Good day,

I have a Raspberry Pi Zero W that I would like to deploy onto a tower that is supplied with 12VDC power from a photovoltaic solar panel.

I'm currently looking at powering the Pi Zero W directly from a Diatone Mini V2.0 BEC that outputs 5VDC at 2A. It's a BEC designed for use on an FPV quadcopter but I have several of them as they are pretty cheap.

The input voltage for the Diatone Mini V2.0 BEC is 6VDC to 23VDC and it will output 5VDC with a continuous current of 2A.

Would that be appropriate to power the Raspberry Pi Zero W directly from a 12 volt car battery?

I am hoping to use the Pi Zero W for serial communications and for interfacing with a current sensor like the Sparkfun ACS723 to measure the amount of current being used by a datalogger and how much current is being generated by the solar panel.


  • Related: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/q/63519/19949 As far as one can tell, that should work at least from the Pi side. You do not specify the power rating of the solar cell, the expected output of the panel (location, location, location), or the specifics of the battery, e.g. its capacity or self-discharge if appropriate. So there is no telling if that part will do. Also related: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/q/86/19949
    – Ghanima
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 22:22

3 Answers 3


A raspberry pi need 5 volts to operate. So use a voltage regulator . It is best to use the official PSU though. But a 2 A power source is good. You can use the BEC(that is a very good idea). But keep the voltage regulation as low as possible(Assuming you are using an inverter)



Would that be appropriate to power the Raspberry Pi Zero W directly from a 12 volt car battery?


Well, all these years I have been using a "12VDC source" to INDIRECTLY power the Rpi. I emphasize the word "INDIRECTLY", because of course I do not directly feed 12V to Rpi. I use a fixed or adjustable step down regulator to convert 12VDC to around 5.25V which is then used to power Rpi or RpiZ.

The 12V DC PSU, power supply units I have been using including:

  1. AC200V in 12VDC 1A/2A/5A/10A out switching power supply

  2. LiPo power bank of 3 cells = 3.7 x 3 ~= 11V ~= 12VDC

  3. 12V lead acid battery

I have no experience in using 12V car battery or solar power battery. But I am pretty sure that any 12VDC 1A/2A/5A PSU can step down to 5V or 5.25V and power Rpi/RpiZ without any problem.

One thing you might consider is to use a fuse to over current protect RpiZ which does not have built in over current protection. You might like to read the following post for more details.

Powering Rpi Zero with external over current protection

rpiz psu

PS - Your 5V 2A Diatone Mini V2.0 BEC PSU is OK, and it occupies very little space. But if you are not playing drones or RC cars, you might like to consider the much more powerful, but bigger PSU, adjustable to 5.25 or 5.5V, and also add poly fuse for over current protection of RpiZ.


The simplest solution is to use a Buck Converter. 3A and larger units are available on eBay for a few bucks. they are much smaller then the Pi.

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