Solar Panel to Power a Laptop and Lamp

Gday, I am investigating a low power solar system to attach to a cabin in our backyard that my sister is using for studying - it would just need to power a laptop and lamp. I'm struggling to find something off the shelf at a decent price, but I imagine something for camping would be ideal?

A battery would be required as well, but I was thinking I could incorporate a decent power bank and just have that charged through the day via the panel and use it through the night.

I am trusting that OzBargain has found a cost effective way to do this.

Thanks

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Comments

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      I've seen set ups and guides like that, I was hoping for advise on something that requires a lot less juice at a lot less cost as it is just a laptop and a light, which could be powered from the laptop anyway.

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    Jaycar might be an option.

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    Run an extension cord out to the shack. Otherwise you are going to need panels, charge regulator, battery/s, and inverter.

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      That's my best option, but my sister wants it to be able to be moved off grid eventually. Even if I don't do it now, will most likely have to do it eventually.

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        Why though? It's in your backyard, not in the middle of nowhere. The cost to do so will pay for power for a laptop and lamp for probably 20 years. If she really wants to, the minimum is the stuff I've listed above.

        Could maybe get some panels someone has upgraded from off gumtree. Then cheap charge controller. Battery a couple of hundred bucks, inverter the same maybe? Haven't looked lately.

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          She is planning to go off grid at some stage is the point. I was hoping for something like this (https://www.jaycar.com.au/solar-power-pack-with-led-lights/p...) that I have just been pointed towards being able to do the job, but I need to work out whether it will be enough juice.

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            @pdtmathieson: You'll need more than a 5w panel.

            Go look at the power brick for your sisters laptop, and find the power consumption. That will be your starting point. Then times that by the number of hours she expects to use it each day.

            As an example, lets say its an 80w power brick, and she's on her laptop from 6pm until she goes to bed at 11pm. That would be 80w, times 5 hours, for a total of 400watt-hours. So you would need a solar panel big enough to generate that every day. Something like this 160w panel for $189 might do it over summer, but would start to struggle in the depths of winter as the light become dim.

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              @outlander: Thanks - that's probably the technical help I needed. I can tell her how expensive it will be now, and she will most likely fork out for a longer extension cable!

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          Adding to @brendabnb comment as I'm doing something similar without the invertor

          Couple of panels from Gumtree $40 a piece
          battery box - $70 (4wd supacentre - makes it easier to carry and wire into as it already has fuses)
          Solar Converter $30 (ebay)
          Inverter $100 (probably cheaper ones around, just want I've seen)
          Battery - depending on size, anywhere from $90 to $300 onwards
          Cabling - $
          Connectors - $

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            @misa: +1 for the 4wd supacentre battery box. Was going to make one myself but this one is good quality and much cheaper than DIY!

            Pickup a 150W can inverter from Supercheap at the moment around $35. This will power a laptop and an LED light source. Alternatively find a DC adaptor for the laptop which will be more efficient than DC>AC>DC conversion. Throw in a DC LED strip light for $20 and you're all good!

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              @Dc80: $35 for the inverter is cheap! going to grab one to throw in the 4x4

              I was quite suprised at the quality and the features of the 4wd supacentre battery box. I too was going to DIY till I got to see one first hand.

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                @misa: Don't get an inverter. Just go to Jaycar and buy their 12V laptop charger. Much much more efficient and basically will mean you can get away with half the battery capacity, so a big saving there.

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    You can get panels off eBay or Facebook pretty cheap. A guy on Facebook had 250w panels at $69. Then you need a regulator, they are pretty cheap around $20 or so. Then a battery which is always the expensive bit, probably $150 to $300. Then you need a 12V laptop charger. No need for an inverter, they chew power even doing nothing. You won't get much cheaper than that. Second hand batteries are an option but it's always hit and miss with those.

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