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Laptop vs. Small Desktop: Best Bang Per Watt?

kwj8fty1 _how_ to power a PC (526 comments)


Both a notebook and a desktop system suffer from the same thing: They both run on 110AC. Inverting your DC solar power to that will cost you 30-40% of your power. Converting back to DC (for your notebook/desktop) will cost you a second round of 30-40%. This is bad.

Find a method that can keep you at DC power, ideally as close to the voltages you need. Many of the mini-itx boards will have an option for 'dc power'. These will run on 12-15 volts, and will cost you more like 10-15% TOTAL. Plus, many of the mini-itx boards will consume far less power - - some of them as little as 15-20watts. You won't quite have the speed mentioned (1.7ghz), but close to it (900-1200mhz).

You could use a notebook & build a native DC supply for it - - but many of todays notebooks, regardless of size, draw MASSIVE amounts of power. My dell notebook draws 3.5amps@20 volts [70watts]. That's at 1.2ghz/512megs of ram/15" screen.

As others have pointed out, you'll need power storage. This can be calculated based on your consumption & number of panels used. You can lookup the typical number of solar hours per day for your region.

Solar panels cost around $1USD per watt. The charge controller & storage will also be somewhat costly - - do some reasearch, and purchase a few books on the subject before spending to much...

more than 11 years ago


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