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Solar Chargers for MacBooks

Which of your products will charge a MacBook or MacBook Pro?

You can charge a MacBook from our: Fuse 10W, Array, Generator and 17 Watt Kit. See the complete list here.

If you do not need solar power, you can just use our V72 Universal Laptop Battery.

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How do I connect to my MacBook or MacBook Pro?

We suggest you watch this video, but text descriptions and pictures follow:

All MacBooks connect to their power cord via a magnetic connector called a MagSafe. There are two ways to connect from the Voltaic V72 battery to your MacBook.

Option 1: Use Apple's Airline Adapter

This only works on 2012 and earlier MacBooks and not always that well. Set the Voltage on the V72 to 16. Connect Voltaic's optional car charger socket to the DC Out on the battery. Connect Apple's Airline adapter to the socket and your MacBook. Note that the Airline adapter will run your MacBook Pro, but it will not recharge the battery at 16V. If charging is important to you, try increasing Voltage to 19V. This has worked for us on some occasions.


Option 2: Use Voltaic's Reconfigured MagSafe Adapter

Voltaic takes used MagSafes from MacBooks and reconfigures the end so that they fit with our battery. These are not fancy looking, but they are functional. Set the Voltage on the V70 to 16V if the AC Charger that came with your MacBooks gives an output of 16.5V or 14.5V (MacBook Air). If your AC Charger outputs 19 - 20V set the Voltaic Battery to 19. Then just connect the DC Output cable into the battery, then connect the optional MagSafe to the cable and your MacBook.

reconfigured MagSafe 2 adapter
determine Voltage to set Voltaic battery to charge MacBook
external battery connected to MacBook Air

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My MacBook was manufactured after June 2012, does that matter? (YES!)

In June 2012, Apple introduced a new line of MacBooks which have a slimmer MagSafe design called "MagSafe 2". We have reconfigured MagSafe 1 (pre-June 2012) and MagSafe 2 (post-June 2012) adapters available.

If you already have a MagSafe 1 adapter, you can also modify it with Apple's MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter for about $10. This fits right on the end of our Reconfigured MagSafe or Apple's Airline adapter. Here's a closeup of the adapter and how it looks connected to the new MacBook 13" and our Reconfigured MagSafe.

MagSafe 2 adapter attached to MagSafe 1 cable

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My pre June-2012 adapter looks different than yours, will it work?

There are three different types of MagSafe adapters. Some pre-June 2012 model MacBooks and MacBook Pros have connectors (the MagSafe 1 adapter) with right angle instead of straight-on connections, in part to accommodate the thinner profile of those MacBooks. If you use our optional MagSafe adapter it is likely that it will have the straight-on design. It will still work with your MacBook, but you may have to lift your MacBook off the ground an inch or so.

In the pictures below, the adapters on the left are both "MagSafe 1" and the thinner, silver adapter on the right is "MagSafe 2"

MagSafe 2 adapter attached to MagSafe 1 cable
MagSafe 2 adapter attached to MagSafe 1 cable

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Can it handle my 15" retina?

The 15-inch MacBook Pro retina is the most power hungry of all the MacBooks. It will always charge from our V72 battery when off. If it is running while charging from our battery, it may cause the battery to go into over-discharge protection. If that is the case, connecting the battery to a power source like a solar panel in the sun or an AC charger will reset the battery.

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How well will my MacBook run from solar?

Generally speaking, the longer your MacBook runs when unplugged, the better experience you'll have when charging from solar. MacBook Airs are more power efficient than MacBook Pros. While both solar conditions and battery life can vary considerably, these are rough estimates of what you can expect from our laptop battery and solar chargers in good sun. We use Apple's specified runtimes, so if you are getting less than that, your "hours of runtime per hour in the sun" will go down.

1 Hour in Sun = X hours Runtime Time to Charge 100% in Good Sun (Hours)
MacBook Model MacBook Battery Capacity (Wh) Apple State Runtime (Hours) Times Charged from Voltaic V72 Battery 10 Watt Systems 17 Watt Systems 10 Watt Systems 17 Watt Systems
MacBook Air 11" 38 9 1.3 1 1.7 8 5
MacBook Air 13" 54 12 0.9 1 1.7 11 7
MacBook Pro 13" 63.5 7 0.8 0.5 0.8 13 8
MacBook Pro 13" Retina 71.8 9 0.7 0.6 1 15 9
MacBook Pro 15" Retina 95 8 0.5 0.4 0.6 20 12

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Can I connect directly from the solar panel to my MacBook?

We do not recommend connecting the solar panel directly to your MacBook. Use the solar panel to charge the Voltaic battery and the battery to charge your MacBook

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I hear Voltaic pays for old MagSafe cables. Is that true?

It is! We help your old MagSafes have a second life as part of a solar charger and give you $10 in return. Email us at support and we'll send you our shipping address. Please also include your PayPal address for payment along with your MagSafe.

Please make sure your MagSafe is in good condition before shipping. If it is dark brown/burnt on one of the pins, the adapter is fried and we won't be able to use it.

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