Arduino Uno Power Consumption


This is my first post here in the forum. I am fairly new to the Arduino. I was wondering if the power consumption of the Arduino Uno is published anywhere?

I am working on a physics platform that will allow students to make measurements of accels, rotations, altitude and poistion.and then later to look at the data and understand the motion of objects.

I am planning to piggyback a GPS shield from Adafruit which consumes about 20 mA, the Ultimate GPS Logger and a 10-DOF board. I want the whole package to be portable and run for about 3 hours per day. I was thinking of also piggybacking the Adafruit powerboost shield for portable power. But I want the package to remain as light as possible mass-wise, and it looks the battery I use will contribute the most mass. So I want to keep it as small as I can get away with.

Will a 500mAh LiPo handle three ours of continuous operation or will I need more? Primary operation will be to poll the sensors, accels, gyros, pressure and GPS and then log the data to the sd card on the GPS shield during testing of things like RC cars, and water bottle rockets etc...

Thanks in advance.

That is hard to tell. I would say 20mA to 80mA (just a guess).

This shows a value of 50mA.

The ATmega328p is the microcontroller on the Arduino Uno board. It doesn’t need a lot of current, and you can even set it into sleep mode.
But there is also a chip on the board for usb-to-serial and a led and a few other components.
The main energy loss is in the voltage regulator. When you power it with 10V, half the energy is wasted by the voltage regulator.

A few links of the products you mentioned:
Adafruit Ultimate GPS logger with GPS included:
Adafruit 10-DOF:
Adafruit Powerboost 500:

Do you want to stack the Uno + GPS + Powerboost ? and add a 10-DOF to that ?

Let’s make an estimate (I could be wrong by 1000%). Average currents: Uno : 50mA, GPS : 20mA, sd : 20 mA, 10-DOF : 10mA, Powerboost board : 10mA, efficiency power boost: 80%. Assuming you use 3.7V 500mAh, that results into 2 hours and 40 minutes.
You have to actually test it, to see if you can let it work for 3 hours. I think you need a 1000mAh battery.
When you buy a cheap 500mAh battery on Ebay, it might work only 1 hour.

Thanks for the feedback Peter. I could not find those current estimates. Those help. Yeah, maybe a 1000mAh LiPo will keep it satiated for at least 3 hours. Thanks again.

It's as easy to test as it is to ask, and moreover you will have actual values based on your specifics.


You are correct. I was just planning things out before making a purchase of the power shield and especially the battery. I will find out soon enough through real world operation.