I’m messing around with trying to build a solar energy system. I live in an apartment (on a top floor with lots of sun, though), and right now I’m very small. I’ve tried figuring out how to run the MacBook off of it. I already charge my iPhones and my extra USB charging batteries via solar. This is all experiments for when I plan to move into a tiny house in a year or so, and I want as much off-grid as I can manage.
Right now I have a camping, foldable 24 watt panel with three USB outlets, plus a new 25 watt normal panel. It came with a very small simple controller, and I got a USB/DC outlet (car outlet) for the system. I also got a CSB (Hitachi) Lead-Acid (I know Li-Ion is probably superior) 12 V/21 watt battery. I believe I can get the solar panel to charge the battery, and the battery to send electricity to the outlet, because it works with USB just fine, and if I put a car outlet to USB outlet dongle in, it also works to power the USB devices. But everything doesn’t seem to work all put together (Panel, battery, and outlet all hooked up the the charge controller), nor do I seem to be getting the power necessary to get the MacBook to recognise it is hooked up to a DC charger with a MagSafe end.
My assumption here is that given that the MacBook is Pro from Mid-2012 and the provided Apple adapter says 60 Watts, that some component in the system is not supplying even enough wattage to tell the MacBook it’s connected to a power source.
I was hoping someone else who might know a lot more about electrical systems than I do (as this is all a total experiment and new to me, so I’m teaching myself as I go) might explain where I went wrong. Is my battery too small at 12 V and 21 watt? Should I have gone with a 60 watt battery? And why would the solar panel charge the battery, and the battery charge what is plugged into the outlet, but I can’t keep the system connected in order to utilise the stored power? Doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose of having a system?
I’m a social sciences teacher. I barely passed my STEM classes in high school. I’m kinda lost.