Comparison of power supply & management hardware

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Comparisons of hardware used for either powering or managing the power for embedded systems.

Comparison of power supply/management hardware

This comparison is designed with the goal of making it easier to sift through all the power supply solutions for embedded systems with an emphasis on UPS functionality. They are devices usually to be used in conjunction with basic PSUs. It could contain both commercially available products or just schematics of designs (ideally which have been tested).

Explanation of columns:

  • Input: list of input power sources (PSU, battery, etc) ordered by their priority. Voltage range, interface (USB, header pins, etc), (max required current).
  • Output: list of outputs voltages, maximum currents, and interface.
  • Target system: the system it was tailored to. List what makes it specific.
    • 'backpack' (aka 'shields', 'capes', 'hats', 'cloaks', 'armour' etc) denotes it was designed to physically piggyback onto that specific piece of hardware through header pins, fastener holes, etc.
    • 'software' denotes there is software to control the unit but which has been written specifically for that system. In theory it could be re-written for other platforms (if its open source).
  • UPS:
    • yes (green): it is a fully fledged standalone UPS, requires no additional hardware other than a PSU. Plug it in and it works.
    • yes (yellow): if it was designed specifically as a key component to making a UPS (eg power management regulator/controller/multiplexer/switch) but may require other pieces of off-the-shelf hardware (eg battery, battery charger, super capacitors, nuclear generator, etc.). Should list what is required.
  • Battery Charger: has a battery charger onboard. Should list battery chemistries supported, including supercapacitors.
  • DC-DC converter: Types of onboard voltage converters used for main power conversions including battery charging. Linear regulators can be quite inefficient compared to switched regulators. Doesn't include low power ones used for MCUs, etc.
  • Interface: The interface with the embedded system, if any (I2C, 1-wire, SPI, serial, etc). Simple interrupts don't count.
  • Interrupts: List of interrupts it can signal events with (eg low battery). Usually are just pins which go high/low signalling something has changed. They cannot require polling by the embedded system to work (eg can't have interrupts with I2C without using a 5th wire or the hardware playing master).
  • Efficiency: Useful information which should be supplied by manufacturer for matching a supply with the load requirements to achieve good performance (eg maximize battery life).
  • Docs: Documentation/datasheet available. Ideally should be a concise portable published document such as a PDF.
    • yes (green): acceptable documentation, at least basic block schematics, and API published (if applicable). If open source, it should include PCB layout.
    • partial (yellow): some documentation but missing some key components.
  • Open Source: If so, list licence (eg GPL) and link to where source can be found if different from main link.
Name Input Output Target

Systems

UPS Battery Charger DC-DC converter Interface Interrupts Features Efficiency Docs Open Source Commercially Available
PowerCape

by CircuitCo

  • 6-25VDC
  • 5V 2.5A

header, terminal block

BeagleBone (backpack) No No Linear No No Yes Yes? ~$25-$35
Battery Cape

by CircuitCo

  • 4×1.5V Li AA
  • 5V ?A header
BeagleBone (backpack) No No Switched (boost) I2C low bat. I2C 256k EEPROM, power button 90-95% Yes Yes? ~$45-65
Pi UPS+

by CW2

  • 5V µUSB
  • 5-25V aux
  • 3.7V Li
  • 5V 2A

header

RPi (backpack)(software) +battery

Li-ion Li-polymer

Switched I2C

(undocumented) binary sw. pkg.

? [1] no API No €30
PiJuice
  •  ??
  • 3.7V Li ?

(undocumented)

  • 5V
RPi (backpack) Yes Yes? Yes? ? ? No No soon £21

1.4Ah battery inc.

Pi UPS

by CW2

  • 5V µUSB
  • 7.5-12V press-stud
  • 5V 1A

header

RPi (backpack) +battery No Linear? I2C
  • 1st supply state.
  • 2nd supply state.
  • low battery
[2] missing schematic No £25
Pi PoE Switch HAT

by Pi Supply

  • 5V 1.3A

header

RPi (backpack) No No Switched No No PoE ≤ 87% No No £25
SmartUPS

by OpenElectrons.com

  • 5V 1.2A µUSB
  • 3×NiMH AA
  • 5V 1.5A

USB-A female

RPi (software) +batteries NiMH Switched? I2C

battery info, battery temp, charge state, time to empty

buttons buttons [3] missing schematic No $65
UPS PIco

by PiModules and ModMyPi

  • 5V header
  • 3.7V Li batt
  • 5V 2A

header

RPi (backpack) Yes Li-poly Switched? I2C

voltages, temperature

No buzzer

~RTC fan control, buttons, IR control

[4] missing schematic No €26-32

[5]

PowerBoost 500C

by Adafruit

  • 5V µUSB
  • 3.7 Li batt
  • 5.2V 0.5A

USB-A female

+battery Li-ion Li-poly Switched & Linear (bat.chgr) No Low battery [6] TPS61090 No $15 £12
PowerBoost 1000C

by Adafruit

  • 5V µUSB
  • 3.7 Li batt
  • 5.2V 1A

USB-A female

+battery Li-ion Li-poly Linear & Switched (bat.chgr) No Low battery [7] MCP73871 TPS61090 No $20
FPF1320 breakout

