A ray of sunshine on new solar-powered computer

You might have read Arun's recent report about Lenovo's new low-powered PC, the ThinkCentre A61e. At a mere 45 watts of power consumption, it is also 25 percent smaller than the earlier ThinkCentre models.

For those environmentally conscious folks out there who would like to go a step further, you might be interested to know that this new low-powered PC will find good stead with Advanced Energy Group's Solar-PowerPAC II, which Lenovo resells as well.

The Solar-PowerPC II is a device that can obtain its power via a standing solar-array panel and/or via an AC adapter. It comes as a rolling cart, which holds the internal 60 amp-hour sealed battery and costs $1,229 plus $98 for shipping and handling.

Excerpt from the Advanced Energy Group product page:

It's extremely flexible. The 120 VAC/60 Hz and 12 VDC power supply may be operated with or without the solar panel depending on the application, the devices requiring power, and the run times desired. In most cases, the solar panel extends run time significantly by supplying power from the sun as power is being removed from the base unit. Many smaller loads may be operated on an indefinite long-term basis.

On the power-generation capabilities of its solar panels:

The standard 110-watt solar panel will recharge the internal battery in approximately 10 to 12 hours of direct sun if the battery is drained, or with direct sun it can offset a power draw of +/- 100 watts so the battery is not discharged during use.

How does it sound -- charge up the internal battery via solar power in the day, and run your A61 ThinkCenter off of it when you come home from work at night?

In fact, you can even add an auxiliary external deep-cycle battery and additional solar panels to improve performance as necessary.

Is the solar-powered computer for you?


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