How To Use Solar Power For Computer (Complete Guide)

solar power for computer

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Computers and laptops have become an undetachable part of our daily life. From scrolling Instagram feed and binge-watching to doing office work and making presentations, computers and laptops have become daily necessities. Drawback? The massive power consumption.

Do you know how much the laptops and computers contribute to your monthly electricity bill?

Computers can contribute upto a significant amount to your monthly household or commercial electricity bills. Here is how the idea of solar power for computers came into effect.

You must have wondered why people use solar energy. The installation and fixed costs are very high. Right? Solar energy has many benefits. Solar energy includes zero power outage, low maintenance, less pollution, no price surge risk, and contributes to a green environment. The long-run cost of using solar-powered computers is also very low.

So, if you’re keen to know the working mechanism of solar power for computers, you’re in the right place. This article will give you insights into how you can use solar panels to power computers that will save your money and help you go green.

So, are you ready to harness the power of the Sun to its maximum efficiency and stop worrying about your bills? Let’s begin!

Can You Use Solar Power For Computers?

Yes, you can definitely use solar energy to power your computers or even your laptops. Sun is an excellent source of energy. Harnessing the solar energy to power your computer via a solar charger is one of the best ways to charge your laptops wherever you go.

The solar panels are made to absorb and trap the sun’s energy. This energy is stored as a Direct Current(DC). The DC is then converted to AC by your batteries, and it is then supplied to your laptop. With the help of solar panels and solar batteries, you can run your laptops for at least 7 hours on a single charge. 

How Many Solar Panels to Power a Computer?

There is no definite answer to this question. The answer depends mostly on the type of computer you are using and the number of hours for which you use it. We have calculated “how many solar panels to run a computer.” Go through our calculation to estimate the number of solar panels required. 

The first crucial step is to find out how much power your laptop or computer uses every hour. Once you get to know this, you’ll be able to choose the solar cell system that will work the best for you. You will need around 300 Watts to use a standard business computer every hour. A gaming computer consumes more power. Unlike a normal pc, a gaming pc consumes around 500 Watts every hour. 

If you are using a regular PC that consumes 300 Watts every hour and runs for around 6 hours every day, you will need a solar system that generates 1800 Watts total in a day. 

Now the solar panels are available in a 100-300 Wh power range, indicating that they can produce upto 100 to 300 Watts every hour. Lets’ take the case of a 200 Watts solar energy panel. Since the panel produces 200 Watts every hour and your laptop needs 300 Watts, you’ll need an additional solar panel to power your device properly. You will, therefore, need two solar panels to generate a total of 400Wh, leaving an additional 100 Wh of energy to power your other devices. 

We recommend you set up at least two photovoltaic panels since their efficiency largely relies on the weather condition and the amount of sunshine you get daily in your area. 

Solar Panel For Gaming PC

solar-powered computers

“How many solar panels to power a gaming pc is required?” Isn’t this what you are thinking? 

Well, a gaming laptop consumes more power. On average, a gaming pc consumes around 350 Wh to 500 Wh. You will need at least two 200 Watt solar panels or three 160 Wh solar panels to power your PC efficiently. 

Two batteries are a must for the best experience of running the computer on solar energy.

Can You Run A Laptop Using Solar Power?

Yes, you can power your laptop by harnessing the energy of the Sun too. To perform this, you will need a solar charger that can harness all the energy received from the sun into the current.

The laptop consumes comparatively less power than your computer; hence solar power becomes an easy way of charging your laptop whenever you’re out. There are two different ways by which you can power your laptop using solar energy. 

  1. Use solar energy by purchasing a solar laptop charger and connecting the charger with the installed solar panel system. The solar panel will help absorb and trap all the energy received from the sun in a DC form, while the charger will help convert the DC into AC and supply it to your laptop. 
  1. Purchasing solar-powered laptop

Yes, even solar-powered laptops exist! Modern technology has helped invent laptops that run by directly harnessing the energy received from the sun. 

How to Use Solar Power For Computers: A Detailed Step-by-Step Process

For powering a computer with solar panels, you’ll need an AC inverter, batteries, a charge controller, and solar panels. The solar panels store the absorbed energy as a direct current in an inverter or a battery. The battery will then convert the Direct Current (DC) into Alternating Current (AC) and supply it to power your computer. 

The charge controller will help adjust the charge according to the battery’s needs and avoid unwanted circumstances like overcurrent, overcharging, or current overflow. 

