Solar panels to charge a laptop

This is a discussion on Solar panels to charge a laptop within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I am often amazed at the wealth of knowledge on this site, so I figured I'd as this and see if anyone had some input. ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: Solar panels to charge a laptop

  1. #1
    Moderator
    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    7,589

    Solar panels to charge a laptop

    I am often amazed at the wealth of knowledge on this site, so I figured I'd as this and see if anyone had some input.

    Does anyone know of an solar devices that I can use to run a laptop? The device itself needs to be portable, the smaller and lighter the better, as long as it can put out enough power. Cost isn't too much of an issue right now.

    FWIW, the laptop is a Gateway with a 15 inch screen, currently being ran off the stock power adapter plugged into the wall.

    So, anyone know anything?
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Mid-Hudson Valley New York State
    Posts
    4,207
    Here's a whole bunch of them:

    7 Portable Solar Laptop Chargers Worth Considering : TreeHugger

    You may want to do a Google search and come up with more!
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

  4. #3
    Moderator
    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    7,589
    Thanks Jon, as much as I didn't want to click a link to a place called tree-hugger, some good info there.

    Do you have any experience in using any of these contraptions, the rolling one and one that fold up to the size of a piece of paper both look like something I could use.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Mid-Hudson Valley New York State
    Posts
    4,207
    Hi Buckeye-

    Even though I sell computers for a living, I have not had a client yet to purchase one. I would assume that if it gets good strong direct sunlight, it will put out enough current to keep a laptop going.

    Now you may want to read the fine print. You need to be sure that it puts out enough to run the laptop even if the battery is discharged! There may be enough juice to recharge a battery, but be sure it can actually run the laptop, as some draw a bit of current.

    Of course, the smaller/lighter the solar cell, the less amount you will get out of it. Check the specs carefully!
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

  6. #5
    Moderator
    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    7,589
    Yeah, unfortunately this is kind of a rush idea brought up to me by a friend before an upcoming trip of mine. Not sure how much I'll get to use the laptop, but I'd like to be able to if I have time for it. So really even re-charging the battery so that I could use it occasionally to watch a movie or listen to some music works if it can do that.

    I need to find a comm Marine is what I need to do, they know this electrical stuff.

    Thanks for the input so far, if you have anything else to add about it, please let me know.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,768
    One quick way to find out is to check the back of your ac power adapter on your laptop. For instance my HP box says it is 90w at the output end of the ac to dc box, or basically the laptop plug.

    A 90w solar panel is pretty big. Most of the portable laptop panels are simply to extend the life of your battery. I think the only way they will charge the battery is if they are left charging while the laptop is off.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
    www.ddchl.com
    Texas CHL Instructor
    Texas Hunter Education Instructor
    NRA Instructor

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,768
    Buckeye,

    I assume your not going to be around electricity, but will you be around a vehicle. If your going to be around a vehicle or atv, or anything else with a 12v power outlet you could just get a cheap 100+ watt inverter to plug your laptop into.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
    www.ddchl.com
    Texas CHL Instructor
    Texas Hunter Education Instructor
    NRA Instructor

  9. #8
    Moderator
    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    7,589
    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    One quick way to find out is to check the back of your ac power adapter on your laptop. For instance my HP box says it is 90w at the output end of the ac to dc box, or basically the laptop plug.

    A 90w solar panel is pretty big. Most of the portable laptop panels are simply to extend the life of your battery. I think the only way they will charge the battery is if they are left charging while the laptop is off.
    Ok, I shoulda paid more attention in high school physics, because mine says 85V, with an input of 100-240V, and an output of 19V.

    I remember there is some relation between volts, amps, and watts, I guess wikipedia here I come for a science lesson.

    If all it can do is charge with the laptop turned off, that is better than the alternative of nothing. Hmm, back to my research, but I do appreciate the help so far, and if anyone else is willing to share knowledge I'd be glad to hear it.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  10. #9
    Moderator
    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    7,589
    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    Buckeye,

    I assume your not going to be around electricity, but will you be around a vehicle. If your going to be around a vehicle or atv, or anything else with a 12v power outlet you could just get a cheap 100+ watt inverter to plug your laptop into.
    The vehicles are going to be used to run other things (more important things) if they are even there at all.

    And I don't really expect there to much electricity for my trip, but there should be a decent amount of sunlight.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,768
    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyeLCPL View Post
    Ok, I shoulda paid more attention in high school physics, because mine says 85V, with an input of 100-240V, and an output of 19V.

