I decided to try to duplicate the impressive no-battery solar panel test that Richard Smith and Chris Ball shot on video recently in Cambridge, MA.
I couldn’t get everything set up until 3:15 pm today here in Wheaton, MD (just north of Washington, D.C.), so the 10 watt OLPC panel wouldn’t power the batteryless XO-1.75 B1 laptop because the sun was too low. Skies were partly cloudy on this Sunday in winter.
Switching to a 20 watt HQRP panel with a charge controller, I was able to boot and run the laptop. I had to move the setup several times to dodge tree shadows as I’m in a wooded area. And the sun became too dim by 3:40 pm for the 20 watt panel to work at all.
Even though this test was with a larger panel than the OLPC standard, it’s still impressive that I can run the laptop in dim winter sunlight with no battery. The XO 3.0 tablet will have the same performance as it has a similar mother board.