Can You Charge a Laptop From a Solar Panel?

Chris Campbell05 May 2022

Although working from your couch at home is much more comfortable than sitting in a cramped office, both settings could keep you chained to a power outlet. Fortunately, there's a simple way you can get rid of the cord and migrate your workspace outside without the bother of charging rechargeable batteries ahead of time.

Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular as people seek a simple, sustainable solution to power their laptops or other portable electronics when they are off the grid. Whether you're a serious traveler venturing deeply into the wild or someone who wants to get some work done and soak up some sun, a solar panel can work for you.

Why Use a Solar Panel?

You're most likely imagining a wide expanse of glittering black slabs pointed out towards the sun when you think about solar panels. The portable counterparts of stationary solar panels use the same energy-capture technology but are packaged in lighter, portable forms. As a result, they are perfect for a wide range of applications, from charging an electric vehicle to recharging your laptop on the go. Compact solar panels are also an ideal way to become acquainted with sustainable energy. Although you might not be ready for a solar roof to be installed at your home, powering your laptop with a solar panel is a good start.

Pros

Although most compact solar panels are straightforward to set up and use, it's important to consider some things before deciding to use one. Here are some of the benefits of charging your laptop using a solar panel:

  • Solar panels are a clean, sustainable, and free source of energy. Using solar energy benefits not only you but also the environment. When you use the laptop using electricity, it consumes a significant amount of energy. One of the most common methods of producing such energy is through the use of fossil fuels, which necessitates heavy industrial work and leads to environmental damage.
  • You can charge your laptop off-grid.  You have a sure way to power up your laptop whether you're trekking in the woods or going to areas where power interruptions are likely to happen.
  • There is no upkeep necessary. The low maintenance of a solar panel is a significant advantage. It is a pure renewable source that does not demand anything else. All you have to do is keep the solar panel clean.

Cons

The sun is a formidable source of energy, and while we can only capture a portion of it, utilizing this source through solar energy can have a huge impact on the planet. In recent years, solar energy has become so popular that even laptops are being charged using solar panels. However, it isn't without its drawbacks.

Here are the disadvantages of using a solar panel to charge your laptop:

  • Solar panels rely on the sun. Sunlight is required for a solar panel to function. Solar panels are believed to be low efficient, and the highest power you can obtain will not surpass 30%. This implies that the power could drop from time to time, and you can only charge your laptop if you have direct sunlight between midday and the afternoon. Furthermore, it is impossible to use on rainy days and throughout heavy winter.
  • It demands longer charging times. Utilizing a solar panel to charge your laptop may take longer than using conventional electricity. Longer charge times are also required if you live in a low-sun exposure area.
  • It can be expensive. The upfront cost of getting a solar system is rather hefty. This covers the cost of a solar panel, a solar laptop charger, and any other components required to power your laptop. Nonetheless, because solar technology is always evolving, it is fair to expect that the cost could go down in the future.

What Size Solar Panel Do I Need To Charge a Laptop?

A solar charger allows you to charge electronics by harnessing the power of the sun. However, powering a laptop using a solar panel is not as simple as many people believe. Many people are dissatisfied when they connect their solar chargers to their laptops in the hopes of charging their machines and find that it does not charge. This doesn't suggest that a solar panel cannot be used to power a laptop. It's certainly possible to charge a laptop using a solar panel.

A solar panel set at 60 to 100 watts with a voltage of 18 volts or more can be used to effectively charge a laptop. To charge, a laptop needs around 16 -18.5 volts. Depending on the laptop, the adapter will indicate how many volts are needed. If the voltages do not match, the battery will not charge. On a bright day, a 60-100 watt solar panel could provide 5 amps.

The reason laptops don't charge is because most solar panels are rated at 12V and can only attain a peak voltage of 14V. The amperage from these panels may likewise be small which wouldn't be able to power up a laptop.

How To Charge a Laptop With a Solar Panel

Technology has come a long way. You can now charge laptops using solar power. But to get this done, you need a good solar laptop charger. These solar laptop chargers include outlets for an 18V DC output, which is what a laptop requires. They also contain adapters that will most likely plug into your machine and allow it to charge. Keep in mind that some laptops may require a different type of adapter. Also, to effectively charge your laptop, it must be hooked directly into the solar panel, with the panel directly exposed to the sun.

Here's how to charge your laptop using a solar panel:

  • Place the solar panel under direct sunlight.
  • Connect one end of the DC power cable to the solar panel.
  • Connect the right adapter to the opposite end of the cord.
  • Connect the end with the cable adapter to your laptop.

It's reasonable to say that solar panels have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. They've received much interest to the point that laptops can now be charged with one. However, keep in mind that there is a lot to consider before jumping on the bandwagon.

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Thanks for reading! I'm Chris, an avid tech fanatic that enjoys keeping up with the latest laptop models. Hopefully my tips & tricks can help you out!

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