Linked by h3rman on Thu 21st May 2009 11:01 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Few hardware vendors have not yet launched their own mini laptop (or, "netbook"). Most brands these days produce their own version of the same hardware, with Intel's i386-compatible Atom cpu's and Windows XP installed on a spinning hard drive or sometimes still a solid state disk. Some Linux models are still sold by some vendors, among whom Asus, which more or less started selling in this OLPC-inspired genre of laptops.
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gustl
Member since:
2006-01-19

The solar laptop:

Possible, but with some drawbacks.

If you take a standard notebook you get 0.08 m^2 of surface area. Using good silicon photovoltaic cells you can get an efficiency of 20%. At 1000 W/m^2 of light power from the sun, this will give you:

1000 W/m^2 * 0.08m^2 *0.2 = 16 W

These 16 W you will get at noon, with the solar panel facing the sun (best case conditions). In the evening, or if the sun does not directly shine on the solar cell, you will get MUCH less power. I don't give it much of a chance at getting 2 W out of that panel in most real-world conditions.
That is where the original XO OLPC used to be.

So it is possible, but don't expect too much from this.

It too is a waste of money, as the same panel put onto a roof has 10 times higher energy output than if attached to your laptop. Also the lifetimes do not match. you will throw away your laptop maybe after 6 years, but the solar panel will last for more than 30 years.

Reply Parent Score: 2

h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

Thanks!
Another problem is be the production cost, i.e. the energy it takes, to make those very solar cells. It's a bit stupid to pretend going all "green" and efficient while all the wasted energy is in those "green" solar cells. But I know very little about that.
It's too bad because batteries have a dirty name and that's not unjustified.
I also liked the idea of the pull-cord generator, which obviously doesn't work with a laptop without a battery, but it would be great to be able to just manually reload the battery anywhere. Although it seems that sort of flopped.
Until energy gets *really* expensive, which in the near future I assume will happen.

Reply Parent Score: 2