I understand that typical alkaline batteries lose voltage as they die, making them a poor choice for sensitive electronics without proper handling, and that lithium AA batteries are usually slightly less than 1.5V per piece, so that it is very hard to get exactly 5V.

I would like to connect 6 alkaline batteries in serial for a total of 9V. This will decrease to around 5 volts as the batteries reach 20% of max capacity. To regulate the 9V from the batteries into usable voltage for the raspberry pi, I am considering this LM2596 power supply module, which purports to take an input voltage of up to 40V and output at 5V. Will this work for my intended purpose?

On a similar note, I am looking for some sort of battery that can power a raspberry pi at 5V/2A for about a week. I have a USB LiPo battery rated at 20,000mAh that works for about 24 hours. Does such a solution exist that is approximately the volume of a coffee mug or less? As an example, I have this battery laying around: Sealed Lead Acid Battery 12V 9Ah and am wondering if this is compatible with the Pi using the same step down chip, and how long I might expect the Pi to last. Thanks for the info!

1 Answer 1


Yes, it will work — at least for a little while. An alkaline AA battery has a capacity of 450mAh so you could only expect to run the Pi for 30-60 minutes.

  • I could always wire up a bunch of batteries in parallel to increase my capacity, at least that is my understanding. Are LiPo batteries the best capacity per gram without getting crazy expensive?
    – jake9115
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:51
  • Do they really have this little capacity? Compared to AA rechargeables with 2000+x mAh (granted at a slightly lower voltage level).
    – Ghanima
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:53
  • According to this website:powerstream.com/AA-tests.htm, Duracell AA's have 2200mAh capacity
    – jake9115
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:56
  • @Ghanima I am afraid so. Even then only the good ones, and strictly only if discharged at the 10 hour rate. At higher rates performance drops. I did some performance tests (25 years ago).
    – Milliways
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:56
  • @Milliways Would my 12V 9Ah battery equate to 12V/5V=2.4*9 = 21.6Ah capacity for the Pi? And could I use the same voltage regulator as mentioned above?
    – jake9115
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 0:06

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