External Accessories / Peripherals Discuss any accessories used to enhance your Dell Inspiron Mini experience.

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MJamus MJamus is offline
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Default Solar Powered Mini 9? - 01-10-2010, 05:28 PM

I don't know about you, but a solar powered laptop would be ideal for me.

In looking online I found this company:
Universal Solar Power Bank for UMPC Mini Laptop (EP001) - China UMPC universal solar power bank, power bank, Eigday Power in Battery, Storage Battery & Charger

They make a leather cover for netbooks, with a built-in solar panel that claims to charge the Mini 9 in less than 3 hours. I'm not ready to order 200 of them, so I looked for a retailer.

I saw an engadget article online that pointed me to this company:
Samsung NC10 Solar Powered Leather Book Case

They are in the UK, and out of stock. It looks like these go for approx $160 (US), does anyone know how good they are? Where you can get them? Any information about a solar powered (or charged) Mini 9?
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Fox Mulder Fox Mulder is offline
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Default 01-10-2010, 08:01 PM

If you read the details more closely, the solar panel only provides supplementary power to the main battery pack which is a lithium polymer using a conventional AC charger. The 3 hour charging time is for the main pack when plugged in. Solar charging time is 10 hours, and the solar panel alone can only provide a maximum power of 4W.
With current solar technology it is not practical to have a netbook that is solar-powered only, the cells would be too huge and expensive.
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reflex reflex is offline
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Default 01-10-2010, 08:51 PM

My Mini 9 takes about 10W in use. Around 20-30W when charging.

A DC power supply should be slightly more efficient, but 4W (at peak!) isn't much.

Mini 9 | Intel 5100 Wifi | Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook
Mini 1012 | SSD | Intel 6200 Wifi | Ubuntu 11.10 64bit
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Primadog Primadog is offline
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Default 01-21-2010, 06:49 AM

Until there's a significant leap in solar panel technology, there's no possibility of coming even near meeting the 10W power draw with a solar panel the size of our dell minis.

The typical maximum solar insolation at ground level is about 1000 W/m2. The mini's surface area is about .04 square meter (232mmx172mm), so we need at least a 25% efficiency solar cell to generate 10W. If we take account of inclination angle, loss due to power conversion, storage and voltage regulation loss, the efficiency have to be even higher. This doesn't even account for the fact that we'll have to constantly change the instance angle of the solar panel to ensure maximum insolation. Additionally, the voltage and current output will depend strongly on local conditions and will require some pretty complicated regulator circuit.

It's probably easier to just pack a spare battery. Looks like that's what the package includes, anyways.
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danmanx danmanx is offline
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Default 01-21-2010, 03:29 PM

Very interesting read gentlemen. I was thinking about solar power as well. It's too bad there's nothing viable yet.

Dell Inspiron Mini 9 / Custom XP Pro SP3 / 2GB Mushkin RAM / 4GB Stock SSD / Mini BT USB Dongle / 16GB Class 6 SDHC
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case, mini 9, panel, power, solar

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