my first CDN node. My plan is to make multiple sub-domains of my website such as cdn1.the-toffee-project.org, cdn2.the-toffee-project.org and point each of this corresponding subdomain(s) to various alternative web hosting servers geographically spread across the world. Sometimes choosing the same vendor for multiple CDN nodes may result multiple servers existing in the data-center. And this becomes an issue if there is some catastrophic network disaster.



Featured Educational Video:
Watch on Youtube - [808//1] x23b 802.3x Ethernet Flow Control | L2 multicast | Switching protocols ↗

Recording Lab Monthly power-consumption readings for Research ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Here is my home lab monthly power-consumption readings for research. This will help to measure and monitor the overall power usage and assess the power requirements. This will help me in future purchases such as UPS, battery upgrades and so on. And as well remove replace old obsolete hardware with new less power-consuming devices.

The TOFFEE Project :: TOFFEE :: WAN Optimization ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
TOFFEE is an open-source WAN Optimization (Network Performance Optimization) software which can be used to optimize your critical networks.

Why TOFFEE is forked from TrafficSqueezer ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
TrafficSqueezer is an open-source WAN Optimization project. TrafficSqueezer is mainly a research project which is started around mid-2006. It is initially started as a research (or prototype) code even before it is officially registered in Sourceforge.net. But this code is just primitive user-space raw socket modules. This is later refined and a pre-alpha version is created. Followed by which Alpha release. This prototype code is moved from user-space to Linux Kernel (Kernel Space) and then the journey begin in terms of making a serious WAN Optimization solution. Once the pre-beta and beta releases are complete the mainstream series is started.

TOFFEE-Mocha WAN Emulation software development - Update: 19-July-2016 ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Today I refined the first page consolidated report graphs. TOFFEE-Mocha (unlike TOFFEE) is a WAN Emulator, so the graphs are supposed to highlight this purpose and should display the overall network activity. Unlike TOFFEE, the TOFFEE-Mocha report should contain in general what is received versus what is sent across the wire. In case if the packet drop feature is enabled, you should see few missing bytes and packets. Similarly in future I may support packet duplication feature, in that case you may see more packets/bytes sent versus the packets/bytes actually received.



Watch on Youtube - [476//1] VLOG - TOFFEE-Mocha-1.0.14-1-rpi2 - Raspberry Pi WAN Emulator release - 24-jun-2016 ↗

TOFFEE (and TOFFEE-DataCenter) deployment in SD-WAN Applications ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) is a new innovative way to provide optimal application performance by redefining branch office networking. Unlike traditional expensive private WAN connection technologies such as MPLS, etc., SD-WAN delivers increased network performance and cost reduction. SD-WAN solution decouple network software services from the underlying hardware via software abstraction.



Research :: Optimization of network data (WAN Optimization) at various levels:
Network File level network data WAN Optimization


Learn Linux Systems Software and Kernel Programming:
Linux, Kernel, Networking and Systems-Software online classes


Hardware Compression and Decompression Accelerator Cards:
TOFFEE Architecture with Compression and Decompression Accelerator Card


TOFFEE-DataCenter on a Dell Server - Intel Xeon E5645 CPU:
TOFFEE-DataCenter screenshots on a Dual CPU - Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5645 @ 2.40GHz - Dell Server