Anyone Use Solar Power Bank or Charger for Macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by looking4anotebo, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. looking4anotebo macrumors 6502

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    #1
  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #2
    Your car already has a rather high capacity battery installed. Why wouldn't you just tap that?
     
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #3
    As above. Buy an invertor and use the genuine charger.
     
  4. looking4anotebo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Well, I would store it in my car but I would ultimately use it when I went on hiking, camping trips away from my car.
     
  5. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    #5
    Get the largest one you can afford if you really need this as solar panels are not very efficient. If you were charging your iPhone it would likely do good but the batteries in the laptop are larger. You would need full sun all day long unless your solar panels is several sq. yards in size.

    The units you are showing are mainly for your phone and not laptop. Even the largest one for $60 would struggle to charge your laptop or maybe not charge it at all.

    I know it seems hard but when you are out in the wild, enjoying nature . . . . . . leave the laptop at home!
     
  6. ajpuciat macrumors member

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  7. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    I can sorta see it if you're on a photo expedition and the rMB is fairly suited for that... but that's rather an outlier case, and otherwise I'm unsure why you'd take it.
     
  8. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #8
    I don't think any of the solar chargers that you can carry would charge a Macbook or MBP - the chargers are not that powerful.
     
  9. mgipe macrumors demi-god

    mgipe

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    #9
    The MacBook requires 14 volts to charge. These chargers supply 5 volts. No go.
     
  10. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #10
    Requires? Are you sure about that?

    I'm no expert in such things, but I do know for fact that my rMB charges successfully from 5V USB power sources. I use this USBA to USBC cord with this charger among others (Anker 2-port, as well as a combo USB/120V wall receptical) and it does in fact work.

    No, it's not super fast, but a 2.4A source has been more than sufficient to top mine up overnight with the rMB asleep, as well as maintaining (or even slightly charging) the rMB while in use if I'm not pushing it. Yeah, if I'm cranking out 1000 RAW conversions from Lightroom plugging it into a 5V USB source just slows the discharge rate, but once done it starts charging again.
     
  11. mgipe macrumors demi-god

    mgipe

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    #11
    I'm surprised as the rMB is spec'ed at 14. But if it works, it works. :)
     
  12. ShionoyaTamaki, Jul 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016

    ShionoyaTamaki macrumors 6502

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    #12
    5V @ 2.4A would charge 12Watt per hour instead of 29W with stock charger. rMB2016 has 41.4W battery so it will finish a full charge in about 3.5hrs which is fine overnight.

    I'm using my Nexus6P usb-c charger right now to charged my rMB, it is recognized as 15W in system information.
     
  13. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #13
    It`a an aspect of the USB standard, being capable of charging from multiple voltage inputs, even the supplied Apple charger can output 14.5V at 2.0A or 5.2V at 2.4A. As long as the charger/power supply is compliant to the USB C standard there should be no issue.

    Q-6
     
  14. looking4anotebo thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14

    So one of these 5v solar power banks should be fine then to charge it?
     
  15. BravoTangoPapa macrumors member

    BravoTangoPapa

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    #15
    I use a 20w AUKEY panel that I can use on its own to charge my Macbook. For more consistent charging, I put a regular USB power bank inside the pocket of the AUKEY. The solar keeps the power bank topped off, and the devices can use the power bank to charge.

    FYI - The tiny solar panel on the 15000 mAh unit you have linked above will not provide enough solar energy to be useful.
     
  16. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #16
    Depends on what you mean by "fine". Read the reviews. The first one looks mostly useless from a solar power aspect, since its panel provides 0.2amps at 5V, or about 1 watt per hour of charging in full sunlight. The retina Macbook has something like a 39 watt-hour battery, so you're talking 40+ hours of full direct sunlight to provide enough juice for a single charge. I didn't dig into the latter units; read the reviews and comments on Amazon. Do the math from the solar power spec for any unit you're considering, and remember those assume full direct sunlight which is fine if your camp is out in the middle of Sunstroke Acres but may not be representative of where most folks tend to set up camp.
     
  17. tmiw macrumors 68000

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    San Diego, CA
    #17
    Something that might help is Apple's environmental report for the MacBook. Basically, the laptop uses 5.5W at idle. At full CPU load, the Skylake processors used in the MacBook will use an additional 4.5W of power, for a grand total of 10W. I'd add 20% or so to that estimate as a fudge factor just in case, so 12W altogether if the machine's not charging. Of course, it'll use all 29W that the power adapter can give out if the internal battery needs to be charged.

    Personally I'd probably go for a custom setup. I have a PowerFilm 60W foldable panel + a Genasun MPPT charge controller + an 8Ah LiFePO4 battery that works well for my ham radio setup, for instance. That setup plus a USB-C car adapter that can put out the full 29W would probably work for the MacBook. You may be able to go cheaper on some of the components; Genasun for instance was chosen due to the lack of RF noise with price as a lower priority and foregoing some portability with the solar panel(s) will save money too.

    (I'm looking into a a possible second machine that can better run off of solar power right now; the 2013 rMBP that I have doesn't use much power at the moment but VMware for the radio apps makes the fan go crazy. Not enough disk space to do Boot Camp either.)
     

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