Power and Your PC
Traditional vs Alternative Sources

When it comes to the issue of power and your PC, the traditional means have generally prevailed. People draw their electric power from the grid. Fueled by nuclear or fossil fuels, the extensive network provides easy access for energy all across the United States. Except for a minority of people, the 20th century saw this system of power production and distribution prevail.

During the latter years of the 20th century, a movement towards more eco-friendly power sources resulted in a shift. Many individuals began to look at their increased, and often wasteful, use of power. They also began to realize that the production methods are environmentally unfriendly. Others sought to escape what they saw as dependency on foreign oil and/or the government.

The result of this reconsideration, and an examination of the power systems, resulted in a movement for change. Both environmentalists and survivalists began to explore the potentials of what is termed "alternative" energy. This form of power production encompasses different elements. Some have considered the thermal properties of the earth as a means to escape the grid. Others have looked at what have since become the more common sources. These are wind and, of course, the sun.

Considering Solar Energy

When it comes to solar energy, you are faced with a number of options. Before you opt for one over the other, you need to examine the needs of yourself and your family. Can it power your various appliances? Is it capable of running your electronics – including your all-important computer? Before you can choose the right type of panel or battery, you need to look at the demand that will be made upon your power system.

Basic PC Power Requirements

When it comes to putting together a solar power system, you'll require certain basic components of power and your PC. These will generally consist of the following:

  • Solar panels – PV or photovoltaic cells or panels. These convert light directly into DC energy.
  • A solar (battery) charge controller – this piece of equipment prevents your battery banks from overloading.
  • Batteries – Placed in groups called banks, they're connected through parallel or series PC power supply wiring. The best types are deep cycle batteries, or the industrial standard gel cells, which are best for short-term use. Gel cells are often favored because they are safe to handle and relatively free from freezing.
  • If you're using AC current, you'll need to purchase an inverterto switch the solar DC into AC.


Solar energy is sometimes considered one path to the future of green energy. If you're considering following this route, stop and examine all aspects. You need to look at the current source of power and your PC, as well as the demands of other household necessities. You have to see how the change will affect you and your family and/or business. Be open to change but do not blunder in until you have all the facts necessary to make solar energy, and living off the grid, work for you.

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