Raspberry Pi UPS HAT takes two 18650 batteries (Crowdfunding)

Raspberry Pi UPS solutions have been available for years with products like PiJuice Zero, PiVoyager, or LiFePO4wered/Pi+. But the team at SB Components has designed another UPS HAT for Raspberry Pi with a holder for two 18650 batteries.

The HAT is designed for 5V operation up to 2.5A, connects with the Raspberry Pi SBC through the I2C bus from the 40-pin GPIO header, and is equipped with a 0.91-inch OLED for information display.

UPS HAT for Raspberry Pi

UPS HAT for Raspberry Pi specifications:

  • Power Input – 8.4V/2A via DC jack
  • Power Output – 5V up to 2.5A through LDO chip (GPIO header and 2x USB ports)
  • Display – 0.91-inch OLED
  • Host interface – I2C
  • Misc – On/Off switch
  • Battery support
    • 18650 Lithium battery (not included) via holder for two batteries
    • Battery reverse indicator
    • Charging and voltage monitoring via TI INA219 I2C chip
    • Battery voltage balancing with Hycon HY2213
    • Battery protection IC (Hycon HY2120)
  • Dimensions – 94.5 x 56 mm; 3mm mounting holes

18650 battery holder UPS HAT for Raspberry Pi-charging protection circuit

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a DIY FM radio kit that connected a 18650 battery directly to the power supply, but this HAT is much better with charging and protection circuits (See schematics below). Users are however still advised to follow some precautions when using the board:

  • When discharging or charging the battery, do not connect the polarities in the opposite direction
  • Lithium-ion and Lithium-Polymer batteries are notoriously unstable, and may cause fire, human harm, or property damage if not used correctly
  • Do not mix old and new batteries, do not use batteries from various brands.
  • Change the battery after 2 years
  • Check the battery specifications match the expansion’s board
  • Keep batteries away from flammable and explosives, and keep them away from children

These recommendations are valid for any Lithium-based batteries though.

18650 battery protection charging circuit
Protection and charging circuit

SB Components will usually share the code for their products on Github, but the source code for the UPS HAT for Raspberry Pi is not available yet.

You’ll find the project on Kickstarter where it has raised around $10,000 so far. Rewards start at $41 (30 GBP) for the UPS HAT, an 8.4V battery charger, two 20-pin female headers, and six standoffs. The company also offers bundles with multiple UPS HATs, or a mix-and-match with some of their other Raspberry Pi add-ons. Shipping adds 5 GBP to the UK, around 8.3 Euros to the European Union, and about $20 to the rest of the world. Deliveries are scheduled to start on February 2022.

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