    I remember there is some relation between volts, amps, and watts, I guess wikipedia here I come for a science lesson.

    If all it can do is charge with the laptop turned off, that is better than the alternative of nothing. Hmm, back to my research, but I do appreciate the help so far, and if anyone else is willing to share knowledge I'd be glad to hear it.
    Mine has the same basic info, also showing 19v, but a little ways away from that info there the diagram of the round thing that plugs into the laptop. The one that shows the outside being negative and the inside being positive with the 90w shown.

    I looked at it two times before I saw that part of the info. I guess I was trying to look too hard at the tiny, tiny print elsewhere.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
    www.ddchl.com
    Texas CHL Instructor
    Texas Hunter Education Instructor
    NRA Instructor

  12. #11
    Moderator
    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    7,589
    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    Mine has the same basic info, also showing 19v, but a little ways away from that info there the diagram of the round thing that plugs into the laptop. The one that shows the outside being negative and the inside being positive with the 90w shown.

    I looked at it two times before I saw that part of the info. I guess I was trying to look too hard at the tiny, tiny print elsewhere.
    Google is a much better friend than the tiny print on there is, except for that part about the power adapter model and manufacturer.

    Whose website says it is good for 65W, and even after knowing the number to look for I still can't find it on the adapter

    Thanks for the help farronwolf, you don't happen to have any experience using one of these solar panels, do you?
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,768
    Nope, closest I have come to solar panels is looking for something affordable to place out at deer camp to charge our battery bank instead of hauling the generator out there to charge them.

    Looking at them further, it seems you will have to find the appropriate adapter to get your laptop to be able to plug into a 12v outlet/cigarette lighter type connector.

    Here is a sort of imformative article I came across.
    Solar Laptop Charger
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
    www.ddchl.com
    Texas CHL Instructor
    Texas Hunter Education Instructor
    NRA Instructor

  14. #13
    Moderator
    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    7,589
    Thanks for the article, I'm trying to avoid getting in over my head since I'm not very electronically inclined.

    Trying to figure out if this is a pipe dream or good idea.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Oz
    Posts
    1,708
    In the land of rainbows there are some sailboat type businesses. These used to have solar battery charger/power thig-a-ma-jigs. I had one for a little boat. It kept the battery up even though the battery had to run a sump pump every now and then. This was 25 - 30 years ago. I am sure the products are much better today and they might have something on the shelf for you to try out.

  16. #15
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    somewhere
    Posts
    1,726
    Power consists of two main components for DC power:

    Power = Voltage * Curent

    It is important for the power supply in your laptop, components, and battery that the voltage is at the correct level. The way PV (photovoltaic) panels generally work is that the voltage settles fairly quickly to a constant level, but the current will vary depending on sunlight angle, intensity, and a few other variables. Your laptop will want a constant level of both current and voltage (that multiply to form the power rating you see on there).

    PV panels big enough to do that are going to be expensive. I'm not sure what else is needed since I haven't looked into it. However, for most serious power installations, PV panels never directly run anything; they generally charge a large array of batteries that then will power whatever the load is, because of the aforementioned variability of the output power of a PV panel (same goes for wind power).

    So you need to make sure the the system used will output the same amount of power. However, most likely you're going to be plugging in your AC-DC adapter into the PV system. So it has to be 120Vac +/- 5% and be able to supply however much current is needed.

    My advice would be that while a PV setup would make a nice side project, I think that a vehicle inverter makes more sense. Be careful of some of the cheap ones, though, they're not made very well and will overdraw your car's electrical outlets and burn fuses, making your inverter not work.

    i wonder if there are any direct DC-DC adapters for laptops, since that'd make a lot more sense. Otherwise you're converting DC to AC, then back to DC again, which is wasteful.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Solar storm a serious threat around 2012
    By ZRow1 in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: June 18th, 2010, 02:46 PM
  2. All about Obama's Death Panels
    By rodc13 in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: August 12th, 2009, 02:57 PM
  3. WTB Springfield Armory 1911 grip panels
    By wrainsberger in forum Member Buy, Sell & Trade
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: May 2nd, 2009, 10:18 AM
  4. How much difference do grip panels make
    By dunndw in forum Related Gear & Equipment
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: July 17th, 2007, 11:23 PM
  5. Solar Panels
    By P95Carry in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: October 12th, 2005, 09:15 PM

Search tags for this page

back porch solar panels to charge anything

,

solar panels to charge laptops

Click on a term to search for related topics.