I'm doing a university project using a raspberry pi 3 using , and I'm essentially making a time lapse camera. I have the camera module, and I've managed to take some pictures, but it would be good for my project if I could also get an idea of how much energy my project was using for my report. Does anyone know if the Pi has the hardware necessary to do that or a library I could reference?

When I tried to look it up myself, I saw mainly projects of using the Pi to track some other device's power usage. I could totally design a circuit that would allow me to measure voltage and current draw, but I'd rather not if the Pi is capable of doing so on its own. I know that most laptops do have a utility for it buried somewhere in the OS, and I'd rather not reinvent the wheel if I can avoid it. Thanks!

2 Answers 2


While the Pi can't do this on its own, a number of sensors can.

The INA219 claims to be able to record Amps. You could modify your PI PSU with this device, and then wire the data back to the pi. It should be then trivial to read the current useage with a bash script.

Unfortunatly, I don't have an exact build for you to follow, but there will be examples on how to use this.

  • Thanks! I'm not sure I have enough time to change my design to include it, what with the semester ending, but I'm grateful fore the response. Nov 30, 2018 at 22:16
  • I'm not sure if you get an option to do a write up, but you could mention it as an opportunity for improving the project. (writing up science experiments in school, we always had to find something to improve)
    – Stese
    Dec 3, 2018 at 7:06

The Pi has no built-in current sensors which could be used for monitoring its own current draw; it does monitor for under-voltage to display the yellow lightning bolt.


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