Solar Powered Laptop: Can Solar Generator Run A Laptop

A solar-powered laptop is an innovative technology that makes its power independent of AC outlets. Powerful batteries are attached to the laptop and connected to solar panels. These solar panels receive sunshine and convert their energy into electricity. When this solar-powered laptop is equipped with a satellite link GPS or any other wireless internet access, it becomes a fully independent workstation you can take anywhere without any network or power issues.

Solar-powered laptops may work in different mechanisms with solar panels attached to the computer or detachable solar batteries that can be charged with solar panels. So, you need to choose the best option according to your requirements.

solar powered laptop

What is A Solar Powered Laptop

Like any other solar-powered device, a laptop comprises solar panels, an inverter, and batteries. Solar panels are the most critical component of a solar computer because they receive sunlight and convert it into electricity.

A futuristic solar-powered laptop design uses photovoltaic cells embedded on the top of the notebook. These cells obtain energy from the sunlight and use it to power the laptop battery. However, it is important to consider the charging hours of the battery and whether it offers pass-through charging. Pass-through charging means the battery is charged, and the computer uses the energy simultaneously. We also need a cooling mechanism for the laptop because placing it in direct sunlight may adversely affect the hardware.

Solar Powered Laptop VS. Solar Generator for Laptop

Types

Pros

Cons

Solar Powered Laptop

1. No dependence on AC power outlets.

2. Use a laptop for a longer time without charging.

1. High temperatures may damage hardware and battery.

2. Using a laptop in direct sunlight is essential for solar-powered laptops, which is challenging.

Solar Generator for Laptop

1. You can power your laptop with solar energy.

2. Cost-effective.

3. Low maintenance and noise free.

4. Eco friendly.

5. Safe and reliable.

6. Multiple ports for using many devices simultaneously.

1. High temperature can be an issue. However, Jackery has overcome this issue with ventilation for the main equipment and temperature sensors.

Solar-Powered Laptop

Solar-powered laptops are the latest technology that allows laptops to run directly with power harnessed from sunlight. 's power. The perspective behind this technology is to make an eco-friendly workstation that does not require plugging in and can be taken on the go. Though there have been many attempts, a lot remains to be desired in this regard.

Pros

  1. You do not have to rely on electrical outlets and you do not even need an expensive adapter to charge your laptop using the car plugins.
  2. It allows you to use your laptop for long stretches while using solar power while your laptop battery is also charging.

Cons

  1. Using a laptop in direct sunlight might be difficult because of the high temperature, and the screen is not clear and readable enough in bright sun.
  2. High temperatures can also harm your hardware. Lithium batteries are especially at risk.
  3. The weight of a laptop with solar panels can make it difficult to carry.

Solar Generator for Laptop

Solar-powered laptops have yet to prove very successful for the abovementioned reasons. The best alternative to these laptops is the solar generator, a broad-scope solution. You can use solar generators to power all your devices, including large appliances, refrigerator, TVs, air conditioners, etc.

A solar generator comprises portable solar panels, batteries, a charger, and an inverter. The solar panels receive the sunlight and convert it into electric power, which is saved in the batteries. So, you can use the power harnessed from the sun even when the sun is out. These generators are popular for camping, boating RVs, vans, and off-grid solutions.

Pros

  1. Solar generators are eco-friendly, noise-free, and very easy to use.
  2. No fossil fuel use.
  3. It is very economical as it does not need any fuel.
  4. Low maintenance because there are no moving parts.  
  5. Solar power maximizes battery life as you can prevent repetitive deep discharges, which shorten the lifespan of lead-acid batteries.

Cons

  1. Very hot temperatures can expedite the degradation of batteries; however, the new technology used in quality brands like Jackery has made it possible to overcome this problem. Jackery uses better materials, cooling systems, and insulation to keep the batteries in good condition even after years of use.

How Many Watts Does A Laptop Use

Laptops use a varied amount of watts depending on the mode of function. When the laptop is in active working mode, it uses more watts, while sleep mode uses less. If we take the average wattage of a laptop, then it comes out to be approximately 65W.

On average, a typical laptop is used for 14.3 hours in Off mode, 0.3 hours in sleep mode, and 9.4 hours in Idle and high-performance modes. Then, we can summarize the usage below.

Mode

Watt hours used per day

Watts hours used per month

Watts hours used per year

Off mode

4.88Wh

148.4Wh

1,780.4Wh

Sleep mode

0.23Wh

7.1Wh

85.2Wh

Active mode (incl. high performance and active but idle modes)

50.34Wh

1,531.1Wh

1,8373.2Wh

Total

55.45Wh

1,686.6Wh

20,238.8Wh

How Much Does It Cost to Run A Laptop

The wattage of a laptop depends on the type of usage, size of a laptop, the brand and technology used, and the specification of the computer. The average wattage ranges from 30W to 200W if we take the electricity rate as 13¢ per KWH and the average laptop use of 8 hours daily.

