View Full Version : Solar power for Laptops etc????

23-10-2003, 07:11 PM
Can anyone tell me if it is possible to recharge Compaq Armada laptop batteries and other equipment via some form of solar powered charger?
I believe their are chargers at e.g. Dick Smith's for trickle charging car batteries already. I realise laptop voltage is specific.
Is their any off the shelf products available or chargers that could be built from components?

Thanks in advance
G (Wellington)

23-10-2003, 08:56 PM
possible ....yes.

easyest way would be to connect the solar panel to an inverter and use your existing mains charger for it. otherwise you will need to make your own charger that runs off 12v or 24 depending on solar panels.

23-10-2003, 10:28 PM
Most laptops seem to use 19v, and require a few amps (3 or 4).
The complex charge management electronics is usually built into the laptop.

The cheaper ($80) car "trickle chargers" are rated at 0.125 amps, and have an open circuit voltage (depending on the sun intensity) of 16 - 17 volts.

Realistically you therefore need at least 20 ($1,600) of that type of panel, and are still short on volts. If you put a higher voltage in than they are designed for, they will often shut down the charge as well.

Higher wattage panels are available, and expect to spend about $1,100 on an 80 watt panel, and another $150 on a 12 - 230v inverter to use your existing charger/power supply. A car battery to act as a buffer would help as well, with a solar panel regulator. This is exactly what tweak'e suggests.

Expect to get about 5 hours of charger operation per day on average, when the sun shines. Don't expect any on dull days.

25-10-2003, 01:23 PM
Many thanks. Not an entirely cost effective solution. May research laptop battery prices. Enjoy your weekends.