Battery Charging on Expedition^

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7fathoms
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Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by 7fathoms » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:43 pm

I'm taking a few weeks off next year to do some expedition paddling with wild camping. Obviously this will include all the usual electronic equipment, like VHF radio, GPS, camera, etc, which will require feeding with power at rather too regular intervals.

I envisage that it may be possible to do some battery charging in pubs and cafes along the route but this possibly isn't reliable enough as their convenient location wont be guaranteed. I've been looking at solar charging options, like the Freeloader and associated accessories in a waterproof bag, but this may or may not be the most efficient or practical solution.

I'm wondering how others have solved this problem previously - any thoughts or experiences?

ATB

Dan
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rockhopper
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition

Post by rockhopper » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:21 pm

I have found the PowerMonkeys/Powergorillas to be exceptionally good.

https://powertraveller.com/

Rog.

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Kate D
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition

Post by Kate D » Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:44 pm

Image

This little gizmo is enough for charging my phone. Haven't tried it in a waterproof case on the deck but usually use it once I've landed. Obviously missing most of the best sunlight by then. Not a problem in Scotland in June but probably useless for the rest of the year.

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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition

Post by Owen » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:58 pm

Battery powered wellies???? What will they think of next?

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7fathoms
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition

Post by 7fathoms » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:20 am

Kate, would you know the name of your gizmo? Battery powered wellies might be an option!
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Kate D
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition

Post by Kate D » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:38 am

It's called Solar II, made by Silva

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition

Post by TechnoEngineer » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:12 am

You could store a large battery in one of your compartments, and possibly drip-feed it from a solar collector on deck. IIRC Andrew McAuley used a deck-mounted solar charger on his ill-fated crossing from Australia to New Zealand.
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ArnoG
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition

Post by ArnoG » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:16 pm

I was watching This is the Sea 3 couple of days ago and I seem to remember someone with a huge solar pannel on the back deck (could have been on the Antarctic expedition bit. Looked quite a neat way to keep the batteries loaded up. Probably the same system that Techno's describing.

Has anyone played with a wind turbine like some yachts seem to do?

A.-

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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition

Post by parafinn » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:48 pm

Such thirst for power!
A windmill! Now that would work. One that charges up as you paddle along- kills two birds with one stone. You could link it up to a propeller under the hull as well and save your arms. And you could reverse it for when surfing tidal flows.
How about a kayak made entirely out of photo voltaic cells ? It would be cheaper than a Tiderace.

Or just strap a petrol generator strapped onto the deck?
Now that might just be the answer.

Anybody else remember the US Comedian Tim Allen and his power tools?- More Power!

;-)

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poun
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by poun » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:48 pm

Hi Dan,

We've used the combination of solar and power gorilla (https://powertraveller.com/) whilst on an extended trip to Norway.
We didn't used the solar pannels that much, so I can't really comment on their efficiency, but the power gorilla proved brilliant. We would recharge it fully when stopping by a plug every two to three weeks and it had enough reserves to recharge mobile phone, VHF, camera batteries and i-pod - the VHF was rarely on though, we gave up using it when we realised we'd never understand the details of the forecast in Norwegian. Another advantage of using the power gorilla was that we did not need to bring the charger corresponding to every single item we brought, so we gained in space. The downside is that if the gorilla had failed, we would have been unable to recharge anything, it looks like a robust piece of kit though.

Have a good trip!
Alice

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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by Gages » Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:21 am

I was a member of the Antarctic trip on as seen on TITS 3 and yes we used a quality solar panel to charge our main battery and then ran an inverter off the battery so we could charge different items from a small laptop to our SATphone and our personnel cameras etc

It was a good system but bloody heavy and I was the silly bugger who had the battery/panel/inverter in my kayak ontop of all our other kit

We ran with a bigger panel (22watts) knowing that we wouldnt get many sunny days but when the sun did come out we wanted it recharge the batteries fast

I actually live off solar power 100% off the grid (as is my business).A lot of these smaller type panels are just that small and require time to recharge equipment
Canon were(are) making a flexible waterproof panel ..

Here is a link to a good mate of mine who has a very good system on his kayak

http://mattbezzina.blogspot.com/search? ... -results=1

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by TechnoEngineer » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:20 pm

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7fathoms
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by 7fathoms » Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:23 pm

Wow, that is an awesome setup! Thanks for that, that's something to aspire to.

As I don't need the absolute power that parafinn thinks I might (and since it would corrupt absolutely - just think of the electrical gizmos I could take with me - the idea is that I leave the laptop behind at least) I'll be going with something a little smaller for now! Possibly a Solar Gorilla or Freeloader, I'll compare the options that they give me.

Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas :o)

Power to the people!
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by geoffm » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:16 pm


CONTADOR
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by CONTADOR » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:10 pm

Is it in this country? If so you wont need a solar charger:
GPS - carry batteries
VHF - shouldn't get a lot of use..
Camera lasts at least a week
Phone - get a cheapo one with zero functions and the battery will last over a week.
Then you only need to visit a pub every few days..

parafinn
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by parafinn » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:42 pm

Agreed,

VHF Standard Horizon HX750E - lasts well over 1 week - (take AAA battery tray back up - same batteries as headtorch)
Mobile phone - take 1 spare battery - each lasts 1 week.
Compact digital camera - careful use lasts 1 week - take a spare.

Ultimately, I can live on a trip without phone & camera.
Damn! Only problem now is no excuse to go to the pub for 2 weeks!

-

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Jim
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by Jim » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:24 pm

He's talking about going for a few weeks......

For the Grand Canyon (2 weeks) I took 4 batteries for my SLR, changed the first one on day 11. Of course I was not reviewing the images, just treating it like a film camera and hoping for the best - reviewing on the LCD uses the most power if you aren't using flash.

It's been a while since I looked into solar charging, the panels get better every year as far as I can tell and have been suitable for some time as other responders have shown.

I prefer to run my GPS on alkaline batteries because they last longer (although the 76csx has a menu setting to tell it you are using rechargeable so it can change it's method for assessing battery health), it's not very environmentally sound and the box of spares is not light either....

I guess the phone would be the biggest problem - I tend to turn mine off on long trips only turning it on to catch up with messages when I think I may get reception. Others carry them as an extra (or primary) method of calling for help, I would probably have died of hypothermia in the time it takes my blackberry boot....

At least for the forecast you could use a wind up radio (do they come in LW?)

Jim

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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by TechnoEngineer » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:37 am

Gelert do a wind-up torch/radio (can't remember whether it does LW), however the tuner control is too sensitive and it's difficult to tune into a station. Typical of Gelert (lack of) quality....
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MikeB
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Re: Battery Charging on Expedition^

Post by MikeB » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:14 pm

Brief comment on the MiniGorilla here. (The "Powertraveller").

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