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Making a solar powered laptop?

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  • Power Supplies
  • Laptops
  • Battery
  • Components
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a b ) Power supply
May 13, 2010 7:36:41 PM

O yeah the title pretty much explains it i guess. Its very easy for me to get an old pentium3 laptop or something. I am wondering how i would do this, because i want to be able to just sit my laptop in the sun if the battery dies preferwbly, so i think i would just be able to put a solar panel in place of the charger... I also think it would be cool to just have the solar panel attached to the outside of the lid part of screen if u know what i mean :) .
I am wondering how high the voltage tolerance for a laptop is. Example: the laptop requires 12volts, and say i use a 12v solar panel. However, if the angle of the panel to the sum isnt right maybe it wont have enough voltage? Thanks in advance! Any ideaswelcome. And yes i want this to be as inexpensive as possible. Also, i am wondering which kind of laptpp i should get? It would be an old p3 or similar...

More about : making solar powered laptop

a b ) Power supply
May 13, 2010 7:54:51 PM

I just did a quick look at solar Panels and to get enough power to run a laptop you will need a panel that has at least a 50 watt output and for a panel with that output is 4 feet by 2 feet so its quite big now you would need to find a laptop that only needs maybe around 20 watts or so to be able to actually fit a solar panel to it that would power it. The concept would be cool but solar panels aren't quite efficient enough to do something like you want.

I am sure you could find a solar panel though that would be small and have enough juice to run it but for the cost of that you could just buy 2 or 3 spare batteries and be good to go. Now what you could do is get a small solar panel that could be enough to atleast charge a spare battery but thats about as far as your gonna get without dropping a fortune.
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a b ) Power supply
May 13, 2010 8:12:47 PM

You should also consider windmills.

Jokes apart, I do think that the whole setup would be impractical, since laptops consume negigible power anyway, & you'll never really recover back the cost of the solar panels. Even if did, by that time, the panel would have conked out or would be overdue for some maintainence (which would add to the initial cost).
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a b ) Power supply
May 13, 2010 8:43:25 PM

das_stig said:
Funny enough, the tech. does exist.

http://www.solartechnology.co.uk/shop/freeloader-pro.ht...

Yea that kind of thing has been around for a few years now where you can charge a backup battery via the solar panel which takes 7 to 9 hours to charge a battery not very practical but would work if you need it. I have even seen backpacks with solar panels built into so it can charge your cell phone or your GPS device if you are into hiking so this is nothing new.

What he wants is a panel that will run the laptop which to get enough power from a solar panel to run a laptop it would be way to big and bulky to be practical.
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a b ) Power supply
May 13, 2010 10:55:21 PM

Its not really meant to save power. Its just cuz i want to do it. How
much does a p2/3 laptop consume? What so you mean the panel will need maintenance. No i dont want a laptop bag with built-in panels those are boring i actually want to attach the panel to the laptop…
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a b ) Power supply
May 13, 2010 11:05:16 PM

shovenose said:
Its not really meant to save power. Its just cuz i want to do it. How
much does a p2/3 laptop consume? What so you mean the panel will need maintenance. No i dont want a laptop bag with built-in panels those are boring i actually want to attach the panel to the laptop…

A P3 or P4 laptop will use between 30 and 50 watts and like I said the surface area that you need to have enough power would be like 3 times the size of the laptop. Even a little netbook with an Atom processor will draw about 25 and when you look at the size of it the panel will dwarf it.
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a b ) Power supply
May 13, 2010 11:49:16 PM

saaiello said:
A P3 or P4 laptop will use between 30 and 50 watts and like I said the surface area that you need to have enough power would be like 3 times the size of the laptop. Even a little netbook with an Atom processor will draw about 25 and when you look at the size of it the panel will dwarf it.

you said a p3 or p4. what abouta p1 or2? or some amd equivalent?
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a b ) Power supply
May 13, 2010 11:49:47 PM

ok: new idea:
build the panel into the laptop and only use it to charge the battery and not run the laptop. is that possible? so i just put a solar panel on big enough to charge the battery but disconnect it or turn off a switch na dit will disconnect, letting me run off of the battery...
does that sound like a better idea?
what components do i need?
how much will it cost?
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 1:30:30 AM

ok so i think if i were to do this, the victim of this would be my netbook.
900mhz celeron m
1gb ram
40gb hdd
8.9" lcd w/led backlight

so i looked at the power adapter:
12v, 3amps max, so i assume that means i need a 36watt panel, right?

