Running server off portable solar panels?

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peggleg1983

New Member
Mar 12, 2019
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As the title suggest :)

Is it possible to run a server off portable solar panels? Max draw around 200W
Interesting to hear what others recommend or do

Unfortunately in a rental house, so can install panels on the roof
 
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bwahaha

Member
Jun 9, 2023
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Sure. It'll need to be low power, like a Pi or literpc. You'll also want a decent deep cycle battery for night operation.


also, assuming 200w is what the kit says, you're likely to rarely get all of that.
 
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cesmith9999

Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2013
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also look into the PicoPSU so that you can draw DC to the server instead of DC -> AC -> DC conversion. that will save a lot of power in the conversion.

and the real question is how big is the server? something like my setup would take ~1000W for 24h utilization. something smaller (like TTM) could handle a lot less in power.

Chris
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
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Don't use cheap folding\portable solar panels, just use smaller 12v panels that are $62 - $72 new\each on amazon for 100watt pannel.
You can put them in windows behind your blinds where the sun is, or make a simple stand for balcony\deck\etc.... You're going to need to buy an inverter, charge controller(s), maybe batteries if you want, etc... panels are the cheap part :)
 

BoredSysadmin

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Mar 2, 2019
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also, assuming 200w is what the kit says, you're likely to rarely get all of that.
To continue this thought for a second, 200w solar panels, actually says UP TO 200w, which roughly means NEAR 200w output in ideal case, such as brand new panels, located right at equator, on sunny and 100% clear day and panels pointed directly at the sun. Take away any of these stipulations and panel's output would be considerably smaller.
 

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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Easiest way (def. not cheapest) would be to use a packaged solar "generator" and some 200w panels. Solar generator is really just a package with batteries, a charge controller and an inverter. Look at companies like EcoFlow and Jackery. They are expensive but show what can be done. You can pretty easily do this yourself as long as you understand and accept the risks - take a look at the youtube channel @jehugarcia for lots of video examples, battery tests, etc.

I have a Solar Generator from Ecoflow and four 350w panels that I use for power when camping in our tent trailer and it works great. When we are home (which is a lot more often than camping, sadly) I leave it plugged into and powering my server rack to reduce draw from the grid. Very happy.

I actually wish it had a good management interface that would allow me to disable taking power from the grid based on time and battery level - i.e., draw only from solar or battery between 3pm-11pm as long as the battery is at least 25% charged. This would let me avoid the usurious "peak" rates PG&E charges during summertime.
 
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peggleg1983

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Mar 12, 2019
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Amazing, thanks all for your replies.
Dont understand how solar etc work, but woke up thinking about this this morning.

WIll look into a few companies like @PigLover suggested, but will need to find someone in the UK :)