Given an Arduino board with the following specs:

ATmega328 Arduino Nano AVR® ATmega MCU 8-Bit AVR Embedded Evaluation Board (link)

What is the mathematical formula to calculate how much energy/power would be required to keep the Arduino board on (meaning in "standby" mode, therefore not consuming any energy but the one required to keep it "alive")?

Please note I am new to all things electronics, Arduino but most importantly physics and maths. Thank you.

1 Answer 1


In the datasheet you can read how much every mode uses (normal mode, sleep mode etc). However, it also depends on which peripherals inside the CPU are active and all electronics around it. So make sure you read the datasheet of the entire development board, and not from the CPU itself.

The mathematical formula is reasonably simple: the total power is the sum of each component's Amperage * component's Voltage. But practicially this is hard to calculate.

The easiest way (but not mathematically) is probably just to measure the amperage in the development board, and the voltage and multipley them together.

  • 2
    Don't forget to account for the current required by the FT232RL (usb-to-serial) and the green power-led.
    – Gerben
    Apr 18, 2018 at 10:28
  • @Gerben that is what I meant to check the datasheet of the entire development board, not from the CPU itself. Apr 18, 2018 at 10:30
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    I know. I just wanted to explicitly mention those.
    – Gerben
    Apr 18, 2018 at 10:32
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    @Gerben thanks ... and these a non negligible amount of current. Apr 18, 2018 at 10:33
  • Thanks @MichelKeijzers et al. That is really helpful but still a bit "cryptic" for me (but mostly due to the fact that I am new to all this). The reason I asked for how to calculate the amount of energy required to power the Arduino board is because I wanted to understand whether a solar panel (small, big, whichever fits the need) would be able to provide energy for the board to "do stuff" (provided the solar panel has the right amount of energy stored in it...). Apr 18, 2018 at 22:48

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