I've been coming to the Permies forum for a while but until now have always found my answers. So my question is what is the best way to power a laptop using PV / Solar Power? I've done research on choices and am at a standstill between 2 choices and would Love some feedback on the subject.
different laptops take different amounts of power. and they only use that amount of power when they are charging and running.
so if you charge it with it off it doesnt take as much, and then run it on a full charge till it runs low. then its more like 10-40 watts, and it fluctuates...but this all depends on the kind.
its all roughly around the number you quoted. my older laptop was way better, than my newer (used- free) laptop..
that little solar charger is very very cool =) i am going to check it out better.
i wonder though how much power you could get from it, and how much power you need. for lots of continual use i would go with something much bigger. i've had something like that, not solar, but a portable small unit that you fully charged via dc or ac and that hardly gave me much electricity, an hour or two.
i've actually been looking around at these sorts of things too....they seem to be getting better and cheaper.
but i would (and have- am writing this on solar power) go for a regular solar panel (s), possibly a battery bank, and an inverter or portable power unit with built in inverter.
if you want it small, just one of these portable power units and a panel. the ones you listed, well i am checking them out, but i dont think thats a great deal, unless you really need it tiny, and dont need very much power.
and then small three panels, which are directly connected to a battery. which is connected to a few more batteries...and then the portable power unit/inverter is connected to the last battery via the jumpstart cables. theres different ways you can do it...and you can add in a fuse, or a charge controller....but i havent. you could for portability skip the batteries, and just wire the solar panel right to this. at least with mine you can. it would be like that one product, but a LOT more power.
i got all the batteries free, theres places that you can get used batteries and some of them really arent great or usable, but most of them are still usuable. usable, maybe not ideal...but usable for this purpose. and FREE =)
it charges up in the car lighter socket when i went somewhere, or at my neighbors on ac...for the times when it got really low and not much sunshine.
you can also connect these things to a solar panel through the ac port, you make the plug (its not that hard!)...but then you cant use it while it charges.
Do you recommend a specific brand and kind of Solar Panel and inverter?
i have been happy with the xantrex/duracell one, and think xantrex is a good company....especially their high end stuff. i have wanted to try some of their more powerful inverters.
power tools! (are out of my league atm, but the higher end ones can run that)
and that one i linked, was the one i almost bought the other day. i might still buy it.
but i really want something small, that holds power, and has an inverter to use with the current set up. and cheap!
or...well theres like different ways you can configure things.
sometimes i see panels on craigslist....
for brand new - i know you can get some that are much more powerful than the one you linked -for cheaper.
John Polk wrote:I was looking at this more powerful (20,000mAh) unit: