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Author Topic: Solar powered computer  (Read 9138 times)
skyewright
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2012, 05:40:06 PM »

The simplest off-the-shelf low power PC solutions will surely be based around a laptop or even a netbook.
Asus eeePc? IIRC mine (which is a couple of years old) drew about 14W when I had it on the plug-in meter.
I also have a mkI Fit-PC, that only draws ~5W. I'm not sure what the current, more powerful, model draws.

On both I have WiFi turned off, that saves the odd W.
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David
3.91kWp PV  (17 x Moser Baer 230 and Aurora PVI-3.6-OUTD-S-UK), slope 40°, WSW, Lat 57° 9' (Isle of Skye)
dtww
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2012, 06:31:20 PM »

This is a journey many of you have gone far down the road, and I am not even at the starting point. I got myself a power meter. The watt readings for my current PC base unit, with all the things plugged in, range from 56W to 124W in the last hour. Running a few multiple applications (3 web browsers, 4 adobe apps, 3 office apps) for test sake got it up to 143W. PC has one ssd and 3 x 3.5 disks, about 8 usb devices plugged in, no graphics card nor optical drive. With the PSU 'on' but the computer off, it's 3.5W. Motherboard is Asus p8z77-v but so far I fail to find its power consumption.

This is not the PC going on battery/off grid, but it gives me an idea of energy consumption (I know I haven't accounted for monitors). The router is in the hallway where the phone socket is, and I'm not sure I want my new pc there.

I realise, it's a case of hitting small stones with small stick, big stones with big stick (bad analogy), so how do you find the right balance between 'input' and 'output' as in energy efficiency or just the idea of throwing things including money at one end, you want to get 'more' out the other end. To spend say £2k to generate the energy to power a £0.3k (if that) PC is not acceptable when mmm... I haven't got my facts and maths, but let's say the PC draws 60W at peak. The scale does not make sense I agree, but I haven't journeyed this way so I am learning - I might as well spend £6k for a roof top solar install that feeds the whole house water/electric! Which is what some of you said above.

David
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clivejo
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2012, 07:10:12 PM »

I realise, it's a case of hitting small stones with small stick, big stones with big stick (bad analogy), so how do you find the right balance between 'input' and 'output' as in energy efficiency or just the idea of throwing things including money at one end, you want to get 'more' out the other end. To spend say £2k to generate the energy to power a £0.3k (if that) PC is not acceptable when mmm... I haven't got my facts and maths, but let's say the PC draws 60W at peak. The scale does not make sense I agree, but I haven't journeyed this way so I am learning - I might as well spend £6k for a roof top solar install that feeds the whole house water/electric! Which is what some of you said above.

Your learning quick, took many of us a lot longer to realise the true cost of running our gadgets !!  By just thinking about it your realising your choices can make a huge difference in the energy you use.

To be honest in your situation the roof top grid tied system would be best.  You should be able to claim Feed in Tariff (FIT) for the units of electric you produce/generate and get paid for them, so its 'money in the bank', you can then use the electric in your home as and when you want to without costly batteries and conversion loses.  But also look at equipment around your home and think do you really need it powered on 24/7?  Even by switching a 10w router off while your asleep ( 8hours x 10W = 80Wh, times 356 days in a year = 29.2kWh, at 16p per unit that's a saving of £4.67 in a year)
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DISCLAIMER : I’m not responsible for anything… for anything I say or do. Cos I’m a proud member of clan Eejit who once ruled Ireland.
petertc
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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2012, 07:43:12 PM »

I have a small pc LINITX unit. uses about 17 watts, but only room for a 2.5 hd everything else connected via USB.

just under a year old the MB packed up so had a new one i think the fan was a bit light weight and it got to hot.

it uses an ATOM processor so not that fast but OK for what we want to do with it.
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skyewright
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2012, 10:30:18 AM »

Here's someone who has got down to < 5W from > 600W...

http://www.earth.org.uk/note-on-SheevaPlug-setup.html
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David
3.91kWp PV  (17 x Moser Baer 230 and Aurora PVI-3.6-OUTD-S-UK), slope 40°, WSW, Lat 57° 9' (Isle of Skye)
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