Using a USB-C PD Module to Power Your Projects

Using a USB-C PD Module to Power Your Projects

USB-C PD Module

Instead of fumbling with batteries, regulators, charging modules etc, using a USB power bank has always been a great way to supply 5V power to electronics projects, as most logic level electronics run on 5V.

But for higher voltages needed to run motors, relays, MOSFETs, etc, you need to take the complicated route of batteries and voltage conversion, which although offers flexibility and efficiency, is quite overwhelming for an amateur hobbyist.

Well, not anymore! Because along with the launch of USB C, USB PD (Power Delivery) got an upgrade, and can now supply up to 100 watts of power at voltages as high as 20 V!

Power Delivery (PD) is a specification for handling higher power and allows a range of devices to charge quickly over a USB connection. It operates by facilitating a conversation between two devices to negotiate a power contract so they can determine how much power can be pulled from the charger. Power Delivery starts at the 5V setting and is configurable up to 20V. Using a standard USB-C cable, it can handle up to 60W, and will go up to 100W using a designated EMCA cable.

All you need to is a USB-C PD Power Bank (generally available in 5-9-12 V and 5-9-15-20 V output configurations) and a USB PD Module (the one below is from AliExpress for Rs 400 approx, get it here).

USB-C PD Module

The module uses an onboard microcontroller to negotiate the voltage with the source (a power bank or USB C adapter, for instance). The push button can be used to select the voltage, indicated by the LED. Setting up the module is quite easy. Though no official documentation is available, users have provided setup instructions in their reviews on the product page.

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