Author Options:

Needed: instructions for a cheap lightweight solar laptop charger Answered

Challenge: Help me build an ultralightweight solar charger for my laptop. I would like to use a flexible panel. Any ideas?

The wall charger's output is: 19.5 V 3.34 A



11 years ago

63 watts, eh? "large" photovoltaic arrays are apparently selling for about $4/watt these days, so if $250 is too much, you can probably give up right away... And let's do some math. Incident solar is 1000W/m2, and the best solar cells are "about" 20% efficient (the flex panels tend to be less efficient than that.) So you need at least 1/3 m2 of cells to get your 60+W, which is a pretty substantially large "charger."

On the bright side, the "3.34A" output of your AC supply is sufficient to run your laptop in "max power consumption" mode, with all possible upgrades all running at the same time, AND charge the battery, all at the same time. If all you want to do is charge the battery, you can probably get by with a lot less.

You might try This eBay seller; they seem to have a broad range of flexible solar panels, including a 1/14th m2 (about 10 inches square) 4.5W one in about the right voltage range for "only" $100.

Is battery storage an option? As LasVegas said, it will take a rather large panel (or array) to produce that much energy on the fly. Large as compared to the size of a laptop :P

You're going to need a very large solar panel to get 3.34 Amps at 19 Volts (63.34 Watts).