Inspired to try solar power 8/5/15

By Chris Johnson

Rob Rhinehart, creator of the Soylent meal replacement drink, recently wrote a much ridiculed post outlining his radical philosophy on food, clothes, and electricity. If you’re interested, you can read his post here.

While I’m not about to throwaway my refrigerator or start buying disposable clothing from China, I’m impressed by the lengths Rhinehart has gone to reduce his electricity usage. He’s even rigged his home computer to run off solar power:

I ditched my homebuilt desktop for a cheap, low power Intel NUC. […] I power the NUC directly from the battery since it runs on 12V and draws less than 1A of current even with the monitors. That’s 72Wh if I use it for 6 hours straight, which my [solar] panel produces in less than an hour in direct sunlight, an abundant resource in Los Angeles.

I’m not quite sure if my apartment gets enough sunlight, but I want to see if I can use a solar cell to charge my iPhone and iPad. It won’t make a huge difference in my energy usage 1, but it’ll be an interesting experiment, and might end up helping the planet just a tiny little bit.

This is the solar charger 2 I’m planning on buying:

I’ll let you know how it works out.

  1. Here’s an estimate saying it costs less than a dollar to charge an iPhone per year.

  2. Affiliate link.