26 January 2007

Charging a Powerbook by Solar Power

The Panel: Solarius 26

The Equipment:

Powerbook G4 with a 15" screen
Input: AC 100-240V 50-60Hz / Output: 24.5V 2.65 Amps

Lithium Battery Charger for the Nikon D50
Input: 100-240V 50-60Hz / Output: 8.4V 0.9 Amps

Charger for Ni-MH/Ni-Cd Batteries
Input: 100-240V 50/60Hz
Output: 2.8V 450 mA (2 AA's)
2.8V 180 mA (2 AAA's)

The Problem:

Needing to find a 12 Volt Power Adapter for each of the above electronics.
The battery charger should be easy enough at an electronics store. However, the Mac adapter poses more of a problem. Apparently, there is no DC car adapter made for a Powerbook that doesn't have an inverter. Using an inverter as the connection from your solar panel to your computer is not an option. The panel can only provide a trickle current. This type of current is not strong enough to power the inverter's needs and feed the remaining electricity into the device.

I have purchase a small 12v battery that weighs about 3 pounds. Using an adapter on the battery, I will attach the battery to an DC/AC inverter. I will then plug my laptop's power adapter into that. This approach has the benefit of limiting the exposure of my electronics to the harsh weather conditions.

The Solution:

Modern Outpost. They have kits where all you need to have is your computer. This is the kit I could use with my Powerbook G4 if I had the time to purchase it. Gram, the gentleman I spoke with guided me through building my own but if you have the time/money to have them ship it to you (They are located in Canada) do so. Problem Solved. If you have a Powerbook it would be better for you to get this DC/DC adapter here at Xterasys.

Here a visual guide from Modern Outpost:

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