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Living with Off-Grid Solar Power

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Considerations When Selecting Appliances
for Off-Grid Living:

Computers and Peripherals

    Desktop Computer System 17 inch Flat Panel Display Computers and associated peripherals are entirely appropriate for an off-grid home. In a desktop system the single largest consumer of power is the CRT display. Give serious consideration to using a flat panel LCD display with your desktop system. Your overall power consumption will be much reduced.

    Laptop Computer An even better way to reduce your computer's power consumption is to get a notebook (aka laptop) computer. These units are optimized for reduced power consumption. A 'desktop replacement' notebook computer can have performance and features rivalling the most up-to-date desktop machines. Purchase a docking port/port replicator, external keyboard and mouse and you will be hard pressed to tell the difference between your notebook machine and a desktop computer.

    DC Battery Charger and Power Supply If your home is wired for DC as well as AC, you can further reduce your computer's power consumption by obtaining an 'auto/air adapter' and operating your notebook computer directly from your 12VDC battery pack. This will avoid incurring the inverter overhead current with this light load. Be certain the circuit you use for your DC operated laptop computer is adequate for the load - recharging the laptop's battery while simultaneously operating the computer can require in excess of 8 Amps.


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Last update: 5MAY2003

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