Type

Avg Watts

Cost/hr

Avg cost/month

Macbook (13 inches)

61 W

0.8¢

$1.92

Macbook (15 inches)

87 W

1.13¢

$2.712

Other Laptops (15.6 inches)

60 W

0.78¢

$1.87

Other Laptops (17 inches)

90 W

1.17¢

$2.8

Gaming Laptops

180 W

2.34¢

$5.6

How Much Solar Power Does A Laptop Need

The solar power a laptop needs are also variable. Following is a review of the average wattage of laptops based on manufacturer. This is the maximum power consumed by the device; however, laptops always do not work at maximum power consumption.

Laptop

Wattage

MacBook Air

30W

MacBook Pro 13″

61W

MacBook Pro 14″

67W

MacBook Pro 16″

96W or 140W depending on the spec

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

39W

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

45W

Samsung Galaxy Book Go

45W

Samsung Chromebook 4+

45W

Dell Inspiron 14″

65W

Dell Inspiron 17″

90W

Dell Inspiron 15 (7000)

90W

Dell Inspiron 15 (3000)

45W

Dell XPS 15

130W

Dell G15 Gaming Laptop

180W

ASUS ROG Zephyrus15

200W

HP Laptops

45W to 150W, depending on the model

Acer Laptops

45W to 180W, depending on the model

Lenovo Flex 3

45W

Lenovo Chromebook 3

45W

Lenovo Ideapad 3

65W

Lenovo Yoga

65W

Laptop Types

Watts

Length of Time

Daily Power Consumption

Macbook (13 inches)

61 W

8

488 Wh

Macbook (15 inches)

87 W

8

696 Wh

Other Laptops (15.6 inches)

60 W

8

480 Wh

Other Laptops (17 inches)

90 W

8

720 Wh

Gaming Laptops

180 W

8

1440 Wh

Jackery Solar Generator for Laptops

Jackery is a manufacturer of solar generators. They offer an extensive range of solar generators of varied wattages and budgets. As previously discussed, laptops could be more power-hungry, so even smaller solar generators can support them. So, let us see a few Jackery solar generators that can fulfill your workstation requirements.

Jackery Solar Generator 1000

jackery 1000

Jackery Explorer 1000 is a powerful solar generator offering 1002 Wh power that is enough to support most of your off-grid or camping equipment. You can even power multiple devices simultaneously with various output ports, including 2* USB-C, 2* USB-A, 1* DC car port & 3* AC outlets.

Also, it can charge fully with solar Saga solar panels within 8 hours, and it can also charge through an AC outlet or carport, so there is very less dependence on one power source.

Jackery Solar Generator 500

jackery 500

The Jackery Explorer 500 is a 518Wh portable lithium power station. It also has one AC output port, three USB-A ports, and two USB ports. Consequently, you can power multiple devices simultaneously. It is a lightweight, easy-to-carry, and reliable power station that you can conveniently take with you on trips.

Jackery Solar Generator 300

jackery 300

Jackery Explorer 300 is a small solar power solution that charges fully within six hours using a 100W solar panel. It has an optimum capacity of 293Wh power which can easily power your laptop, camping lights, speakers, and other small equipment. It is important to note that Jackery solar generators have a display showing the operating voltage, battery charging, etc., to make use very easy.

Here is a brief overview of how long different Jackery generators can support your laptop. We have calculated the average time based on realistic power capacity keeping power loss in operation in perspective. So, we are taking only 85% of the capacity instead of 100%.

Series

Capacity

Ports

Laptop Watts

Working Hours

Jackery Solar Generator 300

293Wh

AC Output: 110V, 60Hz, 300W (500W Surge)

USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A

Quick Charge 3.0 Output: 5-6.5V, 3A / 6.5-9V, 2A / 9-12V, 1.5A

USB-C PD Output: 5V, 9V, 15V, 20V, 3A

Car Output: 12V, 10A

DC Input: 12V-30V (90W Max)

61 W

4.5 H

87 W

3,35 H

60 W

4.8 H

90 W

3.24 H

180 W

1.6 H

Jackery Solar Generator 500

518Wh

AC Output: 110VAC, 60Hz, 500W (1000W Surge)

USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A

Car Output: 12V, 10A

DC Output: 12V, 7A

DC Input: 12V-30V (100W Max)

61 W

7.2 H

87 W

5 H

60 W

7.3 H

90 W

4.8 H

180 W

2.4 H

Jackery Solar Generator 1000

1002Wh

AC Output: 110VAC, 60Hz, 1000W (2000W Surge)

USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A

Quick Charge 3.0 Output: 5-6.5V, 3A / 6.5-9V, 3A / 9-12V, 1.5A

USB-C Output: 5V, 9V, 12V up to 3A

Car Output: 12V, 10A

DC Input: 12V-30V (200W Max)

