Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Solar Panel to power carputer??

  1. #1
    Newbie Redeyez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    44

    Question Solar Panel to power carputer??

    Well, I am a complete newbie, so i am not sure if this topic has been dicussed somewhere else on this forum, or if it is completly idiotic to post this topic.


    I was wondering if it is possible to use a solar panel to power a carputer. That way you could wire the solar cell to a rechargable battery, and the battery to the cpu. I don't know if this will work, but i thought I would throw it out there to you guys. This seems more logical than having a DC-AC-DC setup, and it would leave the cigarette lighter plugs open for other stuff. yeah i know there is DC-DC hook ups as well, but a solar panel could provide power without the computer getting messed up by startup, ect.

    If this would work, where/ how could i mount the solar cell?

    I haven't seen any other set ups like this, so i figured i see what you guys thought. thx 4 reading.
    Current status:
    wtf is a carputer??

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate choyak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Buena Park, CA
    Posts
    326
    The solar cell would have to be HUGE to get the power that you would need, and the battery would need to be capable of delivering energy for several hours.
    Carputer currently 'ghettoed' into car!!!

    EPIA MII-12000
    Ampie Case with rigged extra USB
    Hitachi 60GB
    Holux GPS mouse with iGuidance 2.0
    Lilliput 7" touchscreen
    Netgear WG121 USB WiFi
    Carnetix P1260

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    95
    I was thinking something alone similar lines - but only using the solar sell to supply 5v power to the CarPC while the car is shut off.
    Carputer - 100% Complete!
    1993 Mazda MX-6 - 100% Totalled!
    Bought new 1995 Saab 900SE Turbo - Need new Micro ATX Case (Simple 101 case maybe?)

  4. #4
    Newbie Redeyez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    44
    how many volts/ amps would u need in a panel to power just the comp and maybe screen?
    Current status:
    wtf is a carputer??

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate PaCMaYNE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    tx, USA
    Posts
    411
    not practical
    throw a moon

    heuvos vin chevos

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    95
    I'm no electrical expert, but a typical 12v Solar car battery charger is about 9 Watts. For a CarPC you'd need at least 90 watts.

    I'm just waiting for someone to invent a "Mr. Fusion".
    Carputer - 100% Complete!
    1993 Mazda MX-6 - 100% Totalled!
    Bought new 1995 Saab 900SE Turbo - Need new Micro ATX Case (Simple 101 case maybe?)

  7. #7
    FLAC
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,577
    Some of the VIA m/bs only need around 40W. So 5 chargers might do it
    Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
    Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
    Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    6,234
    a solar panel is rated with a maximum output, and normaly operates in a range somewhere between that maximum & 0 output, obviously in direct relation to the amount of energy (sunlight) it is exposed to. a solar panel is not designed or optimized to actually "run" anything, & the normal solar panel "system" is comprised of the panels charging a bank of storage units (batteries). The amount of panels & batteries needed to "run" your system is not practical. It is however practical to design a system that can be almost self supportive, and then supliment it with an extra deep cycle or two & a few panels and make a difference. Say for example you built a system that was really efficient in a sleep mode that allowed almost instant re-boots & always on comunication, and added a few extra batteries, etc... and you had an end result of something that could last around a day & 1/2 before voltage dropped too low. By adding a few good panels you may be able to get a result of 3 days before voltage drops to low. this of course assumes sunny days & if it rained for one day your'e pretty much out of luck. you can't have a system that would put your batterys down too low in a matter of hours & expect a few solar panels to make a real difference. If your whole cars outer body panels were constructed of solar panels including the windows it still wouldn't work completely, although i bet it it would look pretty cool. I plan on suplimenting my install with a few solar panels on the roof of my minivan, but they will only provide minimal benefit, but a benfit none the less. a system is comprised of all components involved, & many little "tweeks" add up to overall improvement. consider solar panels as just a "tweek" & a sometimes trickle charge at best.

  9. #9
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Vancover, BC
    Posts
    17
    What I've done for my carputer (in the making, but the same is true for my audio system right now) is bought two large 150A bus bars at a marine store (lots of cheap high-current stuff to be found there!) and made one positive and negative. I've simply attached the following things to these: amp, capacitor, solar panel, and in the future an OPUS. What this does is trickle-charges the car's battery when the sun is out to make sure it'll always start. It doesn't tie up the digarette lighter, but it can get annoying ripping out interior panels to hide power cables.

    Another solution is to buy a battery isolator. This will let the computer drain an auxiliary deep-cycle battery without draining the starter battery, and at the same time have the alternator charge the battery when you're driving. If you have enough room for a second battery I think this would be the choice to make, though it requires some time to wire up.

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate andyhardy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Bexhill, East Sussex, England
    Posts
    82
    I bought a solar battery saver to top up my car when parked up outside and using the carputer.

    (UK supplier link)
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...dID=&doy=26m10

    Seems to work well enough - although we don't get that much sun here in Blighty!

    HTH,

    Andy

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Solar Power Idea
    By ODYSSEY in forum Power Supplies
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 04-11-2010, 09:47 PM
  2. Is there a carputer power FAQ?
    By Choser in forum Power Supplies
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-02-2004, 05:35 PM
  3. Replies: 16
    Last Post: 11-13-2003, 01:02 PM
  4. What is the ultimate carputer power supply??
    By THEMP3KID in forum Power Supplies
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 02-15-2002, 05:34 AM
  5. Constant power cycling of carputer
    By moossmp3 in forum General Hardware Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-06-2000, 06:41 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •