Website that runs on Solar Powered Raspberry Pi

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When we think of a website we think of a domain name and hosting (web space) to store and run our code uninterrupted. Domain and hosting has become a part of tech Business now. Tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Alibaba etc. also have been investing in cloud and have been providing cloud resources. Lets take an example of Facebook for simplicity, It has almost 4 billion users now and Its servers must serve almost 1 billion hits per day. This takes a lot of resources (RAM, SSD / HD storage facilities etc), 24 hour redundant backups, power supply and High Speed Internet connection. So, the point is that, to run a facebook like website one must have a huge datacenter with a lot of servers . So, a lot of electricity is used up as these server must be up and running 24×365 days.

To conserve power most of the retail hosting providers like green geeks use 100% solar energy to power their data center. Google also is trying to catch-up with environmental friendly clean renewable energy to power their cloud infrastructures.

What we found on the internet today must be interesting to all the tech enthusiast. You must have heard about raspberry pi, a pocket sized computer low cost computer having a arm processor , a RAM and storage unit . It can run any OS and also has I/o ports. Raspberry pi’s have been used in different part of the world for different purposes like learning, robotics etc but did you know that solar powered raspberry pi also have been used as a VPS to power a website ?. A blog called Louwrentius uses Raspberry pi powered by solar energy to run. The blogger have installed 150 Watt solar panel in his balcony to power a raspberry pi . He have used a raspberry pi 3b+ model and set it up to be used as a web server .

SpecificationRaspberry Pi 3 BRaspberry Pi 3 B+
CPU type/speedARM Cortex-A53 1.2GHzARM Cortex-A53 1.4GHz
RAM size1GB SRAM1GB SRAM
Integrated Wi-Fi2.4GHz2.4GHz and 5GHz
Ethernet speed10/100 Mbps300Mbps
PoENoYes
Bluetooth4.14.2
comparision between raspberry pi models

He also have used an old car battery, solar panel, solar charge controller, LCD display, etc.

Solar PanelMonocrystalline 150 Watt 12V
Battery12 Volt Lead Acid Battery (Exide 63Ah)
Solar Charge ControllerVictron BlueSolar MPPT 75|10
Voltage/Current sensorINA260
LCD DisplayHD44780 20×4
ComputerRaspberry Pi 3b+
Communications cableVE.Direct to USB interface
Parts used by the blogger

If its gloomy or cloudy day the solar and battery may run out. To stop this from happening the blogger have used HAproxy which redirects to an instance of his blog on the a cloud VPS.

To conclude, this DIY is a little efficient and simple to perform but it has downfalls too because the solar panel doesnot output to handle important devices like router and switch. But All in All thus is a good project to start with an unused raspberry pi.

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