Hello, I’m trying to figure out what the best batteries are for my Arduino based robot. I’m considering LiPO batteries, and would like to go with the smallest form factor practical. In order to make a prediction regarding battery life, I need to know how many amps the Arduino draws.
You should hook an ammeter to your arduino to determine the actual draw with the current setup.
@5v, it draws in the neighborhood of 30-60ma in my setup.
There are ways to reduce consumption (IE enter sleep mode for xx milliseconds between routines, or shut down parts that are not used, like ADC.)
On Liquidware.org, they calculated the amount of time their bare Arduino will run on standby with different Lithium battery capacities:
High Capacity 2200mAh Lithium Ion Battery (28 Standby Arduino Hours)
Medium Capacity 1000mAh Lithium Ion Battery (14 Standby Arduino Hours)
Low Capacity 600mAh Lithium Ion Battery (8.4 Standby Arduino Hours)
Of course, as dnear1 pointed out, you’ll need to measure the current consumption for your own project since there are so many variables involved. Lady Ada has some power data for her GPS Shield with an Arduino that might be helpful too.