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Solar Powered Servers?

#1

I came across this site over the weekend: Low Tech Magazine

I was intrigued by a few of the points made: What if we thought of our software choices in terms of how much power/energy was needed? @morgan or @miles any idea how big a solar panel Misty would need to be the first ‘off grid’ robot?

#2

@Ben Thought you’d find this interesting too!

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#3

For sure- you see I retweeted you right?

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#4

Chris, there’s a lot that goes into it, but at a high level, I don’t have an answer to that. Without final electronics, determining actual power draw is difficult. There’s also the power optimization exercise that happens over time to determine where we can spend less power.

Another thing to consider is that not all solar cells are created equally. Solar cell efficiency varies wildly, and is a subject of quite a lot of research.

#5

@morgan thanks for the added ambiguity to an already ambiguous question :wink:

For others, a hand-wavvy estimate would be: The average-sized solar panel takes up an area of 17.6 square feet and produces 265 watts under direct sunlight. That translates to just over 15 watts per square foot.

Using the example above of a 265-watt panel, if you multiply the 265 watts the panel produces by the number of hours of full sun you get in a day, you’ll get the number of kwh’s that panel produces per day.

The average roof in the United States gets about 4 hours of usable sun per day. Note this is an AVERAGE, so depending on where the panels are placed this will vary wildly (To @morgan’s point)

Using 4 hours of full sun gives you this equation: 265 watts x 4 hours. That’s 1.06 kWh (1,060 watts) in a day per 265-watt panel.

SO, I’m going to pin this thread when we have final electronics and do a calculation for how many square feet of solar panels Misty will need in Boulder, Co to be “Off Grid” when taken into account the average power generation by said panels.

:stuck_out_tongue:

Not Highly Vetted References:
Solar Power Rocks
Energy Sage