Solar Chargers^

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soundoftheseagull
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Solar Chargers^

Post by soundoftheseagull » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:09 pm

Any recommendations?
Loads on the market.
Looking at charging AA,s for Garmin and VHF radio pack
Ta
Dave
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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:11 pm

I've looked into this. Nothing works.
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Jim
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Post by Jim » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:34 pm

Unless the technology has evolved, the cells are very directional - if they are just a few degrees off pointing directly at the sun they won't generate enough juice to charge your batteries.

You therefore either need something that can automagically track the sun, or a system with enough redundant panels pointing in lots of different directions so that enough will always be pointing at the sun. Given that kayaks move around a lot in the waves, I am not sure how well even this would work.

Of course if the reception angle of the photoelectric cells is wider than say 5 years ago when I was experimenting (exactly the same idea, charge the GPS or spare batteries for it on the move). There was someone, I think in Norway or Denmark who had converted his GPS to trickle charge as he paddled - I failed to replicate his results with stationary experiments, but I'm not a sparky!

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al27
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Post by al27 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:44 am

Hi Dave,

I've got a little 6 by 9 inch foldable thing that charges 5 aaa cells. Works very well providing you don't expect it to do the washing up. Keeps my MP3 player and phone going all year round. Doubt its waterproof. Think the problem you may have oop norf is seeing the big yellow thing?? Not so much of a problem down here!! A kiwi guy we had staying with us also had a flexible one that he strapped to his pack, which didn't work so well. As Jim says, needs to point in the right direction.

There's loads out there, just take performance claims with a pinch of salt as they will be best case results. And be realistic about expectations.

Cheers, Al.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:11 am

I bought a Silva folding model. Even in ideal sunny conditions it takes over two days to rechage two 2500maH NiMH AA batteries. The only application on a sea kayaking trip might be if you were on a remote base camp and you left it at the best angle for the mid day sun.

In practice, a multipack of Duracell or Energiser batteries is cheaper, less bulky, more reliable and a lot less faffthough less sustainable!

Douglas

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Post by thames kayak » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:16 am

I recomend a solio too. Good piece of kit. I keep it on the fore deck in an Axel Pack which keeps it waterproof it takes care of my recharging needs.

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soundoftheseagull
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Post by soundoftheseagull » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:22 am

Thanks for that I had assumed that technology had advanced a bit quicker than it has.
Never assumed you had to have them directly towards the sun.
I have six glowing tacky glass rocks around the pond, 3 on each solar panel and I think 2 AA,s in each which were £6 each and are out in all weathers, they work so well.
So assumed with the reasonable prices on the market, water proofing ability that we were up and running.
Hey ho off to Aldi before the trip then and perhaps Dragons Den later this year!
Thanks again
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Solar Chargers.

Post by Carlisle Canoes » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:22 am

For our 5 week trip in Greenland last summer, with 50 People, we successfully kept charged 2 laptops, an Amateur Radio set up,sat phones, AA, AAA batteries, 50 peoples camera batteries, and more iPods than you can shake a stick at...

Most relevant is that we also had a mobile set up for 10 people - charging our cameras, sat phone, head cam etc. We used a rollable flexible solar array (Brunton Solar Roll), charging to a battery in a Peli case (see Inland debate on head cams!!) which also had a multi batttery adaptor (see adds in most camera mags), as well as a USB charger for ipods etc. We were also able use it as a mains charger multi-adapter too!

We did have a electronics master to set everything up, but I am fairly confident I could do the same. We did have the large solar panel tied onto the back of a double, I am sure you could mount a similar smaller panel to a single. Our Peli was quote large (1200) but I am sure you could use a smaller one, depending on how much charging capacity you needed.

Everything stayed dry inside, everything got charged, either during the day, or at night (lots of daylight, just not very powerful). This system is quite expensive, about £200 for the panel, probably another £100 for all the bits, but now we have it set up, can take everywhere, and anywhere in the world.... smaller set ups would obviously be cheaper!! We did do lots of fundraising !

In the UK, the system worked even better......

