Q: How much power does a PurpleAir sensor draw, and how much bandwidth/data does it use?

A: PurpleAir sensors run on 5 volts and the current draw is 180mA. This means the power consumption of a sensor is about 1 watt. If running the sensor 24 hours per day, the daily consumption would be 0.024 kWh. We have experimented with a 20Ah battery pack and found it was able to keep the sensor running for about four days. (Find more details about calculating energy consumption here.)

A note about using battery/power packs to power sensors: most packs of this type are designed to shut down if they aren’t drawing a minimum amount of power - it’s essentially a “sleep mode.” Since the sensor only uses 180mA of power, if a battery pack only recognized a minimum power draw of 500mA, it would assume the pack was not in use and turn off after a period of time. The sensitivity of each pack varies, so be sure to keep this in mind if you’re powering a sensor in this manner.

The sensor sends roughly 8 bytes every two minutes and may use up to 526mb per month depending on how it has been configured (whether you’ve chosen to send the data to any third parties such as Weather Underground, etc.).

Learn More

Learn more about the power consumption and data usage of PurpleAir sensors.
Learn more about using solar to power a sensor.
Learn more about using the sensor off grid.

I’ve used this one to power my PA-Indoor unit, for (outdoor) remote sensing

8 bytes every two minutes sounds pretty trivial