Computer: Power Supply
The DC PC   (+2, -3)  [vote for, against]
Design a computer to run on 12 volts

Design a computer that specifically runs on 12 volts DC. The two main voltages found in today's PC are 12 volts and 5 volts (some are 3 volts). Supply inititially the 12 volts and let the machine reduce the 12 volts to the lower voltages. The goal of all this is to incorporate a 12 volt SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) battery into the housing to act as a UPS in the event of a power failure. The monitor could be a 12 volt LCD monitor that is supplied with power from the tower. Essentially, the computer has a built in UPS. Along these lines, make the power supply (110vac to 12 volts regulated DC) an external affair. This would reduce the internal case temperature and allow for easy replacement if needed.
-- BMCCUE, Nov 02 2005

Mini-ITX format
This one's for a vehicle; there are a lot of fanless versions of this motherboard made to run off 12 volt, be silent, low power use, low temp rise, &c. [lurch, Nov 02 2005]

My Palm runs on much less.
-- DrCurry, Nov 02 2005

I'm looking at the same thing you are, [BCMCUE]. I am going to be running a small network server / web server, not a lot of horsepower required, but I need to leave it up 24/7 and I don't want the electric bills to go through the roof. I'm going to be using a Mini-ITX board, 533 Mhz EPIA, has an on-the-motherboard power unit with 12 volt input at around 300 ma; I'll be powering it off a pair of 7AH SLAs (it's going to run Linux headless so I don't need to worry about a monitor; it actually has S-video out on the mobo so if I need to I can pipe it to the TV until it's all configured). The SLAs are on a constant charger; I can take them off-line one at a time for cycling to retard sulfation. It looks like the whole schmear (computer, DSL modem, firewall, net switch, wireless AP) will run for about 10-12 hours on this battery set in a power failure.
-- lurch, Nov 02 2005

Doesn't a laptop meet the intent of your idea? If not, what's different?
-- gardnertoo, Nov 02 2005

The only problem with a battery powered PC is that pound for pound AC voltage is more efficient. It takes more energy to charge up a battery that will last for 2 to 3 hours between charges than it will to run the PC directly to the wall outlet.

Other than that, I still like the idea of a built in UPS provided that you will not have to move the PC. The battery alone will weigh as much as the PC.
-- Jscotty, Nov 03 2005

So basically you want a PC that you can feed from a single 12-volt supply, instead of several 12-volt supplies, a 5-volt supply, and a 3-volt supply?
-- Freefall, Nov 03 2005

The world does NOT need more lead-acid batteries. This would be an environmental nightmare if it caught on. Other than that, I'm still missing the whole point.

It seems to me that this really isn't an invention. Gotta go with a [-]. Sorry. Keep thinking.
-- zigness, Nov 04 2005

random, halfbakery