Solar panels

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RastiBell
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Solar panels

Postby RastiBell » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:38 pm

Hey guys and girls

I am going to be doing the length of the goulburn river soonish and was thinking about getting a solar panel to charge my phone and stuff like that. I was looking at the solar monkey adventurer, see link below, can anyone tell me if it's an alright panel and if there are better ones out there. I'm not looking to spend any more than about $150 on it. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Solar-Cha ... Adventurer

Thanks

landsailor
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Re: Solar panels

Postby landsailor » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:28 pm

No idea how it compares for actual real-world use but Kogan sell solar panel which is rated at twice the power for half the cost. Lots on Ebay too.

http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/foldable-so ... artphones/

RastiBell
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Re: Solar panels

Postby RastiBell » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:00 pm

Hi Landsailor

Do you own one of these? If so is it waterproof and how reliable is it?

Thanks

feraltek
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Re: Solar panels

Postby feraltek » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:07 pm

Think of the battery pack as the primary item in the kit, not the solar panels. The battery can be charged by solar panels, by 240V or car charger.
In July I purchased an 8W solar panel kit from Aldi, same brand as this - http://www.naturepowerproducts.com/prod ... php?id=136.
Its lithium battery can be used independently (http://www.naturepowerproducts.com/prod ... .php?id=99). The panel is 8W, the battery is double the capacity of the Solar Monkey kit (5,000mAh), and it came with a 240V and a car charger. It was $80.

landsailor
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Re: Solar panels

Postby landsailor » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:18 am

RastiBell wrote:Do you own one of these? If so is it waterproof and how reliable is it?


Yes Ive got one of these as a backup. It looks water resistant but it wont survive a dunking. The manual says not to expose to moisture so you would need to put it inside something like a transparent, waterproof map case of some description. Its just under A4 size in width but 1.5 x A4 in length so might be hard to find a case for it though. As to reliability I havent yet used it enough yet to give any meaningful comment unfortunately.

For a battery pack I have a Tekkeon Tekcharge M1550 (holds 4 x AA cells) which gives me alot of flexibility without taking up much space. It has a USB port for either charging its batteries or as a USB power out to charge a phone. All my devices (GPS, headtorch etc) use AA only so I can move batteries between devices if running low.

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gnarlydog
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Re: Solar panels

Postby gnarlydog » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:24 am

of course some brands might be better than others but at the end of the day I find that bigger is better, in this case
more surface area on the solar panel will capture more energy therefore give me more charge
I think that a direct feed from solar panel to device is not desirable because:

1) if I want to have the device charged during the daylight hours I can't use the device at the same time (like camera for example)
2) so, if I can only charge it during daylight hours I have to place it somewhere while paddling (on deck) where it will get wet. I have to waterproof panel and device.
3) in the event of my waterproof case/transparent bag leaking I am risking a device worth a lot of money (let's say a fancy phone at about $500+) than a simple battery

therefore I usually have a panel and a generic battery sitting on deck while paddling (daylight) and use the battery to then transfer that energy into device/batteries of devices (like cameras)
bear in mind that NOT all devices run on the typical 5V (USB) and sometimes I need a more powerful battery (12V) or an inverter that up-switches from 5V to 7.8V (my camera batteries)

I use a solar panel from eBay, a regulator and a battery "bank" of 5V (AKA external USB battery for phone recharging) and in some cases a second solar panel hooked up to a 12V battery
In the evening when the sun doesn't shine anymore, and I am done using my devices, I then have the time to recharge what is needed
.

Image.

more details here: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com.au/20 ... arger.html

.

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Jmuzz
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Re: Solar panels

Postby Jmuzz » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:59 am

You can get backup power batterys, about $50 for 5 phone charges worth.

Consider what you will spend on solar. Will you be able to keep it in the sun all day to charge? Size and durability in comparison.

