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  • Solar Power Idea

    Would it be possible to hook-up a solar cell(s) to a computer? You would simply have a solar panel in the back dash of your car that would charge a 12-volt battery. The only drain on the battery would be the computer. I friend suggested it to me. Would it be at all possible? Or would the solar cell have to be too big to keep the battery charged?

    Would something like this work? http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI...tem=1151443863

    Or would I need something that would produce more amps?

    Just an idea. Would be cool. MP3 anywhere at the sun reaches.

    ODYSSEY
    ODYSSEY

    Originally posted by Tidder
    Hey, as long as it's not any particular race I'm offending, I can stand to be a pedophile.
    All information expressed in this post is my opinion, and should not be regarded as a statement of fact.
    Digital-Car UK|

    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

  • #2
    There's quite a few of those sorts of units out there for car battery charging but the problem is they need a really big surface area to get any sort of decent juice going.

    You couldn't run a system "real time" from a battery being charged by solar but if it was in the sun all day you might get somewhere.
    95 Honda Civic DX Coupe - In Progress
    mp3civic site

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    • #3
      Working Current at full charge 100-125 Mah

      well you would have to leave it off for 10 hours or so to put out 2 amps
      and considering that most ppl are saying about 2 amps to power there system

      cheers
      pcman
      donate to my team in the ****box rally all proceeds go to the cancer council http://www.everydayhero.com.au/dodgy_mechanics

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      • #4
        This is kinda related to my post.

        Lets say I found solar cell that output one volt. If I hook 12-14 of them up in series I would get 10-14 volts, right? Then if I hook X up in parallel I could increase the amps, right?

        1A equals how many mA?

        Sorry if this seems basic. I don't remember much from electronics from high school. As I remember series can increase/decrease volts and parallel can increase/decrease amps. Depending on how you are using the circuts.

        ODYSSEY
        ODYSSEY

        Originally posted by Tidder
        Hey, as long as it's not any particular race I'm offending, I can stand to be a pedophile.
        All information expressed in this post is my opinion, and should not be regarded as a statement of fact.
        Digital-Car UK|

        (\__/)
        (='.'=)
        (")_(")

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        • #5
          1000ma = 1a
          Steve

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          • #6
            This would work, assuming you have constant sun and can keep the panel exposed. There are solar panels that produce about 1A available at some auto parts stores for charging batteries. The only problem I see is that the sun is rather unreliable, and if it is cloudy for a few days and you run your aux battery down your SOL.

            If you are worried about sapping power from the main battery, don't worry about it. If you are using a DC-DC converter, you are only taking about 2A anyway, which will hardly have any effect on the electrical system, gas mileage or anything else.
            Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
            Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
            "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

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            • #7
              It's not a bad idea, but the amount of surface area you need is high. plus solar panels put out very little enrgy in low light conditions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ODYSSEY:
                <STRONG>Would it be possible to hook-up a solar cell(s) to a computer? You would simply have a solar panel in the back dash of your car that would charge a 12-volt battery. </STRONG>

                If you wanted to run a computer off of only solar panels, here is is some numbers for ya.

                Say your computer draws is 35 watts (i.e. MpegBox 2).

                The sun puts out about 1000 watts/ square meter in average direct sunlight.

                Solar panels that you pay resonable prices for are about 10-15 percent efficent.

                So say you buy some 15 percent efficient solar cells, thats about 150 watts per square meter, so you need .3 square meters, which is 3.1 square feet, or 452 square inches, or somthing that is 22 inches square. This gives an idea of what the minimum area is to get it to run.. If you hooked up a battery and only used it half the ammount of time you had full sun, you would be just fine (lead acid batteries are only abot 50 percent efficient.)!

                Jeff_
                MPEGBOX - Plexiglass Computer
                www.mpegbox.com

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                • #9
                  Here is a place that sells them for house use, any of 12 volt or 2 6 volt in series could be used to charge a car battery..
                  A bit pricey, but they have a 25 year warrenty.
                  Siemens solar panels

                  Jeff_
                  MPEGBOX - Plexiglass Computer
                  www.mpegbox.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Let me clarify my previous post. I was referring to running the computer from an AUX battery, and then charging that battery with the solar cell. Not running the computer directly.
                    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
                    Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
                    "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm thinking about setting up my system to run of a DC-DC PS and use Suspend To Ram. With luck, depending on my system hardware's implementation, that could take &lt; 100mA, but as much as 416mA. I was thinking a solar panel might be a good way to keep a battery charge up with this kind of draw, though on those especially low implementations, you probably don't need any charger at all..

                      But this seems like a more realistic usage for a solar panel
                      Player: Celeron II 633MHz, 256MB RAM, 20GB IBM 9mm 2.5" Laptop HD (180G/2ms), onboard ethernet/sound/video/tvout, 10"11"x3" case, MPBS1 70W DC-DC PS w/auto-shutdown controller, in-dash lighted switches, 7" NTSC TFT widescreen in-dash LCD, touchscreen, rear-window brake light installed Garmin GPS35 GPS, credit card sized IR remote w/IRMan, mini-wireless keyboard/mouse (sits under seat), PowerMate black knob, MP3s and GPS Navigation (Winamp, CoPilot, SA8.0).
                      Car: 1993 Nissan Maxima, Black Emerald

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                      • #12
                        I found one place on the web that has 4" cells that produce 2.5 amps @ 0.55 volts. Hook-up 23 in series and you have 12+ volts @ 2.5 amps @ in good daylight. It would cost about 70-80 dollars for the cells. If you had enough room you could do it. It is still just an idea. It would be great for the west cost or when your power goes out. Solar power has always interest me.

                        ODYSSEY
                        ODYSSEY

                        Originally posted by Tidder
                        Hey, as long as it's not any particular race I'm offending, I can stand to be a pedophile.
                        All information expressed in this post is my opinion, and should not be regarded as a statement of fact.
                        Digital-Car UK|

                        (\__/)
                        (='.'=)
                        (")_(")

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          have u tried moving to the east coast ... i couldn't resist
                          abcd-1
                          Author of CobraI,II,III and now CobraIV.
                          You can contact me on AOL instant messenger....nick is cenwesi or cenwesi3

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                          • #14
                            ATTENTION: OFF TOPIC

                            heheh. ok.. where was i? oh yeah.. if you live in cali and you retro-fit a house with solar cells, you can get the state to foot up to (IIRC) 40% of the cost. Things are that bad..
                            I cheat, I own an empeg.
                            Meskimen's Law: There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over.
                            http://civic.mp3car.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ODYSSEY:
                              <STRONG>I found one place on the web that has 4" cells that produce 2.5 amps @ 0.55 volts. Hook-up 23 in series and you have 12+ volts @ 2.5 amps @ in good daylight. It would cost about 70-80 dollars for the cells.
                              ODYSSEY</STRONG>
                              Hey where did you find that deal? That sounds great!

                              Jeff_
                              MPEGBOX - Plexiglass Computer
                              www.mpegbox.com

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