PiJuice Battery HAT Module for the Raspberry Pi Boards Comes with an Optional Solar Panel (Crowdfunding)

The Raspberry Pi is a low power board that can be powered a few hours or a few days with batteries, and the easiest solution is probably to use a USB power bank connected to the micro USB port of the board, but the solution is not really integrated. That’s where PiJuice comes into play. It’s a HAT compatible module that connects nicely to the latest Raspberry Pi boards with 40-pin header (A+, B+ and B2), and include a 1,400 mAh battery that can be used as UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply), an RTC, and more. Key features of PiJuice HAT: 1400 mAh  Lipo battery, good enough to last up to 24 hrs in constant use. 5,000 mAh batteries are also said to be supported. Full UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) solution Integrated RTC (Real Time Clock) On board intelligent on/off switch Low power deep-sleep state with wake on interrupt/calendar event On […]

USB Solar Power Bank Review

A few months ago, I won a $5 coupon for DealExtreme, and decided to buy a “Portable 5V (30,000mAh) Li-ion Battery Solar Power Bank w/ Dual USB + LED – Black + White” for just over $20. For the price, solar charging was a nice bonus, and the 30,000 mAh was probably a “mistake” but it did not really matter. The SKU is gone, but 1BA-2 Solar power bank ($23.97) appears to be a very similar product. I did not plan to write about this gadget, but a few things happened that made me change my mind. First. it took over two months to reach me, instead of the usual 2 to 4 weeks. I ordered on the 9th of November 2013, and received the package on the 25th of January 2014. The reason being that the package got declined by Thai immigration (I live in Thailand). DealExtreme could not […]

WeWi SOL Ubuntu Laptop is Powered by an Intel Atom Processor and Solar Energy

WeWi Telecommunications has designed a solaptop (Solar-powered laptop) with 4 foldable solar panels in order to recharge the battery. WeWi SOL is powered by Intel Atom D2500, with 4GB RAM, features a 13.3″ display, and runs Ubuntu. It will be sold for only $300 to $400. WeWi SOL specifications: CPU – Intel Atom D2500 @ 1.86 GHz Dual Core, Intel 945GSE + ICH7M GPU – Built-In Intel GMA3600 Graphics, 1080p HD Video System Memory – 2 to 4GB DDRIII SDRAM (Kingston) Storage – 2.5” SATA HDD 320GB (Seagate) + Card reader (SD/MS/MMC) Display – 13.3″ LCD, WXGA, 1366 x 768 Video Output – HDMI Audio – Realtek ALC661 HD Audio, built-in stereo speakers, internal mic + 3.5mm headphone jack Connectivity: 10/100M Ethernet 3G/4G World/multimode LTE Modem GPS (gpsOne Gen8A) WiFi – MIMO 802.11b/gn (2.4/5GHz) Bluetooth – Integrated Digital Core BT4.0 USB – 3x USB 2.0 Camera – 3MP Battery Operating Time […]

199 Euros “Energy Harvesting Solution To Go” Kit with Energy Micro Cortex M3 Starter Kit

If you’re interesting in battery less ultra low power applications, Energy Micro, Linear Technology and Würth Elektronik have announced an energy harvesting development platform early last month. The “Energy Harvesting Solution To Go” Kit is composed of an Energy Micro Giant Gecko (Cortex M3) Starter Kit and an energy harvesting board that is capable of getting enough solar, thermal, piezoelectric or electromagnetic energy to power the MCU board. The power connector shown above connects directly to the Giant Gecko Starter Kit board to provide power. Although there are 4 energy harvesters on the board, only one power source can be selected at a time via jumpers. Several power sources can be selected by using diodes. The board The energy harvesting board offers two integrated energy sources: A solar cell (32mm x 50mm) A thermo-generator (40mm x 40mm). And 2 other external energy sources can be added to the board via […]

Cymbet EnerChip Solid State Batteries and Energy Harvesting Evaluation Kits

Cymbet has developed rechargeable solid state batteries called EnerChip for Embedded Energy, Power Backup and Energy Harvesting. Applications include backing up Real Time Clocks (RTC), Micro-controllers (MCU) and SRAM devices. The company says “EnerChips are ideal for energy harvesting powered devices such as wireless sensors, medical devices, data loggers and remote location tracking equipment.” Those chipsets aim at replacing batteries such as CR2032 batteries that you can find in watches, calculators and other low power devices. The company emphasized three key benefits of such “batteries”: EnerChips are more than 10x smaller than non-rechargeable coin cell batteries EnerChips last 3x longer than conventional coin cell batteries EnerChips are less expensive to use than conventional coin cell batteries or super caps. The price starts at 20 US cents in volume quantities. You can watch the promotion video below for an overview of those chips. Cymbet shows a lot of mobile phones in their video, […]

OLPC XO-3 Sugar Linux Tablet

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation has unveiled the OLPC XO-3 Tablet at CES 2012. This Tablet features a 8″ 1024×768 capacitive LCD touch screen running a version of Sugar Linux for Touchscreen. This must be the only tablet ot running Android at CES 2012… This current sample only have a front camera, but the final device will have both a front and rear camera. They also have an optional solar panel cover (4W panel), that can be used to charge the tablet (2W), so in ideal conditions if you charge it for 2 hours, the tablet can be used for 4 hours. Alternatively, you can also charge it for the hand cracker. A Pixel Qi tablet (not shown in the video below) is also available for extra costs (I’ve heard 100 USD extra) for better readability. OLCP did not specify availability. The way OLPC works is that they […]

Energy Harvesting Development Kit by Microchip Technology

The XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Development Kit is a  development platform for realizing energy harvesting applications powered by Microchip nanoWatt XLP PIC MCUs which are suited for  low power applications with sleep currents down to 20nA, active mode currents down to 50uA/MHz, code execution efficiency, and multiple wake-up sources. The power for the kit is supplied by Cymbet’s EVAL-08 Solar Energy Harvester which features a solar panel suitable for use with indoor or outdoor light. The XLP kit enables rapid prototyping of low power applications such as RF sensors, temperature/environmental sensors, utility meters, remote controls, security sensors and more. For software development and programming, the kit includes the PICkit 3 programmer/debugger for use with the Microchip’s free MPLAB™ Integrated Development Environment. Microchip also provides XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting RF Demo Code  in C language  (The file is a Windows Executable, but it’s just an executable compressed file so it can […]

Wysips Transparent solar charger built into displays

Wysips, a company based in the south of France, developed a thin transparent photovoltaic film that can be used to charge smartphones, e-book, tablet and even laptop. They were at CTIA 2011 and were interview by laptopmag. Their transparent photovoltaic strip is 100 micrometer thick and can be used with touchscreen and 3D displays. It can provide 250mW for smartphone by continuously charging the device (6 hours of outdoor light) and possibly removing the need for charger. The cost for smartphones would be 1 USD, which could potentially be offset by a smaller battery. They are currently working with handset manufacturer and expect products using their technology to hit the market within 12 months. The next version due in 2012 should provide enough power for 30 minutes of talk time after one hour of charging. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his […]