these are all rather approximate, i rounded down to the nearest .25 inch...
the back of the screen is: 8.75" x 5.75"
i could proably do a 9x6 panel but id rather do the above size^
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 1:30:56 AM

Well heres the thing anything really below a P4 will be useless it wont even be able to do much online I have an old P3 Tualatin 1.4ghz I was messing with and it cant really do anything useful online flash wont work you wont even be able to watch a youtube video. You will need to find at the very least a P4 2.0ghz to do anything useful. About the most you can do with a P3 is word processing anything beyond that just simply wont work web pages are just to complex for that old hardware to handle.
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 1:36:31 AM

please dont diss my netbook. thanks.
yes i know its old tech but i got it on sale at best buy for really cheap a year or so ago. i have already had to replace the hdd and the screen cuz i broke them.
i understand it isnt that useful but please help me with my solar panel idea! thanks!
i was able to watch a youtube video btw!
thanks!
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 2:03:48 AM

shovenose said:
please dont diss my netbook. thanks.
yes i know its old tech but i got it on sale at best buy for really cheap a year or so ago. i have already had to replace the hdd and the screen cuz i broke them.
i understand it isnt that useful but please help me with my solar panel idea! thanks!
i was able to watch a youtube video btw!
thanks!

On a Pentium 3 I doubt it.
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 2:15:58 AM

its a celeron m 900
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 2:20:33 AM

shovenose said:
its a celeron m 900

A celeron m900 is light-years ahead of a P3.
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 2:22:08 AM

shovenose said:
its a celeron m 900

A celeron m900 is light-years ahead of a P3.

So that in itself uses 35 watts with monitor hard drive fan and motherboard you would definitely need about 60 to 70 watt solar panel.
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 2:23:50 AM

no, the power brick says 3a, 12volts, so that 36watts that i need...right?
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 2:26:52 AM

also, my friend put win7 ultimate on a pentium 3 500mhz, 512mb ram, and a 10gb ata hard drive...
should i put win7 on this netbook?

also, is my cel 9000 better than an atom at 1.6?
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 2:36:54 AM

The Celeron is way faster than the Atom but I wouldn't put win 7 on it unless you have at least 2 gigs of RAM.

Quote:
my friend put win7 ultimate on a pentium 3 500mhz, 512mb ram, and a 10gb ata hard drive


Yea I had win 7 on my P3 1.4 ghz with 512MB of RAM it wa terribly slow it would have probably been better with more RAM but it was so slow that it would take literally 5 minutes just to open mozilla.



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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 2:41:19 AM

saaiello said:
The Celeron is way faster than the Atom but I wouldn't put win 7 on it unless you have at least 2 gigs of RAM.

Quote:
my friend put win7 ultimate on a pentium 3 500mhz, 512mb ram, and a 10gb ata hard drive


Yea I had win 7 on my P3 1.4 ghz with 512MB of RAM it wa terribly slow it would have probably been better with more RAM but it was so slow that it would take literally 5 minutes just to open mozilla.

thanks for tinformation. wow this is the first time i can be proud of celerons!
ok so are there any 36+ watt solar panels out there with a 9x6 dimenesion?
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 2:53:44 AM

cool. is there a smaller version of that psu available? one with just 12volt output? thanks


also, could i just hook up the panel directly to the power plug on the ntebook without any device in betweeen?
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 2:56:19 AM

You would need the power adapter that you use to hook up to a car cigarette lighter that is 12 volt you could modify it to connect to the power converter.
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2010 1:05:05 PM

i might do that!
do those car dapters have any regulation, because i am wnonerding if the solar panel would cuase erratic input (a shadow goes over it, the angle isnt good) which might damage the netbook. that would be the case with directly connecting it. if the car adapter has a built-in regulator would that smooth out the voltages?
besides, what are the tolerance for a laptop?
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a b ) Power supply
May 15, 2010 3:22:56 AM

bump
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a b ) Power supply
May 15, 2010 11:33:00 PM

bump
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