I am interested in buying Pi 3 for a hobby project, my idea is to put it in my car(i know i can use power from the car battery, but that is not the idea of the project).

I have been looking through power banks and i have found few which output 5V/2A, will that be enough to power and sustain Raspberry Pi 3?

  • The question boils down to power consumption, which has been discussed extensively, e.g. Raspberry Pi 3 vs Pi 2 power consumption and heat dissipation Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 13:57
  • Also, there was this question covering older devices. Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 14:03
  • Wouldn't this be kind of dangerous to the RPI?, powering off every time the battery dies or the car gets turned off without going through the proper method...I mean doesn't that potentially cause read/write issues on the microSD?
    – TheXed
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 14:10
  • @TheXed What makes you think the RPi will be powered off improperly? Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 14:14
  • I for one would find it cumbersome and anyone to have to SSH into my RPI to shut down to run the shutdown command everytime I turned off my car...I suppose you could add a button or something...yeah that would work well....or do the paper clip trick with the GPIO pins...
    – TheXed
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 14:15

1 Answer 1


As goldilocks has said below, the power bank must really give 5v/2A under load and not just charge at that amperage. The following should be interpreted with that condition:

It depends on what the Pi will be doing. If you are just running the Pi by itself then it will be fine(The foundation recommends 2.5A but I have used mine with 2A just fine).

However, if you have it plugged into a screen, have Bluetooth/Wifi running or are powering some external devices you will need more power.

My solution for those situations is to use a 5V/3A UBEC with RC batteries. Whatever battery you use will always give enough current for your project. Then all you need to work about is getting a battery that will last long enough.

  • 2
    I've found that regardless of amperage, while power banks are okay for other models, they cannot reliably deliver a continuous 5V when the demand for instantaneous current peaks as high as it does with the model 3. A 5V 2A wall wart and a set of 3.7V li-poly batteries boosted via ambiguous means to 5V (i.e., a power bank intended for recharging other batteries) are not equivalent. It may work, but you will likely set off the low voltage indicator frequently. The suggestion to use a UBEC instead is probably a good one.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 16:02

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