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Thread: Man portable solar power station

  1. #1

    Default Man portable solar power station

    So I have this dream to one day be able to write full time. The cool thing is that I can write anywhere with a tablet or laptop. I could write at Starbux or on top of Rincon Peak. Imagine that, I could camp at the tip of the SanFran Peaks and get paid for it. Camp at Manning Cabin and get paid for it...camp anywhere and get paid while I was doing it...

    But I leave the car way behind so I needed a portable source of power to run my devices like the laptop, vaporizer, transporter, etc. So I built this:
    WIN_20151231_01_45_51_Pro.jpg

    200w inverter, solar battery tender, 12v8ah battery, 10w folding solar cell


    So far, the 10w solar cell is performing below expectations. This is the 3rd Nature's Power solar cell I have tested that was underwhelming. I recommend avoiding the brand. My 7w cell will barely keep a windows phone charged if its in the sun all day long.
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  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    What does that weigh?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    These are hard choices. Battery tenders from China are well ok. not the best. You share that you are powering a laptop, vaporizer, transporter. We really need the watts of each object and a rough idea how long per hours do you need to use them.+++++++++
    "Never work against mother nature"--Caesar Milan.

  4. #4

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    Mainly I charge my tablet PC (just picked up a Nextbook/w keyboard). Aside from that I may occasionally plug in a few other devices.
    What I have found out is that the output of the inverter makes a big difference. Logically you would pick up the biggest inverter with the most wattage output, but the opposite is true for this case. See, the minute the battery cannot support the min required output (this is a 200w model) it will shut off, this one actually sounds a horn to let me know it is no longer functioning. What you wind up with is a battery mostly full of power, but not enough to power the inverter.

    So logically for a unit like this I should go with a 100w inverter so I can milk the battery for even more power. I did leave the cig-lighter connection between the battery & the inverter so I have the additional option of plugging in cig adapters directly to the battery. The USB ports on the inverter work even when the outlet does not.

    The unit weight is about 7 lbs, and can be charged even while it is in my pack.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    That's what I figured. I'm not lugging a 7 lb. battery in my pack. That's nearly a gallon of water that would serve me much better. But that's just my view. I will carry a spare battery. I have the an Anker that will give 15000 mah of power, weighs in at 11 ounces and will last for days. But then I'm not writing articles on a mt. top either.

  6. #6
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Will be watching to see what you come up with......But like Rick, I not going to carry all the stuff......Spare battery, maybe.
    I go out into the wilds to get away this stuff.
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    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
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    I am like hunter, I go to the woods to get away from this stuff. However, if all you are doing is day tripping, and you need extra power for your stuff, carry a rechargeable battery pack like an Anker. Generally speaking, it takes being out for a pretty long time before bringing a solar charger is lighter than a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Just a quick question....
    Don't they make a folding solar panel for power on the go with out a need for an inverter?....or battery?
    Like
    http://www.cabelas.com/product/GOAL-...3766981&rid=20
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Winnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finallyME View Post
    I am like hunter, I go to the woods to get away from this stuff. However, if all you are doing is day tripping, and you need extra power for your stuff, carry a rechargeable battery pack like an Anker. Generally speaking, it takes being out for a pretty long time before bringing a solar charger is lighter than a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack.
    Was going to say the same.
    I built a 20Ah solar generator last year for home use and used a 20W panel. Really wouldn't want anything lower wattage than that, in fact I'm considering getting another panel as it struggles to charge the battery in the winter.
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    Senior Member Graf's Avatar
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    Just picked up a 1000wt inverter to put in my faraday cage and a 750 wt for my vehicle, good to have
    Semper Paratus

  12. #12
    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    I used a small waterproof solar charger on my Yukon River trips. Even this last one which was pretty cloudy and rainy for the majority of the trip, worked ok to charge up a SPOT and cell phone used to take pictures. That was 5 days.
    Why do I live in Alaska? Because I can.

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