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Anyone recommend a decent solar charger?

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Anyone recommend a decent solar charger?

Old 12-27-10, 10:40 AM
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Gotte
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Anyone recommend a decent solar charger?

I'm looking to get one for my internet phone, and maybe camera batteries, if it will do it. Anyone got any good or bad recommendations?
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Old 12-27-10, 11:56 AM
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I'd suggest a battery pack for recharging... then when you get a chance find a plug. I've tried the solar approach as just wasn't happy with what you get for what you pay.

I've been using a Brunton battery pack and been very happy. Will charge all my electronics.. ipod touch, blackberry and garmin for days between charging. Works for me.
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Old 12-27-10, 12:32 PM
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Size Matters, largest surface area you can afford,
I was told, Blue crystal types , rigid panes,
are more efficient than the brown cells,which go into flexible arrays, like Brunton's

so getting as large a panel is the thing..
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Old 12-27-10, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kayakdiver View Post
I'd suggest a battery pack for recharging... then when you get a chance find a plug. I've tried the solar approach as just wasn't happy with what you get for what you pay.

I've been using a Brunton battery pack and been very happy. Will charge all my electronics.. ipod touch, blackberry and garmin for days between charging. Works for me.
I'd be curious to hear more about your battery pack and how it works out for you on tour.

To the OP... When I have looked at prices and specifications for solar chargers, any that were up to the task capacity wise were too heavy and too expensive for me to consider them for places that I would be likely to tour and the electronics that I would carry. Whenever I priced them it was always much cheaper and lighter to carry several batteries for the camera and just keep the phone turned off when not in use. That said I don't carry a laptop or GPS and tour in places where I can usually plug in for a charge every few days. I do take a kindle too, but it goes a long way between charges.

I have found that while the OEM batteries for my camera from Nikon are pretty expensive ($30) I can find aftermarket replacements for about $7. I just take enough to last for a few weeks and charge when I can.

I don't use the phone that much so I just use one battery, but if I used it more I would just carry a couple or more batteries.

Also I have found some really light aftermarket AC chargers for pretty cheap online.
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Old 12-27-10, 12:42 PM
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I've been thinking about an external battery and solar panel combo for a while, but the reviews are never glowing.
The bets I've seen are the solio and the power monkey

https://powertraveller.com/iwantsome...nkey-explorer/
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Old 12-27-10, 01:35 PM
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Thanks for that, guys. Appreciate the advice and the link.
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Old 12-27-10, 01:37 PM
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this is what i've been using.



Works very well, the key is that it's 5 watts of output. So it will charge all your ipod's and iphones and well just about everything else. Only thing it will not charge that I've tried it on is the ipad. Ipad requires 10 watts... so you are out of luck. Another great reason I sold my ipad on fleabay.
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Old 12-28-10, 01:01 PM
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Hi,

I guess it depends on what you want to charge.

In my experience some electronics may not work well with the unstable voltage & currents that may come from a solar panel. A solution to that may be to have a small battery "reservoir" which does work well with the solar panel and then charge the devices you want to charge from there.

Also, solar cells are VERY sensitive to the light intensity: The output power may vary from close to nothing on a clouded day up to the maximum output on a sunny day. A rule of thumb here in Denmark (where I live) is that each watt of solar panel power delivers 0.9 kW power per year. That translates into 0.2 Watts/hour if one assumes there are 12 sun hours during a day. A 12 watts panel then will deliver about 2.4 watts/hour.

E.g. a modern laptop may have a battery capacity of about 45 Wh meaning that (on average) it will require about 19 hours of charge (without losses in the battery & electronics). Provided that the laptop's electronics and the charger are compliant.

My suggestion will be a generously sized solar panel with a battery reservoir.

Greetings,

Jesper

Last edited by irpheus; 12-28-10 at 01:34 PM.
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