Before buying all the materials mentioned above, don’t forget to determine the watts consumption of your computers and laptops. After arranging all the components, please go through the following steps to set them up in reverse order. 

  1. Solar panel installation: the first step and most crucial part of this process is setting up the solar panels on top of your roof. Choose a flat area where the solar panels can receive maximum sunlight for the maximum period of the day. 
  1. Take all the cables to a particular side of the house where you’ve planned to install the charge controller. Now, fix the charge controller securely with the wall. 
  1. Now fix the batteries and inverter inside your room in a way they are adjacent and make sure they can be connected easily. 
  1. Next, connect the charge converter with solar panels using wires and power plugs. 
  1. It’s time to connect your batteries to the inverter and your laptop to the battery using an extension cord. 
  1. Now switch your inverter, battery, and computer in the same order, and it’s done. The solar panels and batteries will start working. 

Do You Still Need Batteries to Power Computer With Solar Panels?

Yes, batteries are still an important component. You cannot power the PC directly from the solar panels. You’ve to connect the batteries to convert the DC into AC and supply it to the computers. 

Lithium-ion batteries can run a solar power computer. They are rechargeable and an excellent option for fast charging the computers. Lithium-ion batteries have a higher density of power and last for an extended duration. 

Things To Consider When Running A Computer On Solar Power

power computer with solar panel

It is now possible to power computers with solar panels with the right setup and positioning. Great sunlight exposure will provide you with an uninterrupted power supply to charge your PC. 

Since different kinds of desktops are available in the market (laptops, MacBook, Chromebook, palmtop, desktop), their energy requirement will be different. The power consumption also tends to vary from one system to another. 

Therefore, here are some important things you should keep in mind before switching over to solar-powered computing. 

1. Power Consumption

As we already mentioned, different laptops have different power consumption requirements. If you want to switch to the solar power computing mechanism, you’ve to calculate your device’s power consumption first. A standard business computer consumes about 300 Watts every hour, while a high-end gaming pc consumes 350 Watts to 500 Watts on an average every hour. 

Therefore, it becomes essential to consider your device’s power consumption before switching to solar-powered computing. 

Knowing the average power consumption of your device will also help you find out the number of solar panels you require. So how many solar panels power a computer? For most laptops, 2 solar panels will be sufficient to power them. This has been calculated by keeping the power usage in a range of 60 Watts to 300 Watts. 

2. Battery Power

Another important factor you should start considering is the Battery Power. The capacity of your battery is a significant factor in deciding how long your computer can work before running out of power. The batteries also help in converting the direct current into an alternating current. Hence, you’ve to be selective and choose an efficient battery with a high discharge capacity and provides faster charging to the computer. 

Since the solar panels can work only during the daytime, you must ensure that the batteries are good enough to charge your computer to keep working for 7 hours at a stretch. 

3. Lighting Backup

Solar panels need a good amount of sunlight to enable the start. Since they can work only during the daytime, installing solar panels in maximum sunlight is crucial. This will allow your computer to get charged fastly and work for 7 hours at a stretch. 

However, if the panels are installed in areas with insufficient lighting, you face losses as the fixed and installation cost is very high. The lighting system affects the overall solar panel system, and insufficient lighting can reduce overall power generation. 

4. Power Backup

Now, what if you have a cloudy day and there is no direct sunlight? This is why a Power Backup system is required. When you are working with solar energy, installing a power backup system becomes important because there can be a lot of uncertainties. 

A power backup system will allow your device to run efficiently even without sunlight. How does it do it? Power backup usually collects the maximum energy during the daytime and stores it for later usage. 

5. Number of Solar Panels

Your device’s power consumption can help you decide the number of solar panels your laptop requires. 

FAQs

1. Can I Charge My Laptop With a Solar Panel?

With the changing technology, there have been many new inventions. Many portable solar panel manufacturers have claimed that the users can now directly charge their laptops by connecting them to the solar panel. However, we do not recommend doing this. If any voltage fluctuations or overcurrent happens, it may damage your electronic devices. 

2. Which solar panel charger can charge the laptop?

Sunpower foldable 80 W solar panel charger (>22% efficiency panel) with integrated voltage regulator can help in charging the laptops, mobile phones, iPods, tablets, and other small electronic devices. 

Conclusion

We hope we have given you plenty of insightful content about solar power for computers. 

Make sure to read the safety and electricity issues while installing the solar panels at home or your workplace. The installation costs of solar panels are usually high, but they will seem to be very negligible in the long run. 

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