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Discussion Starter #1
Curious who uses solar panels and a 12 volt inverter to run lap tops, stereos, and 12volt lighting at the race track.

Pics would be nice as far as panel mounting. I have a hard time keeping roof vents and hand rails on top of my trailer and am reluctant to mount panels up there. I currently have a small panel I just set on the tounge when the trailer is parked and a single 12 volt battery. Works great.

Any problems associated with running a laptop off of a small power inverter?

Thanks is advance.
 

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T/S 368E
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I run my trailer off battery power & inverter.
It's not a small inverter, but my lap top works perfect, and it's not the fancy sine wave style.


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If it works great it will work great without a solar charger. Waste of money time resources. Would you depend on solar to charge your racecar batteries ? Solar works for small batt. charging in certain situations , this isn't one of them. ---Trevor
 

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Thanks guys. I purchased what is most likley the smallest panel known to man. It is just used to top off the battery instead of the battery tender I previously used. I plan on using a single 12 volt battey to run some acc. And in no way thought it would run all my junk. Just set up to trickle charge as my trailer is parked 99% of the time.
 

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On the solar, I called Northern Arizona wind and sun, I told them what my loads were and the duration of use and they recommend a 135 watt panel and charge controller for the battery size. It came to about $600.00 so I passed on that for the time being.

What I am currently using to charge our deep cycle battery is a Progressive Dynamics PD9130 permanently mounted and connected RV/boat charger. You can leave this plugged in all the time while the trailer is sitting.

As far as running our lap top I just got a 12vdc adaptor/charger for it instead of the 120vac adaptor/charger. I see no need to take the 12dc battery voltage, invert it to 120vac, then back through the adaptor/charger to get the 16vdc that the lap top runs on. A lot of power loss there. I also pull the battery out of the lap anytime it is connected to the adaptor/charger it saves the batteries life.
 

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Inverters are great i have used them in several boats over 40' to power refrigeration when away from dock, i suggest golf cart batteries best bang for the buck.
There are marine inverter/chargers available,sizing the charger is important. I would scrap the solar because of low power output, plug charger into house power or generator to charge batteries, i have generator and inverter going into my trailer, i use marine switch panels because they have selectors with lockouts built inand 12v and 120v brakers with gauges built in. Available on ebay.
 

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simple math will reveal the amount of charging time
in comparison to the depletion rate of the batteries in comparison to the devise draw consumption..

issue is,
you do not run the computer all day long, but the panel will charge the battery all day long, but never as fast as that you will deplete storage

answer is..
a larger bank of batteries..

I have three batteries....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good stuff guys. Thanks 69427, I never thought about a 12 vdc charger for the laptop...
 
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