I have a computer that uses a 500-Watt power supply. Note that this is a 500-watt power supply. How much power the computer actually uses, I don't know. 500-watt supplies are pretty typical. I think the computer actually probably uses around 150 Watts on average.
I am trying to figure out how much solar panel and battery I would need to run the computer 8 hours a day, but I find the calculations confusing.
In my case I am not going to use an inverter. My plan is to connect the 12V battery directly to the DC lines powering the computer and its fans, so there is no AC conversion loss. (although this does leave the problem of how to turn 12V battery power into 5V computer power)
Can anybody walk me through the general process to do the calculation to size the panels and battery?
I live in Massachusetts (42-degrees latitude) and would need to run the computer through the winter months. I would probably need to have 3-5 days of buffer in the battery to deal with clouds and stuff, but that is just a guess.
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This question is about calculating the design envelope of a solar energy system, which is a problem in electrical engineering. This is an on-topic question.