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ngdias

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Computer components work at 12V and 5V, would it be possible to skip the usual 110 or 220V PSU and power a computer from solar panels? I'm guessing that would save money on components and also increase efficiency, since less power conversion steps would be necessary.

Any help is appreciated, I'm new at this and I'm compiling information for a DIY solar setup.
Thanks!

stmbtwle

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Posts: 2,782
Reply with quote  #2 
You can, but not directly. Even 12v panels may put out 20+ volts, which might damage the computer. Also you won't want the computer going offline every time a cloud passed over, so you'd need a battery and controller.

Rather than redesign/replace the computer's power supply, it would probably be simpler to use a small inverter or "auto adapter". Not the most efficient, but likely the easiest and cheapest.

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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
ngdias

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
I was expecting to need a battery. I'm just trying to figure out if it makes sense to skip the conversion: solar panel 12V DC -> 110/220V AC PSU -> 12V DC motherboard, by replacing the traditional computer PSU with something cheaper. And if the alternative yields less power loss.
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #4 
It is possible. Some, but not all, of the newer motherboards are +12V input. The 3.3V, 5V and -12V conversion is done on the motherboard. You would still need a 12V battery for times there is not enough sunshine or none at all. You would also need a charge controller to keep from frying the batteries and the motherboard. If this is a Desktop you still need to power the monitor. In that case you just as well use an inverter. Besides a inverter is versatile, what your describing is not.
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Rick H Parker
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #5 
A lot of small TVs are also 12v, and can be used as a monitor. Still, the inverter is easier, "plug & play". It can run your printer too, and your fridge, etc etc.



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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
colinmcc

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Posts: 157
Reply with quote  #6 
A lot of laptops are actually run from external 19v DC PSUs, You can get laptops in a variety of specs, some are direct desktop replacements, and include a decent screen. (Many separate monitors, such as those from LG/Asus/Samsung/HP etc also use an external 19VDC PSU),

You could consider solar PV with a 24V charge controller into  2 off 12V batteries in series.. Most small charge controllers are 12/24V by design.

Most 19V laptop PSUs seem to be in the 65-95W range so, for example,  this DC converter capable of 285 W would actually be capable of supplying 19V from a 24V battery bank and  running several laptops!

Here, for example is  a 24VDC to 19VDC step down converter,

https://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-DC-24V-to-19V-15A-285W-Step-DOWN-Waterproof-Power-Voltage-Converter/391455642225

The spec:
Input Voltage : DC 24V (21v ~ 40v)
Output Voltage : DC 19V +/-0.3
Output Current : 15A  285W
Construction : Die-cast Aluminium Case, Epoxy sealed potting
Dimension : 74mm x 74mm x 32mm
Operation Temperature : -40°c to +85°c
Conversation Efficiency : Greater than 93%


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