DC to DC Notebook adaptors

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DC to DC Notebook adaptors

Postby EnergyMatters » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:47 am

I've been using a Kerio Auto Air Adaptor for years to power my Dell notebook off my DC rig:

http://www.kerio.com.tw/products.php?id=17

It's been great and the guys at Kerio are amazing. When I first bought the unit, it didn't have the Dell tip; so I contacted them, fully expecting to pay for a few for spares and they sent them to me from Singapore free of charge - wouldn't even let me pay for postage. Same thing happened a few years later when I purchased a new Dell.

Anyhow, definitely no complaints, I've had it operating for over 5 years in sub-zero to 45C+; but I was just looking at the specs and noted this:

"Over 90% power efficiency"

How far over 90% I'm not sure - but it's got me thinking about how much juice I may be losing. But perhaps this sort of conversion is about the best you can get for these types of notebook adaptors. Any thoughts?
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Re: DC to DC Notebook adaptors

Postby Tracker » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:06 am

I've been using a Kerio Auto Air Adaptor for years to power my Dell notebook off my DC rig:


To quote the lady "Please explain"

What is this DC Rig... What voltage.. One could assume it's a small 12V panel.. Most Dell Lap-tops need 18oddVolts.

So the adapter would likely take the nominal 12V, and using a switch-mode power-supply, boost it to 30oddV and then regular back to the needed voltage.. That Up/Down bit would use up the efficiency..
I used one for years to power a PC from the car ( 12V battery and 18V computer - doesn't work directly )
Naturally, if you just used the standard panel and a series regulator, it would be far more efficient (21V OC - is usually typical - I think)... Using a 24V Panel would be even better...

But then the thought arises - Why are you concerned about efficiency anyway - I am presuming that you are just self-sufficiently-computer-portable.
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Re: DC to DC Notebook adaptors

Postby EnergyMatters » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:20 am

Yep, 12V DC, 130 watt Suntech panel, 20 amp Morningstar regulator and a 230AH Sonnenschein battery for storage.

The Dell needs 19V

I run a few other small appliances as well. I'm just trying to get my system to perform as best as it can. I think at the time of my original purchase, the Kerio was the best around for the task; just trying to determine if it is still the case :).

Usual disclaimer applies - I'm not one of EM's techs, just one of their web dudes. I should have posted this item under my other username (michaelb) :)
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Re: DC to DC Notebook adaptors

Postby Tracker » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:05 am

You could go "Upstream" of the charger and see what voltage was there.. You could also just run of the 240V with the normal charger, but that is adding that bit of extra load. I suspect that the only real answer is to get technical and actually measure the input/output parameters (V/I) and calculate the efficiency.. You might find that it's well above the 90% figure and you have no issue.

Isn't it funny, that once you get into this solar stuff, you start to worry about every bit of power..
Perhaps that alone is the big benefit..
I have a Heat-Pump HWS.. I hear it running.. I am now conscious that it's using energy, whereas previously I heard nothing so did not worry too much.. I now look to hear that noise as little as I can..
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Re: DC to DC Notebook adaptors

Postby EnergyMatters » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:12 am

Haha, yep, definitely becomes a focus.

It's even rubbed off on my dog. She got upset that a skink was by the panel yesterday and chased it away. If the skinks are anywhere else, she just ignores them.
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Re: DC to DC Notebook adaptors

Postby franks » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:21 am

Im using a Dell D610 lattitude laptop with 3G modem at my weekender block, the weekender has a 24v RAPS PV/MicroWind system.
Im using a 24/19v DC/DC switching converter to power the Dell laptop, a homebrew design.
Few around try DSE Jaycar and Ebay

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Step-UP-DC-Conve ... a60a7680nd DC laptop converters
3.04kW Grid Tie system 16 of 190W PVs, Samil 3.3kW
3.8kW PV Stand Alone Off Grid.. 5-8kWHr Per day
24 of 190W PVs
Midnite Classic 150 & Lite MPPT
8 of 6V 600 AH flooded cells (24 volt 1200 AH)
Outback VFX3024E Inverter Charger
franks
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Re: DC to DC Notebook adaptors

Postby MichaelB » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:16 pm

franks,

Have you tried fiddling with any of the "peformance" BIOS settings on your Dell to minimise power consumption - I mean the ones aside from the normal power management features - stuff like hard drive speeds, acceleration etc.
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Re: DC to DC Notebook adaptors

Postby franks » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:39 am

Hi Michael,
I have not tweaked any bios settings, only thing I do set set the backlight to its lowest brightness, I have a average current of 1.6 amps at the DC/DC converter input, with the laptop and 3G modem running.
3.04kW Grid Tie system 16 of 190W PVs, Samil 3.3kW
3.8kW PV Stand Alone Off Grid.. 5-8kWHr Per day
24 of 190W PVs
Midnite Classic 150 & Lite MPPT
8 of 6V 600 AH flooded cells (24 volt 1200 AH)
Outback VFX3024E Inverter Charger
franks
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Re: DC to DC Notebook adaptors

Postby MichaelB » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:49 am

I had a fiddle with the BIOS settings yesterday but didn't notice any difference. Think I might take a look at my connections again; something isn't right.
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