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gnarlydog
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Re: Solar panels

Postby gnarlydog » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:18 pm

charge my phone and stuff like that

the battery bank (USB) is great for phone (5V) but usually lacks the juice for much else.
The capacity (usually expressed in mAh) on the back of the battery will tell you how many times (of course that is "nominal" times, because my findings are that nominal and actual vary, sometimes a lot!) you will be able to recharge your phone
The sticky point remains: a relatively small battery bank trying to recharge anything else needing more power that your phone...
And then: how long one person is underway and what recharging capability are available (wall sockets) to maybe recharge the battery bank?
In other words: all scenarios aren't the same. There is a difference between my 1 week trip or my month long trip.
On the short trip I just carry a bunch of spare batteries for phone and cameras: simpler and cheaper (although not possible for the mighty iPhone where the battery is an integral part of the unit and swapping is not that easy, read impossible)

RastiBell
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Re: Solar panels

Postby RastiBell » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:23 am

Thank you everyone, your advice is very helpful :)

nicktzam
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Re: Solar panels

Postby nicktzam » Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:57 am

Untitled.jpg
Some years ago, when I started to discover the freedom and potential joy of Van camping with a kayak on top I got thinking about wild ideas of self sufficiency regarding power, be it for a small fridge in the van or the ability to keep a potential safety device like a mobile charged when out on a kayak camping trip, after reading various pieces of information from kayakers, I honestly can't remember if Gnarlydogs contribution to solar charging was my inspiration because Iv'e lost the receipt so I could'nt see when I bought a small 5w waterproof solar panel from a guy I found on the net who was selling battery powered scooters and solar panels, he said I needed this little box he called a regulator because that's how much I knew about the process and kindly drew me a wiring diagram with instructions to charge my 12V bilge pump battery then hook up a car charger plug and charge my phone, well it rolled on from there with a full 12V,100 Ah AGM setup in the van for the fridge because I got sick of all my food going of when I drove to Shute harbour a few years ago, had the little phone charger on a 5 day paddle around the Whitsundays and it worked really well,bought a Thermoelectric fridge at big hardware shop in Cannonvale and didn't waste any food on the way back to Melbourne, But the drain on my starter battery was serious, more research on Vehicle camping forums resulting in AGM battery instalation with an isolator to cut the power from the vans alternator when all the batteries are full, now solar is also installed in the Van with the mandatory regulator because a 20w panel will pump out 30 volts, so the setup Gnarly used with his advice should be heeded, the direct charge factory made systems might have their drawbacks, Funny how the scooter guy sold me a regulator down here in Melbourne the same as Gnarlydog's unit up in Qld,
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gnarlydog
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Re: Solar panels

Postby gnarlydog » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:30 am

I believe smaller regulators can now be sourced even if the one pictured isn't that big.
I have taken the solar panel out of the plastic enclosure to reduce bulk when the whole set up is placed into a waterproof map case for on-deck placement.
While there are set ups out there that look neater none are that inexpensive and powerful (relatively speaking) as the one depicted.
One thing I would improve: the connection of the wires. I solder mine and slip a bit of heat shrink over the joint that has been smeared with a bit of Sikaflex.
I like to have my connections as reliable as possible.

nicktzam
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Re: Solar panels

Postby nicktzam » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:24 pm

Noticed your connections Damiano and thats my next little job,Do I understand that you literally removed the photovoltaic cell from the case and that's what's in your picture on the rear of your boat, have you found any reduction in efficiency with the cell being behind a different type of plastic than the one originally protecting it ??, mind you everything in my Van set up is fully soldered with high quality Australian made 12 B & S cable, Brass connectors and Andersen plugs to handle the current 100 Amp batteries produce,
BTW I bit the bullet and drilled into my boat to install Dyneema loops for my sail side stay's, for the last five years I used two backstays which did the job in all but the worst winds, however even though I think my seals appeared to be intact I've found my forward hatch is no longer waterproof as the Dave Winkworth Nadgee has always been, I believe water wicks in through the Dyneema, although my Sealect hatch could be the culprit, saw an installation once on the net where someone made a pingpong ball size cup and sealed it over the internal fixing, can't find the article, any ideas on this one, apart from smearing loads of sikaflex over the problem, Thanks,

