The development of solar energy over the past centuries has opened tremendous opportunities for humanity. The ancient Greeks, especially in the 3rd century started exploring solar power in performing religious activities which improved greatly in 1839 at the discovery of the photovoltaic effect.
Solar is currently fronting in the line of energy source, fast becoming the most abundant source of energy. This has also contributed to the supply of power to various technological gadgets like computers.
Computers are like mobile phones especially when connected to an office. They work all day long, consuming a lot of electricity.
Having a solar system to run your computer is a better way to reduce the cost of electricity.
This article discusses what a solar panel is, how to run a computer using a solar panel, the best battery to run a solar panel on for a desktop computer, and how many solar panels are needed to power a computer.
Solar power expresses the conversion of renewable energy from sunlight into electricity, through photovoltaic or concentrated solar power.
This is channeled through solar panels which absorb the sunlight into heat or electricity. A solar panel is a set of photovoltaic cells usually arranged in a grid-like pattern and configuration.
They are mostly made up of crystalline silicon solar cells which generate power during the day and it’s then used at night.
The solar panel may also send direct current electricity through the charger controller to the battery bank which is usually used through an inverter.
Solar panels have helped greatly in reducing global warming, void of any pollution, and in reducing our dependency on electric power.
Using Solar Panels to Run a Computer
Solar power works for a computer by using an inverter and solar system to have uninterrupted power. It should be noted that solar power runs only direct current (DC) equipment but through inverters and batteries, AC gadgets can also be powered.
Batteries are a great need in running your computer on solar panels. It is inappropriate to power your computer from solar panels directly.
Through the inverter and charging controller, power is stored on the battery from the photovoltaic cells which enables it to be converted to AC from DC thereby becoming suitable for your desktop computer.
They can easily run on Lithium-ion batteries which are both rechargeable and fast charging. They store 50% more energy than an average equal amp AGM battery.
They can be drained with no expectation of damage. When fully charged, they can work 12 hours without a blink.
One of the fears of Lithium-ion batteries is their expensiveness but are becoming cheaper owing to their increase in usage and according to Energy Finance, Lithium-ion batteries cost 125 dollars per kWh.
Lithium-ion batteries are available in electrical stores or you can search for the best suppliers on the internet.
It is advisable to get at least two solar panels or two batteries for efficiency because of weather conditions which may be of a little disadvantage during cloudy days.
However, to power your computer, you chose a 100 watts solar panel, 4 solar panels will be required to generate enough energy to run your desktop computer.
One thing to also note is that your lithium-ion batteries must be installed appropriately with your solar panels. Since solar panels are installed outside, most solar panels do not have complete lightning protection.
Consideration must then be taken when charging your laptop via a solar source.
How many Solar Panels to Power a Computer?
Scientists normally use watt hour (wh) as the energy unit to represent an average of power needed per hour.
200wh to 300wh is required by a typical standard desktop computer. A computer will need 1600wh to 2400wh to run for eight hours. A solar panel would usually generate 100 to 300wh.
The watts of the solar panel you install multiplied by the hours of sun will determine how many solar panels you would need to power your computer.
For instance, if you install 100 watts with seven hours of sun, you will need four solar panels to power your computer for eight hours.
If it is rather 200 watts, two solar panels will be needed; which is highly recommended for efficiency due to changing weather conditions.
How many Solar Panels does it take to power a laptop?
For efficiency, we recommend that you use two solar panels if it has a capacity of 200 watts or 300 watts. If the solar capacity is 100 watts, four panels will be enough to power your laptop.
How many batteries does it take to power a computer?
A modern computer consumes close to 100W, 20 computers will consume 2000W or 2kW. In calculating how many batteries it would take to power your computer, the number of hours before recharging should be considered and what battery voltage. But on an average scale, 24 or 48 volts would work well.
Can I Power a PC directly from a Solar Panel without an Inverter?
Having an Inverter and a battery is essential for a safe and constant supply. Power is stored on the battery through the inverter which enables it to be converted from DC to AC suitable for your computer.
Which Solar Charger Can Charge Laptops?
A Sunpower foldable 80W to 100W solar panel charger with an integrated voltage regulator can recharge your laptop effectively.
What is the cost of a Solar Panel for a Computer?
The average solar panel cost is $2.82/W, although it varies with various manufacturers. Some manufacturers fix their cost panels at a much higher rate, while others at a lower price range.
We’ve clearly highlighted what a solar panel is and how many solar panels are needed to run a computer.
Be careful to measure how many panels you would need following the number of hours your computer will run on.
Make sure to get the best sets of solar panels from a reliable manufacturer and follow our recommendations carefully.