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Thread: Run your TV using solar power?

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Run your TV using solar power?

    Considering the current price rises I've been attempting to think of ways to cut back usage, apart from reminding my wife not to leave every single light in the house switched on all day even in summer (will she never learn?) I reckon my TV is the biggest drain in my house.

    I currently have a 42" plasma but am swapping it for an LCD (same size) which will help but could you reasonably hook up a solar panel to a battery then to the TV? (ie something like this http://www.rain.org/~philfear/how2solar.html)

    I've seen panels on ebay but and they seem quite dear for the size I imagine would be able to run a TV, add in the battery/connections & other bits needed & I wonder if it would be a waste of cash even worth bothering with?

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Rob_B; 31-07-2008 at 04:57 PM.

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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    I would of thought you'd need a HUGE solar panel to run a tv from it.. I'm no expert, but still..

    Edit: Although, I think there is some web space hosting company somewhere which runs aload of servers off the solar panels..

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    Personally i think it would be an overly complex project that isn't going to cost you a lot more money in the short term and the saving are going to be minimal is the very, very long term.

    Here is a table showing the comparable costs of running different screens per year:
    http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6475_7-6400401-3.html

    What do you have? Do you know what screen you are getting?

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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    Solar panels for creating electricity are poor. The theoretical maximum efficiency is something like 30% (although commercial offerings will usually be around 15%), and they also cost a lot.

    In general I would say they are not worth it. You would be better making sure you switch it off when not using it and not just leaving it on standby (although modern TVs are much better at not wasting power now). Or downgrade in size. Do you really need 42"?
    Twigman

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    explodingdog streetster's Avatar
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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    a sensible yet boring suggestion paul

    most LCDs seem to run off 12/24v - either from an external transformer block (like a laptop charger), or an internal unit...

    If its external then creating 12/24v (whichever it is your tv needs, if it indeed uses an external transformer) via a solar panel isnt too far fetched, although judging by the british summer your mileage may vary...


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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    I had a Samsung PS42P3S Plasma now on a Technika LCD. I always turned it off overnight anyway but LCD obviously use less power so should save a little on running costs!
    Guess the solar power idea is a non-starter then eh?!

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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    I saw someone playing an electric guitar hooked to an amp powered by a stationary bicycle. I wonder how fast you'll need to pedal to keep a large LCD TV running

    Well, just for kick I bought a little solar charger + battery sold for cheap-ish in one of BigPocket's sales. It comes with plugs for a bunch of devices (camera, phone etc.). Fully charged, the battery can get my phone back to around 87%.

    Handy for emergencies during travels (yes, I have ran into I ran out of power at rather inconvenient times when travelling). I am kinda tempted to get one of those solar powered backpack too. Sure, I could just get spare batteries, but I would then have to get one for my phone, and another one for my camera.

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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    What you need is a homopolar generator. (try wikipedia)

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    Quote Originally Posted by streetster View Post
    a sensible yet boring suggestion paul

    most LCDs seem to run off 12/24v - either from an external transformer block (like a laptop charger), or an internal unit...

    If its external then creating 12/24v (whichever it is your tv needs, if it indeed uses an external transformer) via a solar panel isnt too far fetched, although judging by the british summer your mileage may vary...

    No, most TVs don't run everything at that level of voltage.

    The CCFL backlights in LCDs are normally in the thousands of volts, at very low current. The actual crystal drive itself is often a very low voltage too.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    explodingdog streetster's Avatar
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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus View Post
    No, most TVs don't run everything at that level of voltage.

    The CCFL backlights in LCDs are normally in the thousands of volts, at very low current. The actual crystal drive itself is often a very low voltage too.
    ok, but they often use a 230v->24v transformer as the main input and then step up the 24v to whatever is needed...

    so potentially could be run off solar panel.. maybe?

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    no it dosen't make sense to design a 12/24v power rail, and then invert of that.

    there is a 5 or 3.3V rail for the logic, but the inverter often comes straight of the main switch mode PSU (just at a different winding). That way the step up transformers are cheaper.

    Either way the awnser is a resounding no, with todays technologies.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    explodingdog streetster's Avatar
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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus View Post
    no it dosen't make sense to design a 12/24v power rail, and then invert of that.

    there is a 5 or 3.3V rail for the logic, but the inverter often comes straight of the main switch mode PSU (just at a different winding). That way the step up transformers are cheaper.

    Either way the awnser is a resounding no, with todays technologies.
    if you've got a LCDTV with a kettle-lead input, then sure, but if you've got one that takes something like:



    then its only going to be getting 12/24v @ 6A or something, or am i way off here?


    apologies for the crappy picture, there were far more maximus prime photos in the google image search than anything voltage-related

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    Ғо ѕніzzLє му піzzLє chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

    You'd be better off looking into the methods of selling electricity back to the grid than faffing around with a battery that on the grimmest of days won't allow you to watch TV when you want it most.

    http://www.bettergeneration.co.uk/in...-the-grid.html
    ^ that kind of thing
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    Re: Run your TV using solar power?

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