If you need any more information, please PM me

Cheers

Pete
Last edited by Carlisle Canoes on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mike Marshall
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Solar poo

Post by Mike Marshall » Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:42 pm

Dave,
In order to significantly charge any device from a solar unit, you will need the back deck clear with a unit typically about 2 ft plus in length and a foot wide.

As part of my work, I installed several units for testing to charge batteries. They just about worked until November came along, then it all went t*its up.

Dont bother ;-)


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Post by soundoftheseagull » Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:46 pm

Cheers Mike
From advice on this occasion due to some financial constraints I,ll opt for a rack full of Morrisons AA batteries.
There are only so many things you can hide from the wife so soon after Christmas, New 4 seasons sleeping bag, ICOM VHF radio and the bill for the ferry to Norway still as they say you can't take it with you.
Hope your well see you soon for a beer, Plough, Thursday, guest Ales, mad for it!
Dave
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Post by Stephen » Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:11 pm

As an alternative, a colleague at work today was telling me he keeps his mobile phone charged with a wind up charger attached to a torch.
Quick google search found this
http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/wind-up- ... index.html

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Post by seindal » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:40 am

I have a couple of Brunton Solar Rolls (4.5W and 9W) and they do work, and charge a phone or similar in an hour's time. My problem with them is that while most of the unit is water resistant, it can actually be immersed in water without damage, the connector is not water resistant and I didn't find a solution to that problem when I was in Sardinia last autumn. The solar rolls are too large to fit in a water proof bag. I might try to encase the connector in a blob of silicone so I could strap the solar panel on the deck of the kayak. I ended up just using them on the beach during the lunch break.

I also have a smaller Brunton SolarPort unit which actually turned out to be the more versatile unit. It is small enough to fit in a large map case together with what is to be charged, it is quite efficient at 4.4W, and it has many different outlets, including USB and car charger, and a selector for 6/12V (with which I managed to toast the charging circuits of my Nokia Nseries N800 tablet :-( ). This is probably the solar panel I will bring the next time I'm off paddling.

Lately I found a couple of alternative charger options in the most unlikely place: an online shop for blank DVD media. It is a hand crank flash torch light with an outlet for charging Nokia phones, and a battery pack from a set of portable loudspeakers which can be used to charge a phone or other gadget from 4 AAA batteries. More here ...

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:28 am

How about attaching a yacht log screw to a dynamo? Do we go fast enough to make it useful?

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journeyman
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salt water battery

Post by journeyman » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:52 pm

This could be a bit of fun to experiment with, as we are generally surounded most of the stuff. Not quite solar, but a recharger of sorts could be fashioned out of it.

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Post by richard b » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:47 pm

Along the lines of Stephen's suggestion above, I've just ordered a Freeplay 12V Personal Energy Source, from Field and Trek. I'm hoping it'll charge my camcorder batteries...


Richard

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Post by NickB » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:36 am

Richard,

It will be good if you let us know how you get on with the 'Freeplay', how long winding needed etc.
Cheers
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Solar power

Post by guy » Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:17 am

This is how the Yanks do it



Image

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Post by NickB » Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:20 am

Cheers
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Post by richard b » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:26 pm

Have now had a chance to try out the Freeplay 12V Personal Energy Source, from Field and Trek.

It took 15 minutes of steady winding to bring my nokia phone up to 50% charge. It makes my arm ache, but I reckon it could be fine for topping up batteries on a long trip, sitting in the tent in the evening. I'm planning to use it for my camcorder.

Richard

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Post by Craig Addison » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:22 pm

The charger looks ok but you would be better off opting for a more up to date 'phone Nick!

NickB wrote:I am going to order one of these:

Image

http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/outdoor- ... index.html
Craig.

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Post by peterH » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:31 pm

I will be going to the French alps this summer (another uni trip to the region) and have been thinking about buying one of these to charge my canon camera battery (750mAh), so under ideal conditions it would only take 4.8 hours to charge the battery, ideal since theres plenty of sun in the south of France.
I would leave it on my tent so there would not be the waterproof problems you have on sea kayaks but on the face of it this seams to me a better option than a inverter (I don't have a car and i have little doubt that there will be a fight for the mini bus cigarette lighter)

My only worry is that the panel rated at 7.5V does not have the same driving voltage as the mains charger (8.4V one volt above the battery rating) this is where I think peoples problems lie in that their drive voltages are not high enough though I may be incorrect here. (Welcome more views)

Something else to consider would be charging a battery pack and then using this to charge the camera / eyePod / VHF etc. Again I don't know how well this would work.