by Pololu

  • 1.5-5.5V µUSB
  • 1.5-5.5V solder
  • <1.5-5.5V 1.5A

solder

+battery (+battery boost/mgmt) No No No No [8] FPF1320 No $4
TPS2113A breakout

by Pololu

  • 2.8-5.5V µUSB
  • 2.8-5.5V solder
  • <2.8-5.5V 2A

solder

+battery (+battery boost/mgmt) No No No No [9] TPS2113A No $5
MoPower UPS

by All Spectrum Electronics

  • 9-20(30)V
    • barrel jack
    • header/solder?
  • 9-20V solder NiMH bat. pack
  • 5V ?A header
RPi (backpack) (software) +assembly +batteries NiMH Switched & Linear (bat.chgr) Serial No GPIOs, switches, auto-power cycle, RTC, interval power-up. ~80%? Yes No Soon $35
Juice4Halt J4H-HV-TRM

by Pavol Sedlacek

  • 7-28V terminal block
  • 5.1V 1A header
RPi (backpack) (software) Yes Supercapacitors Switched Serial? power state [10] missing API Partial? €61
Juice4Halt J4H-5V-USB

by Pavol Sedlacek

  • 5V µUSB
  • 5.1V 1A header
RPi (backpack) (software) Yes Supercapacitors Switched Serial? power state [11] missing API Partial? €53
Raspberry Pi Battery backup

by George

  • 12V
  • 9V NiMH
  • 5V 2A (depends on heatsink)
RPi (software) +parts +assembly 9V NiMH Linear GPIO power drop-out no PCB layout Maybe No
Raspi EDLC UPS
  • 5V
  • 5V
+parts +assembly Supercapacitors No No power drop-out no PCB layout Maybe No
Raspberry Pi UPS
  • 12V
  • 9V batt (NiMH)
  • 5V
RPi (software) +parts +assembly one of the schematics Switched No power drop-out no PCB layout Maybe No
MicroUPS
  • 5V
  • 5V 1A
various (eg RPi, Beagle, Cubie) +batteries? Li-ion Switched Serial ? power buttons No software on GitHub Maybe [12]
Battery Block

by Sparkfun

  • 5V µUSB
  • 3.7V Li-poly soldered
  • 5V connector
Intel Edison (backpack) Yes Li-poly ? ? ? Yes [13] $19 $25 w/bat.
OpenUPS2

by mini-box.com

  • 11-24V plug
  • ≥input (12-24V) 5A plug
+batteries Li-ion Switched USB, SMBus ? bat.temp., 3×18650 cell holder, prog. voltage, pwr btn. Yes No $109
PicoUPS-120-ATV

by mini-box.com

  • 13-16V blade
  • 13-16V 6A(12A w/fan) blade
  • 12V Pb-acid
+battery SLA No No No Yes No $35
BattBorg
  • 7-36V

terminal block

  • 5V 1.5A

header

No No Switched No No ≤90% OKI78SR No £10-15
Pi Supply Switch

by Pi Supply

  • 5V µUSB
  • 5V USB-A female
RPi (software) No No No GPIO button press polite power switch, buttons No schematics No £13
Power Pi

by AndiceLabs

  • 4.5-15V mini-USB, solder
  • 5V 2A (1.2A from bat.) header
  • 3.7V Li (JST PH con.)
RPi (backpack) +battery Li-ion, Li-poly Switched & Linear charger I2C No INA219 pwr mon., power button, AVR RTC and WDT, power scheduling no schematics, API No $60
BeagleBone Power Cape

by AndiceLabs

  • 4.5-15V mini-USB, solder
  • 5V 2A (1.2A from bat.) header
  • 3.7V Li (JST PH con.)
  • aux. input?
BeagleBone (backpack) +battery Li-ion, Li-poly Switched & Linear charger I2C No INA219 pwr mon., power button, AVR RTC and WDT, power scheduling no schematics, API No $60
Power Bar

by AndiceLabs

  • 3-12V JST PH con., barrel con.
  • 5V 2A header
BeagleBone (backpack) No No Switched (buck/boost) No No no schematics (missing info) No $20
RemotePi B, B (ext. IR/LED), 2,B+

by MSL Digital Solutions

  • 5V µUSB
  • 5V header
RPi (backpack) No No No unknown (GPIO) ? IR on/off from a remote no schematics, no API No €20-22
DC Power Bank Board

by Pridopia

  • 7.2-12V

mini-USB, terminal block

  • 5-10V 2A

USB-A female, header

RPi (backpack) No No Switched (buck) No No I2C logic lvl conv., 3.3V lin.reg., GPIO LEDs ≤90% no schematics No No?
Power Supply Kit

by Meltwater

  • 7-40V terminal block
  • 5V USB-A female
No No Switched (buck) No No ~80% LM2576HV datasheet No £21, £11 DIY kit
UPS HAT

by Geekworm

  • 5V µUSB
  • 3.7V Li batt
  • 5V 2A

header

RPi (backpack) Yes Li-poly Switched? I2C

voltages, temperature

No power button,

status LEDs, prototype area

missing schematic,

uses wiringPi

unknown available with or without LiPo 3.7v Battery
Name Input Output Target

Systems

UPS Battery Charger DC-DC converter Interface Interrupts Features Efficiency Docs Open Source Commercially Available

Comparison of PSUs

TODO: compare basic power supplies, commercial or otherwise, from mains power eg wall warts.

  • name/brand/identification/markings
  • input specs
  • output specs
  • efficiency: how they actually perform % efficiency over their rated output. Maybe just state the peak % at V, A.
  • performance: how they actually perform in terms of input and output power (eg with output voltage dropping no less than -5% for 5V supply as per USB specs)
  • quality: does it work alright for things such as RPi or should it be avoided (some wall warts from ebay).