Adafruit PowerBoost 1000C

Adafruit’s PowerBoost 1000C has been an absolute life saver in many of our home projects. The PowerBoost 1000C an amazing portable power supply for your project. It has a built-in load-sharing battery charger circuit which means you’ll be able to keep your power-hungry project running even while recharging a battery! This little DC/DC boost converter module can be powered by any 3.7V LiIon/LiPoly battery, and convert the battery output to 5.2V DC for running your 5V projects.

The PowerBoost 1000C has a TPS61090 boost converter from TI. This boost converter chip has some really nice extras such as low battery detection, 2A internal switch, synchronous conversion, excellent efficiency, and 700KHz high-frequency operation. Check out these specs!

  • Synchronous operation means you can disconnect the output completely by connecting the ENable pin to ground. This will completely turn off the output
  • 2A internal switch (~2.5A peak limiting) means you can get 1000mA+ from a 3.7V LiPoly/LiIon battery. Just make sure your battery can handle it!
  • Low battery indicator LED lights up red when the voltage dips below 3.2V, optimized for LiPo/LiIon battery usage
  • Onboard 1000mA charge-rate ‘iOS’ data resistors. Solder in the USB connector and you can plug in any iPad, iPhone or iPod for 1000mA charge rate.
  • Full breakout for battery in, control pins and power out
  • 90%+ operating efficiency in most cases, and low quiescent current: 5mA when enabled and power LED is on, 20uA when disabled (power and low batt LED are off)

We’ve used these modules in our various outdoor solar power projects. We connected a 25w 5v solar panel via microUSB and a 20,000mah LiPo battery via JST connector to the PowerBoost. We then connected the Raspberry Pi via USB and effectively had a tiny charge controller. During the day the solar panel would power the Raspberry Pi while simultaneously charging the battery. As soon as the solar panels are no longer generating enough power, the PowerBoost module switches power source from solar to battery without any interruption to the Pi.

Another great use of this module is a mini UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). Simply connect the PowerBoost to the a high quality microUSB charger, connect a Lilon/LiPo battery via JST connector and connect the Pi via USB. In the event of a mains power failure, the Raspberry Pi will continue to run without interruption. As soon as the mains power is restored, it will jump back over to mains power and begin charging the battery again. This is fantastic for a large variety of projects, especially offline projects that are uptime sensitive. For example, Pi CCTV. While you wouldn’t have internet connectivity during a power outage, your CCTV cameras would still be recording.

One thing to note about this module, it gets hot! Adafruit claim cooling is not required but we’ve always installed a small 40mm fan over it. The official operating temperatures are -40C to +85C. In our outdoor solar panel project where the outdoor temperatures were above +30C, we measured the PowerBoost at +90C. Be sure not to mount it on top of a battery!