Originally Posted by RDW
Btrayfors, So what happens to the volts out of a solar panel when shaded?
I do have a multimeter. It was part of stating the question.
Thanks for your help. It was most gracious.
You're on the right path. Most laptop power supplies put out about 19v. A lot of older solar panels put out 18 - 21v. If you hooked up the output of the panel(s) to the laptop and monitored the voltage under load, you might end up at 18-19v without having to do any McGyvering. If the voltage is too high, you can always lay a towel over a small section and gradually adjust the voltage up or down, with a small loss in current
. But hey, at least you're getting what you can out of it.
Newer solar panels might be putting out higher voltage, possibly between 28 - 65v, in which case I'd adjust the open circuit voltage to 19v, then readjust it back up to 19v under load.
Then just use the laptop's USB ports
to charge up whatever USB devices you want.
I also have a very small solar charger
with a battery
and 2 USB ports
, it's exactly the same size as my Samsung Note 2 phone
. The battery
is rated something ridiculous like 10,000 mAH, but in reality, it's about the same as my phone's battery cap. One side is completely covered in solar panel, and small LEDs tell you if it's charging
or discharging. They're kinda handy and cheap on Ebay, about $10-20.
What you can achieve is limited only by your own ingenuity. I once reattached the front 1/2 of the siding of an RV in a huge wind
and rain storm by detaching the truck, using the bed
rails as a step stool and using a large number of screws and a cordless drill. I also reattached a guy's shocks onto his vehicle with a roll of duct tape, then won the $20 bet from the owner when we got home and his shocks were still attached. LOL
You have to take care to think things through, Murphy's law is always in effect, as I learned when I used a coat hanger to strap down a battery in an old Chevelle when I was 18. It wasn't that tight, and when I turned across oncoming traffic at 55, the battery slid over, positive post hit the metal hanger and the car died instantly, right across both lanes. I was lucky the other drivers all avoided hitting me!
I learned a lot from that lesson! I've made other emergency
since, but much better thought out, and repaired properly as soon as possible.