Using Raspberry Pi in a remote time lapse environment requires power management or a very large solar panel. Dan Julio designed a Raspberry Pi expansion board for the Pi Zero called the Solar Pi Platter that can effectively shut down the Pi in between tasks. Coupling it with a camera, he created this time lapse.

Read the full tutorial here.

According to Dan, “The real-time clock in the Solar Pi Platter is used to wake the Pi up to take a picture. Software on the Pi takes the picture using the raspistill program and then schedules the next picture by setting the Pi Platter’s alarm before powering down again to save battery. It is ideal for use over long periods of time in remote locations where it will operate unattended.”

raspberry pi camera design

He powered the system using our 9 Watt solar panel and V44 battery pack with Always On function for over a week with some overcast weather. That Always On feature keeps the USB activated even during periods of low or no current draw from the system.

UUGear takes a slightly different approach for a raspberry pi / solar-powered time lapse camera with their Witty Pi module. You can read their tutorial here.

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