When you produce solar power, it's DC (Direct Current). Most electronics and computer components run on DC, usually either 5V or 12V. But since The Grid is AC (Alternating Current), they come equipped with power supplies that go from 100-240V down to DC. That's why your laptop has a "brick" power supply, switching the power from say 230V AC to 19.2V DC.
Our computers are all 12V or, even better, 6-26V DC. This means they can receive power when the batteries are low (and output is about 11V) or use truck batteries which are 24V.
The problem is monitors always have an AC "brick" built inside so if you are on solar power you have to use an inverter and go:
- From Solar > 12V DC Battery > AC Inverter (up to 23oV) > AC Monitor > Back down to DC components inside monitor.
Wasting 10-15% of power you go from AC to DC or DC to AC. Ideally you could just bin the AC power supply of the monitor and go:
- From Solar > 12V DC Battery > DC Monitor
Samsung appears to have done with this with their new P2070 monitor though the reason for making the PSU external is to make the monitor extra thin.
Schools in rural Nigeria are probably the last thing on the minds of Samsung engineers but it's so much less expensive than the crappy 12V 10" 800 x 600 Chinese monitors that sell for £150 to £200 on eBay and Car PC websites. And it doesn't require difficult linux drivers like the USB monitors do.
It actually has a great spec: 20", 1600 x 900 Resolution, 2ms response rate, 50,000:1 Contrast Ratio. I'll have one in on Monday and post the video review next week. It only has a DVI port which means it will work with our best-selling Aleutia T1 and our H-Series but not crappy thin client type PCs like the Inveneo or Linutop.