SunFounder PiPower 3 kit is a UPS solution for the Raspberry Pi 5 SBC

SunFounder PiPower 3 kit is a UPS solution designed to work with the Raspberry Pi 5, other Arm SBCs, or even MCU boards like Arduino UNO and Raspberry Pi Pico. The board delivers a stable 5V/5A output, and a 32-bit CH32V003 RISC-V microcontroller takes care of power management and battery level reporting to make sure the Raspberry Pi 5 keeps running when a power failure occurs and shutdowns gracefully when the battery level is low.

The kit comes with two 18650 2,000mAh batteries that connect through a 2-pin connector, and all accessories – standoffs, acrylic case, and fan – for assembly with the Raspberry Pi 5, or other compatible boards like the Pi 4, Banana Pi BPI-M5, Radxa Rock Pi E, Orange Pi 3B, and others.

 

Raspberry Pi 5 UPS Solution

PiPower 3 kit specifications:

  • 32-bit CH32V003 RISC-V microcontroller supporting I2C communication
  • Input – 5V/5A via USB Type-C with PD support
  • Output – 5V/5A via USB Type-A port, Raspberry Pi GPIO header, or a 2×4-pin 2.54mm pitch header
  • 40-pin GPIO header for Raspberry Pi 5
  • Safety – Overcharge, over-discharge, and overheating safeguards.
  • Charging – 7.4V/1A
  • Battery – 7.4V 2-cell 18650 Lithium Ion batteries (2x 3.7V/2,000mAh) via 3-pin 2.54mm pitch connector; good for about 90 minutes (under load with the RPi 5?)
  • Expansion
    • Qwiic/STEMMA QT I2C connector
    • 4-pin I2C header (2.54mm pitch)
  • Misc
    • Power button
    • Default on jumper cap
    • External button extension header
    • 3-pin Shutdown signal jumper
    • Onboard indicators for battery level, input source, power status, reverse polarity, and output power
    • 40 x 40 x 10mm 5V fan

SunFounder PiPower 3

When I reviewed the PiPower UPS Kit with a Raspberry Pi 4 last year, I was happy with the hardware, but disappointed with the software since users had to write their own script(s) to make use of the battery monitoring function. SunFounder has improved on that as the company now provides scripts and code samples using Python for Raspberry Pi or other Linux-capable SBCs, MicroPython for Raspberry Pi Pico or ESP32 module, and Arduino for other MCU boards.

Usage of the pipower3 utility in Linux:


The rest of the documentation – available in English, German, and Japanese – provides more detail about the hardware, assembly instructions, and so on. Raspberry Pi Pico, ESP32, and Arduino boards are supported through the USB Type-A port or 8-pin header for power and two I2C connectors for battery monitoring. As I understand it, the user could potentially connect up to five low-power microcontroller boards to the UPS board as long as the combined power consumption remains under 25W which should not be an issue for those types of boards.

Raspberry Pi 5 18650 batteries UPS

The PiPower 3 kit will work with virtually all SBCs on the market except when the power consumption may go over 25 Watts (e.g. Radxa Rock 5 Model B with SSD) and mounting may be an issue on some models either because of different mounting hole positions, for example with NVIDIA Jetson Nano developer kit. The tablet below will help you find which boards are perfectly compatible with SunFounder’s latest UPS kit.

PiPower 3 Compatibility Matrix
SunFounder Raspberry Pi 5 UPS power supply can be pre-order for $35.99 with delivery scheduled to start on July 7. The company also says members of their Facebook group can receive a 30% discount code. Here it is: “Pipower3-30%off” for people who don’t use Facebook.

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9 Comments
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Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
13 days ago

Is there any integrated ability to charge the 18650s from solar panels?

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
12 days ago

Ok but there’s no circuitry designed to control for solar power input, like on a PiJuice? So you’d have to get a separate solar controller and connect it in between your panel(s) and the USB-C port on this.

hrr
hrr
13 days ago

I wonder what ssd they tried with the Rock5. With my rock5 I did try an SSD which was not power efficiënt, but I saw seldom more then 12V/1A power consumption (including a 1W surplus for USB-PD at 20V).

Ben D
Ben D
12 days ago

Does this require the GPIO pins to work? I’m asking because I’d like to use this along with the Piornman case.

Ben D
Ben D
12 days ago

Can a pinout be provided of what pins on the GPIO the Pi power is using so I can make my own interface?

Khadas VIM4 SBC