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gnarlydog
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Re: Solar panels

Postby gnarlydog » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:06 pm

however even though I think my seals appeared to be intact I've found my forward hatch is no longer waterproof....I believe water wicks in through the Dyneema

If you just drilled and pushed through a little loop of Dyneema, water will indeed seep through.
There are two option that I use: one is bombproof and the loop is easily replaceable, the other is just leakproof.
Starting with the simple one: I use epoxy putty (I buy it at the automotive shop, Selleys brand http://www.selleys.com.au/putty/epoxy/) where I knead a bit of putty with my hands and press it against the Dyneema knot inside my kayak. I make sure I cover everything nicely.
It works and seals well but in case I rip the Dyneema loop (by abrasion) I have to drill out the line and remove the epoxy putty with a little grinder (Dremel).
The other system takes a bit longer but I find it superior as I can then simply replace the little loop, if needed.
I have documented the procedure here: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com.au/20 ... nchor.html
"Smearing Sikaflex" is probably best if just used in an emergency; the epoxy putty is a much better option and not much more effort.

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Ashley
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Re: Solar panels

Postby Ashley » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:30 pm

I'm looking at a simple arrangment to meet my power needs for multiday missions and am considering these two options:

This $130 job is from Jaycar, has a capacity of 50 wh at 12 volts, and weighs 1 or 2 kilos, depending on whether you read the description or specifications on the website. The panel is 5w.
http://www.jaycar.com.au/Ecotech/Solar- ... s/p/MB3697

This one is from Voltaic in the USA, has a 20,000 mah battery, produces multi wattage output, and comes with a larger 17 W panel, and costs $285. but that would no doubt run into $350 delivered.
http://www.voltaicsystems.com/17-watt-kit

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Redback
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Re: Solar panels

Postby Redback » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:03 am


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GAZ01
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Re: Solar panels

Postby GAZ01 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:33 pm

i have used alot of set ups over the years.....i currently using goal zero 10 ,,,, http://www.goalzero.com.au

llove it ....i charge via USB battery bank of AA or AAA , inreach stat message,GPS, Batteries for Radio, head touch etc
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D
C U on the WATER
Gary Forrest
Sunny Coast
Australia Canoeing Level 2 Sea Instructor
http://www.queenslandseakayakinstruction.com.au

Collo
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Re: Solar panels

Postby Collo » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:09 pm

Gaz is spot on with his recommendation. I switched to the Goal Zero setup a couple of years back and would never go back. It's a much lighter solar set up with good efficiency that is easily stored when not in use. I believe that their are quite a few competitors with the Instapark Mercury chargers also getting a very good wrap aswell. I hope this helps

acanais48
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Re: Solar panels

Postby acanais48 » Thu May 11, 2017 3:11 pm

nicktzam wrote:Noticed your connections Damiano and thats my next little job,Do I understand that you literally removed the photovoltaic cell from the case and that's what's in your picture on the rear of your boat, have you found any reduction in efficiency with the cell being behind a different type of plastic than the one originally protecting it ??, mind you everything in my Van set up is fully soldered with high quality Australian made 12 B & S cable, Brass connectors and Andersen plugs to handle the current 100 Amp batteries produce,
BTW I bit the bullet and drilled into my boat to install Dyneema loops for my sail side stay's assurances deces, for the last five years I used two backstays which did the job in all but the worst winds, however even though I think my seals appeared to be intact I've found my forward hatch is no longer waterproof as the Dave Winkworth Nadgee has always been, I believe water wicks in through the Dyneema, although my Sealect hatch could be the culprit, saw an installation once on the net where someone made a pingpong ball size cup and sealed it over the internal fixing, can't find the article, any ideas on this one, apart from smearing loads of sikaflex over the problem, Thanks,

Merci de nous avoir donné ces quelques références.


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