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Solar Panel Messenger Bag : Current help? Answered

I found a super cheap solar charger at goodwill and couldn't pass it up. ($2 for this thing!)  It's supposed to charge car batteries through the OBD2/EOBD plug.


It's rated 240mA @ 18V, 4.3W

What I was wondering was, if I just lobbed off just the end of the connector to have the DC wires, and left the voltage regulator, could it power a laptop?  Through the laptop's own AC!!!!! adapter?  I recently discovered that the NES was an AC device that did fine on DC power but it's kind of a different story when it's a macbook.

Or instead of through the standard adapter, straight to the laptop power port itself?  Probably after making another small current regulator to get the right voltage. 

The adapter accepts AC 1.5A 100-240V 50/60Hz as input and outputs +16.5V DC 3.65A

Or possibly lob off the voltage regulator on the solar panel and seeing what I can max out at?  I'm open to a lot of suggestions.  Evidently it has some sort of protection circuit to prevent overcharging the battery so I dunno if that would help or hurt this endeavor.  But having an integrated toteable power supply would be pretty neat, always charging my macbook.  Or even my DS lite or GBA SP.



8 years ago

You can't use the laptop's AC adapter to fix the solar panels' current - it's DC.

Plus, the adapter's output is 3.65A, compared to the panels' 240mA

MilliAmps are a thousand times smaller than Amps, so you will need another fourteen of the solar panels to replace the mains supply.

You could, however, add a voltage regulator and use the panel to trickle-charge you laptop battery.


Reply 8 years ago

trickle charge sounds like the way to go. Pretty sure the macbook's own circuit protection will prevent overcharge.

So I'd cut off the solar panel's voltage regulator, make my own to match the 16.5V DC, and plug directly to the laptop power port.