Considerations When Selecting Appliances
for Off-Grid Living:
Computers and Peripherals
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.
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.
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.