Solar Pi Platter

Solar Pi Platter with LiPo battery
Available to buy at Tindie.
The Solar Pi Platter is a versatile expansion board for the Raspberry Pi Zero™ and Pi Zero W™ computers that provides power from a single-cell Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, additional peripherals including analog inputs, PWM outputs, USB ports and optional hardwired ethernet. A real-time clock allows for scheduled power cycling. Dual charging sources support both low-impedance devices like common USB chargers and high-impedance devices like Solar Panels. The Solar Pi Platter allows the Pi Zero to be used in a wide variety of applications ranging from solar-powered remote data acquisition systems to battery-backed file servers.


  • Single-cell Lithium Ion battery management system supplying up to 10W power at 5V
  • Low impedance charging input with Un-interruptible Power Supply (UPS) functionality
  • High impedance charging input for use with solar or inductive power sources
  • Real Time Clock with Alarm Power Control
  • Battery charged power-up control
  • Automatic Low battery power-down control
  • Three high-speed USB expansion ports with per-port Transaction Translator
  • Power control for two USB expansion ports
  • Expansion port for RJ45 Ethernet jack
  • Two analog inputs with configurable reference
  • Two PWM outputs with configurable period and support for Servo mode
  • Simple command interface via a USB serial port
  • Programmable power-on default operation
  • User-accessible EEPROM configuration settings
  • Watchdog Timer


  • File server or router with built-in battery backup
  • Solar powered time-lapse camera
  • Remote control and sense applications
  • Embedded system control with battery backup
  • Portable computing applications
Solar Pi Platter block diagram
Illustration of Solar Pi Platter connections

Downloads and Links

GitHub repository with documentation, all software related to the Solar Pi Platter including utility software (talkpp and ppd), example scripts and applications.
The development of the project documented at
The product was launched as a kickstarter project with a fellow Solid State Depot member, Mike Seiler.
Available at


Demonstration Projects

webcam with servos based on Solar Pi Plaltter
Webcam based on motioneyeos with battery backup and pan/tilt servos. Build documented on
Time lapse camera outside based on Solar Pi Platter
A solar powered time-lapse camera that can work in a remote location storing photographs to the Pi's Micro-SD card and using DietPi for reliability.
Fun little robot car based on Solar Pi Platter
Simple remote control robot with video streaming built on an old Sparkfun base with parts I had laying around as a demo for the kickstarter campaign.