Using solar power to help conserve the environment is both ethical and a good financial choice for homeowners.
Financially, you are tapping into a great free resource and as we explained in our article ‘How Do I Get My Solar Tax Credit’, you can see benefits in your yearly tax bill from exploiting the sun. Ethically, solar is renewable energy and therefore much better for the world in which we live. And at the end of the day, solar power is a great option for all manner of homes.
You might want to go completely off-grid or just compliment your current energy source. Some people use solar when they go on vacation, rather than electrical hookups for camper vans and tents. The options are endless, and even the most demanding hobbies can now be serviced by solar power. More and more US citizens are turning to solar power, with Powerengineeringint.com suggesting solar accounted for 58% of all new electric capacity additions made in the US. There’s no denying it, solar is on the rise and people are increasingly using it to power their lives.
One of the fastest-growing pastimes in the US is online gaming. Online gaming can take many forms, from free-top-play titles on smartphones to more involved immersive role-playing games on PC. In the US, Review42.com reports 60% of adults prefer to play on their smartphones, which doesn’t tap into solar as much. However, 52% of gamers actually play on PC. PC offers all manner of benefits, such as improved processing power for immersive games, but even the iGaming industry (casinos, poker, etc.) benefits from the better technology. Poker.org explains that online poker is experiencing a second boom courtesy of the pandemic, and although gamers can play on mobile, PC is just as popular. That’s because many players play several tables at once, on multiple screens, meaning they need a PC and desktop computer. Of course, gamers indulging in Call of Duty or Fortnite will need a console, which can be power-hungry.
How can an eager online gamer make their PC or console fully functional on solar power and be reliable enough for long gaming sessions? We need to break down the average use of such a machine and go from there.
A PlayStation 4 is the most power-thirsty home appliance out there, so if we take the consumption for that as our basis, then a PC or Xbox will also be covered. A PS4 uses around 137 watts for gaming, 89 watts for streaming and 8.5 watts on standby. A good 4K monitor will come in around 30 watts. Let’s assume that we want to game for eight hours per day; that would mean we need 1096 watts of hours gaming for our PS4, and 240 Wh for the display, a total of 1336 Wh.
That means you need to come out at 112 amp hours (1.344kwh) for the monitor and PS4 combined. That figure can then be used to determine which storage system is best for you. Our Enphase Encharge 10 should do the trick, delivering 10.08 kWh across three base storage units. Bear in mind we have worked on PS4 numbers, but a PC uses far less, so those online poker players will have much longer than eight hours to clean up at the tables. Finally, don’t forget that consoles and PCs run on 120-volt energy, so you’ll need an inverter. The bigger the inverter, the more you can run from your system, so if you want to keep drinks cold in the fridge and keep mobile devices charged, you may wish to go a bit bigger.
Finally, do not forget the internet connection you will require for the system. They shouldn’t be power-intensive, but even a mobile dongle will need a charging point much like your phone. After all, you won’t be going all-in at poker if your internet drops out, no matter how much you’ve invested in your solar system.