Power Your Laptop with Solar Energy

I have just been looking into how to power your laptop using solar energy. There are several ways you can do it depending on your situation and how you are traveling. Up until recently solar panels used to be quite bulky and heavy to carry around. But with the latest developments in Thin Film Technology , you now have flexible lightweight solar panels that you can roll up and carry around. I posted a page with different ideas on how to use a solar charger to power your laptop and cash in on the solar energy provided by the sun. Solar Energy is clean, green infinitely renewable and environmentally friendly.

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12 Responses to “Power Your Laptop with Solar Energy”

  1. Greg@Toshiba Laptop Battery
    April 24, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    I wounder how big of a panel you need for powering your laptop? Is it powerfull enougn to get the laptop battery recharged?

  2. Anna
    April 24, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    Usually at least a 25-watt charger is recommended. The best is the Brunton 52 Watt. http://findportablesolarpower.com/store/products/solar-laptop-chargers/brunton-6.htm But you might also be able to get away with a 14-watt. You can find different chargers for laptops here:

    http://findportablesolarpower.com/store/categories/8/solar-laptop-chargers/

    The less wattage the charger produces, the longer it will take to charge. So to some degree it depends on how much energy you laptop uses, how you will be using it and how often, how much time you will have to charge it (hours of sunlight), your weather conditions, etc. If you are in a cloudy area you will probably need more charging time than in a desert area. The higher the wattage of your charger, the less time it will take. That’s the general concept.

    You might also want to look at how many watts your laptop uses. But keep in mind that just because a solar charger doesn’t provide the same wattage as a wall socket, it doesn’t mean it won’t work. It will just take longer to charge your device than it would at home. There is some more information about it at this article as well:

    http://findportablesolarpower.com/main/howmanywatts.php

  3. Queanne
    June 6, 2009 at 6:15 am #

    Hi! This post is very interesting. This is one way of conserving our energy. This would really be very efficient. I hope that one day, laptops are not the only ones that could use solar energy..lol! 😆

  4. Ricky
    June 16, 2009 at 6:04 am #

    I really like reading your blog. It support the used of solar energy. I am an advocate of alternative energy and reading your blog makes me feel that I’m not alone who wants to have a better change. keep it up! 😉

  5. cameron
    July 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    this is cool, i’ve actually seen panels you can attach to your backpack or something, where only a year or two ago they didn’t have the technology to make solar panels big enough for laptops.. just phones.

  6. Palak
    July 27, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    can we make a laptop that contains inbuilt solar cell? like the one used in scientific calculator..

  7. Anna
    July 27, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    @Ricky – Thanks for your kind words. I am glad you like the blog! I hope to see you around again 🙂

  8. Anna
    July 27, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    @Queanne – I agree – actually there are many products these days which can run on solar energy, including portable devices. You can find a lot of examples at http://findportablesolarpower.com/store/categories/30/portable-solar-power/

    Thanks for your feedback!

  9. Anna
    July 27, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    @cameron – Yes, it’s great to see how technology has been progressing along these lines 🙂

  10. Anna
    July 27, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    @Palak – It sounds like a great idea, but there are a few things you have to keep in mind.

    The amount of electricity required to run a calculator, compared to the actual size of the calculator, is quite small.

    But these days, to run a laptop you would need a pretty large solar array, such as one of these:

    Brunton 26
    Brunton 52

    If you look at the pictures of those devices, you can see that their surface area is much bigger than the size of a laptop.

    Additionally, if one added solar panels directly to a laptop, that would mean one would need to put the laptop in the sun in order to charge it – thus overheating the laptop, and also leaving no way to charge the laptop during rainy weather etc.

    A calculator uses so little energy, that it can even charge in the light from an indoor bulb. So this is not a problem. But, currently, our laptops use a LOT of power and this is what would make it difficult to design one which runs on built-in panels.

    However, this might change as technology progresses – and this will be interesting to see!

  11. Anna
    July 27, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    @Ricky – Thanks for all of your comments and feedback, much appreciated. I am very happy that you like the blog and I hope to see you here again!

  12. Michael
    November 29, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Now I remember when I use to be at School we had this challenge to create a circuit that could charge a light bulb on forever. What we did is we got an old circuit replace light bulbs on top and connect black and red wires to metal pieces at the end to allow the power to run through to light bulbs up and when we linked metal pieces to light bulb. It worked.

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