61 W

13.9 H

87 W

9.78 H

60 W

14.1 H

90 W

9.4 H

180 W

4.7 H

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

1002Wh

AC Output: 120V, 60Hz, 1000W (2000W Peak)

USB-A Output: Quick Charge 3.0, 18W Max

USB-C Output: 100W Max, (5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V up to 5A)

Car Port: 12V,10A

AC Input: 120V, 60Hz, 15A Max

DC Input: 12V-17.5V, 8A Max, Double to 16A Max

17.5V-60V, 11A, Double to 22A/800W Max

61 W

13.9 H

87 W

9.78 H

60 W

14.1 H

90 W

9.4 H

180 W

4.7 H

Jackery Solar Generator 1500

1534 Wh

AC Output: 110VAC, 60Hz, 1800W (3600W Peak)

USB-A Output:5V, 2.4A

Quick Charge  18W, 5-6.5V, 3A / 6.5-9V, 3A / 9-12V, 1.5A

USB-C Output: 3.0 Output: PD60W, (5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V up to 3A)

Car Output: 12V,10A

DC Input: 24V, 10.5A

61 W

21.3 H

87 W

14.9 H

60 W

21.7 H

90 W

14.4 H

180 W

7.24 H

Jackery Solar Generator 1500 Pro

1512Wh

AC Output: 120V, 60Hz, 1800W (3600W Peak)

USB-A Output: Quick Charge 3.0, 18W Max

USB-C Output: 100W Max, (5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V up to 5A)

Car Port: 12V,10A

AC Input: 120V, 60Hz, 10.83A Max

DC Input: 11V-17.5V, 8A Max, Double to 8A Max

17.5V-60V, 12A, Double to 24A/1400W Max

61 W

21 H

87 W

14.7 H

60 W

21.4 H

90 W

14.2 H

180 W

7.1 H

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro

2160Wh

AC Output: 120V, 60Hz, 2200W (4400W Peak)

USB-A Output: Quick Charge 3.0, 18W Max

USB-C Output: 100W Max, (5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V up to 5A)

Car Port: 12V,10A

AC Input: 120V, 60Hz, 15A Max

DC Input: 11V-17.5V, 8A Max, Double to 8A Max

17.5V-60V, 12A, Double to 24A/1400W Max

61 W

30 H

87 W

21.1 H

60 W

30.6 H

90 W

20.4 H

180 W

10.2 H

Part 6: Solar Powered Laptop FAQs

1. What size of solar generator do I need to power a laptop?

The average power requirement of laptops is in the range of 65 to 200 watts. So, you can support it with small Jackery solar generators like Jackery Solar Generator 500, 300, and 240 watts. You can calculate the working hours of all solar generators by yourself if you know the capacity of the generator and the watt requirement of your laptop.

For example, if we take Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro with a capacity of 1002Wh.

Working time = 1002Wh * 0.85 / operating wattage of your laptop.

As we discussed already, we take only 85% of the capacity to incorporate power loss during operation. Hence, multiplication with 0.85 in the above equation.

If your laptop needs 65 watts, then;

Working time = 1002Wh * 0.85 / 65 W = 13 hours.

2. What to consider when running a laptop on solar power?

The main factors that help you in choosing and running a laptop on solar power are;

  1. The wattage of your laptop.
  2. The safety of your equipment in case of fluctuation.
  3. The mechanism to use solar power, i.e., you are using a solar-powered laptop,solar-powered laptop charger, or a solar generator.
  4. The working hours of your laptop.

3. How many solar panels do I need to run my laptop?

It is important to know your laptop's power consumption to calculate the number of required solar panels. So, how many solar panels to power a laptop?

For most laptops, 2 to 3 Jackery solar panels with a capacity of 200 watts are good options. We recommend the Jackery solar panels because they offer the highest 23.7% efficiency. You can pair them with the Jackery solar generators to run your equipment and save solar power in batteries.

4. How to build a DIY solar laptop charger?

  1. Acquire a portable solar panel system, depending on your requirements.

  2. Choose a battery pack that is compatible with your laptop.

  3. Connect your solar panel with the battery pack and then the battery pack to your laptop.

    a. Connect the output/positive terminal of the solar panel system with the input/positive terminal of the battery pack.

    b. Connect the output/negative terminal of the solar panel system with the negative input terminal of your battery pack.

  4. Voila! Your solar laptop charger is ready.

    Final Thoughts

    Solar-powered laptops aim to harness solar power to power your laptop without needing AC outlet charging. However, some limitations include temperature control, using the laptop in sunlight, and battery safety. These limitations are the reasons why solar-powered laptops are not very popular. However, you can use solar power to run your computer safely using Jackery solar generators because they are cost-effective, safe, and reliable. Since they offer pass-through charging, you can run your laptop and charge your generator simultaneously. Also, they have temperature sensors, and the primary cells and inverters are equipped with an independent air duct design. These features make these generators very safe.  


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