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Modding a laptop to be solar? Answered

I saw an instructable for a solar-charged ds lite (the solar panels soldered right to the top) and I was wondering if it would be possible on a larger scale for a laptop. Would this be terribly tricky to do? Would it hurt the screen? Any information at all would be awesome, many thanks.

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canucksgirl (author)2012-09-05

Is it possible? Yes. Samsung already has a laptop available with solar panels built in the lid to allow you to charge the internal battery.

http://www.samsung.com/us/business/laptops/NP-NC215-A01US

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bwrussell (author)canucksgirl2012-09-05

+1. I think the ratio of the ratios between the ds and laptops lid areas, and battery capacity is such that you may end up with more of a trickle charger unless you build extra panels that fold out.

Using made up numbers:
Lid area (ds:laptop): 1:5
battery capacity: 1:10
This means one unit of solar cells properly charges one unit of battery and so in this example you would have half as many cells as needed.

I could be totally wrong but laptops are very power hungry so it stands to reason this would be the case.

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canucksgirl (author)bwrussell2012-09-05

I remember seeing some prototype solar laptops over the past few years that utilized a fold out in the lid to increase the solar panel area. And you are correct, I use a laptop all the time, and they are definitely power hungry machines (depending on the resources you are consuming of course). The only feasible way that I see something like this working is for someone who is truly on the go and outside more often than inside. For me, I spend a lot of time on my laptop inside and during the day and it charges throughout the night, so a solar laptop wouldn't really be of any benefit to me. Plus you'd still have to use a battery (and simply charge that) versus relying on the solar panels for running the machine as you'd have a heck of a time positioning the lid to the sun while you operated it. :-)

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