** Solar Powered Server **
I have always had an interest for alternativeenergy. Then the California Power Crisis happened, which pushed me overthe edge.
I bought two 80 Watt panels: KC80 from Kyocera:
I have had them on the roof for a while butunfortunately the owner of the apartment complex didn't like that sonow they're back in this spot on the fence. The worst part about thisis that the panels don't get ANY direct sunlight in the winter monthsOctober~February. So power generation in winter is minimal.
The sun doesn't shine at night...., at least not inCalifornia! So we need backup batteries to store excess power,generated during the day:
These are two "trolling" and two "marine" batteriesin a waterproof box. The box sits right underneath the panels. Twoadvantages: 1) Short wires from panels to batteries so minimized lossesand 2) The batteries now sit outside the house, which I consider a bitsafer..... Of course I've set the circuit up as safe aspossible, with a seperate fuse on every battery but I guess you can'tbe carefull enough!
This little battery bank is approximately 500AH at 12V or 6KWH.
All that effort to do this:
Yep, this baby runs the site you are looking atright now! It used to be an old P133 that I was able to tweakdown to approximately 50 Watts of power consumption. Then last year(2002) at the Pacificon conference for HAM radio amateurs, I hearedabout "mini-ITX" computers ( www.mini-itx.com). Most HAM guys like 'm because they're cheap and small but I wastriggered by the fact that they're also very low power. So I got me oneand the power consumption was even better than I thought. When there'sno activity on the server, the consumption is only 14 Watts!! When the harddrive is busy, power peaks to about 20 Watts. Thisis AMAZING !!!!!
My old power balance calculation looked like this:
* Usage: 50 Watts X 24 hours = 1200 Watt.Hoursor 1.2 KWH per day
* Generation: 100 Watts X 8 hours = 800 Watt.Hours or0.8 KWH per day in summer
So I was short and had to run the server from the grid for a few hoursper day.
Now it looks like this:
* Usage: 15 Watts (average) X 24 hours = 360 Watt.Hours per day
* Generation is still 800 Watt.Hours in summer.
So now I am making too much and have to add some indoor lights to thesolar powered circuit.
This has been a very fun hobby!! :-)