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Old 07-05-17, 04:37 PM   #1
lbrown13
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solar charger

I am interested in a small solar charger, that mounts to the handlebars.
It will be used for charging phone/ipod or other small electronic devices.

Thanks!
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Old 07-09-17, 02:06 PM   #2
BikeLite
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https://www.voltaicsystems.com/solar...icycle-touring
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Old 07-09-17, 06:15 PM   #3
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I don't think there's anything solar that's small enough to fit on the handlebars that would provide anywhere near enough juice to charge a modern phone.

If you're just out riding for the day, the best solution is an external battery with a usb port. They sell a bazillion of them on amazon that provide enough power to ride all day.

For touring where you don't have electric, a hub dynamo is the most likely to work well and consistently. They also sell larger solar panels that you can put on the back of your bike that I've heard of working.
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Old 07-09-17, 06:32 PM   #4
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I've never met anyone touring who has successfully used solar to keep up with modern smart phones, they generally tend to use it to delay the inevitable, they still need to plug in sometimes (not saying you can't do it, just that I haven't met them). In order to get enough charge the panels need to be quite large as the robust panels are generally amorphous silicon, which is much less efficient. Then there is the security risk, solar panels are pretty attractive to thieves.
Hub dynamos will keep up with a smart phone in conjunction with something like a Forumslader that maximises output, for most touring but will struggle if the phone is doing something high drain, like being a WiFi hotspot.
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Old 07-17-17, 07:46 AM   #5
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I'm intrigued with solar chargers either for camping, travelling or cycling. But realistically, they are impractical. They are heavy so for camping it's better to carry spare dry cells and battery packs- how long are you gone for anyways? For travelling, you'll find and electrical outlet in your hotel room.
If you leave your solar panel out unattended, it'll get stolen.

For cycling, carry spares or get to a coffee shop.
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Old 07-17-17, 08:14 PM   #6
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I haven't used it for cycling, at least yet but I have had success camping. The last two years I used a goal zero Venture 30 and nomad solar panel at my sons Cub scout camp Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit | | Goal Zero

4 days total. I made it without needing to plug in. I kept the panel clipped to my daypack. Granted this isn't like hiking, as the scouts had lots of activity stations throughout the day, so it would be easy to leave my pack in the sun while these sessions were running. I would imagine on the back of the bike it would get pretty good sun as well. The venture 30 can charge my iphone about 2.5 times and it recharged in about a day of good sun. 2 years in a row I never had to plug my phone into an outlet to charge.
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Old 07-18-17, 03:32 AM   #7
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i am looking for an alternative solution to charge my phone when i go bike camping too.
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