Sunday, May 19, 2013

You are here: Home > Solar Panel > Solar Panel: How Do I Calculate Required Electric Power Needed To Run Computers With Solar Panel? (5/29/2012)

Solar Panel: How Do I Calculate Required Electric Power Needed To Run Computers With Solar Panel? (5/29/2012)

I’m trying to figure out required solar panel devices to run a set of computer.
For example, 45 watt power supply computer with 65 watt laptop and 70 watt lcd monitor.

Second question is..
Let’s say I purchased 45 watt solar panel set. Can I use just powerful power converter to use all? or do I need more solar panels to juice power?

More Pages:

R T May 29, 2012 at 7:47 am

you get all the computer stuff together add up all wattage,using your numbers 45+65+70+180 watts.to be safe triple the wattage =3×180=540 watts divide by 120v equalling 4.5 amps. the solar panel of course charges a (bank) of batteries. for nothing but a computer set up,you can get by with an inverter of 600-1200,the latter being the temporary wattage.you probably require no more panels as long as your battery gets charged okay

roderick_young May 29, 2012 at 8:31 am

If your goal is to save money, this sort of setup isn’t going to do it today, unfortunately. If there are other reasons, like there just isn’t any other power at the site, then we do what we have to do.

If the 45-watt set is what I’m thinking of (Harbor Freight, Northern Tool, etc., 3 panels), then I’ve heard that those are really 5-watt panels by the time they get broken in, so that’s 15 watts of power. And given inefficiencies in batteries and in an inverter, that’s only a few minutes (my guess is less than 5) per sunny day of runtime for your equipment.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of solar, properly applied. Crudely speaking, I think you would need one car-sized battery for each hour of runtime you want from your equipment, and 100 real watts of panel for each of those. Even that estimate could be off, if you live far from the equator, or in a cloudy area. There are stores on the internet that will sell you all the parts you need for an off-grid system like that, if you still haven’t been scared away.

Jacob Harmon- Mountain Wind and Solar May 29, 2012 at 8:57 am

Hi I am the owner of Mountain Wind & Solar http://mountainwindnsolar.com (please be aware though that this website is still under construction).

What you need is a Kill-A-Watt meter. all you do is plug all of your appliances into a power strip, plug the power strip into the Kill-A-Watt meter, and then plug the Kill-A-Watt meter into the wall. The Kill-A-Watt meter will tell you how much power you are using. If you keep the Kill-A-Watt meter plugged in then it will add up the amount of power. you can also tell it the price of electricity in your area and it will tell you how much the appliance plugged in has cost you.

Kill-A-Watt meters are great tools that tell you a lot of information.

The cheapest one I have found online is at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882715001&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Electronic+Gadgets-_-P3+International-_-82715001 I am sure you could find one for pretty cheap on e-bay.

If you have any specific questions about wind turbines or solar panels feel free to email me at go_green@mountainwindnsolar.com

Matthew B May 29, 2012 at 9:41 am

The loads should be measured for accuracy. Power point meter are about \$ 30.
Desktop computer will be 100 watts plus, some laptops can run 25-50 watts on average, LCD monitors are in the 20-40 watt range.
Consider using netbooks and laptops instead of desktop computers due to the lower load.
Turn on computer power management of all computers.
Work out how many hours per day you need the computer.
This can then be used to calculate the energy required per day from the solar system.
To have working computers even on cloudy days requires a battery.
The solar panel rating given is for 1000 watts / square metre solar radiation. You location will probably be lower.
The final system will be solar panel, solar regulator, battery, inverter, power board, computer/s.