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Post by NickB » Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:20 am

Craig Addison wrote:The charger looks ok but you would be better off opting for a more up to date 'phone Nick!

NickB wrote:I am going to order one of these:

Image

http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/outdoor- ... index.html
I actually got my hands on this yesterday, no problems with delivery in Plymouth less than 48 hours after I clicked 'go to check out'. It is very 'maglitesque' in construction and unlike many phone gadgets it actually has an adapter to fit my:

Image

and this makes a great change because Samsung have this horrible habit of changing connection styles and after market accessory providers usually don't supply a suitable adaptor. It also fits my I pod. Had a quick play last night and once connected to phone or I pod a small led flashes to show it is correctly connected and the charging indicator on either the phone or the I pod also confirmed it was working.

Now how many AA batteries will a GPS, phone and I pod need for a week?
Last edited by NickB on Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by soundoftheseagull » Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:29 am

Nick

Is that the adaptor/Phone for the E900?
Have you had the opportunity to test it yet?
Although on the Private Sales side does anyone have a Nokia 6310i (as shown in the advert) that they no longer use?
Mine has after refurbishment now packed in so I have the charger etc.
PM with price and postage please.
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Post by NickB » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:01 pm

soundoftheseagull wrote:Nick

Is that the adaptor/Phone for the E900?
Have you had the opportunity to test it yet?
Dave
mine is the D900 but the E900 is on the list:

Compatible with the following devices:

Mot. V3 Series: E770V/ E1070/ L2/ L6/ L7 SLVR/ U6 PLEB/ V230/ V235/ V3/ V3i/ V3X/ V3 RAZR/ V360
Nok. 6230 Pop-Port Series: 1100/ 1101/ 1110/ 1600/ 2100/ 23xx/ 26xx/ 3100/ 3120/32xx/ 33xx/ 3410/ 3510/ 36xx/ 5100/ 5140/ 5410i/ 60xx/ 6100/ 6170/ 6220/ 6230/ 6230i/ 6260i/ 6310/ 66xx/ 68xx/ 72xx/ 7380/ 76xx/ 800/ 9300/ 9500/ Ngage
Nok. 6233 Series: 1112/ 3250/ 5500/ 6101/ 6103/ 6111/ 6125/ 6131/ 6136/ 6233/ 6234/ 6270/ 6280/ 7360/ 7370/ Exx/ Nxx
Sam. D800: D520/ D8xx/ D900/ E870/ E900/ P300/ X820/ Z400/ Z510/ Z520/ Z540
Son-Eri. Fastport K750 Series: 750i/ J100i/ J220i/ J230i/ K310i/ K510i/ K610/ K750i/ K790i/ K800i/ M600i/ P990i/ S600i/ V630i/ W8xx/ W9xx/ Z520i/ / Z530i/ Z550i/ Z710i
Blackberry: 7100t/ 7100V/ 7100x/ 7130V/ 7230/ 7290/ 8100 PEARL/ 8700g/ 8707v
iPod Compatible

Not tested in anger but as I said above everything seems to be in order with the phone charging indicater flashing. They actually claim 2 hours of talk time from one AA battery, and of course it's easy to carry a bucket load of those!!
Cheers
Nick Benny

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Post by Tom_Laws » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:21 pm

http://www.the-ip-gadget-shop.com/secti ... FQod0SSXeQ

My brother has the basic one of these, works very well.

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Re: Solar Chargers^

Post by gnarlydog » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:42 am

I understand that you guys often lack bright sunny days but a 5W solar panel does the job for me.
It might be worth testing if on an overcast day it would pump out enough power to recharge a SLA battery.
I have used a small sized stiff (non flexible) panel and had great charging power.
For more info and detailed pics: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/ ... arger.html

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Re: Solar Chargers^

Post by keith » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:32 pm

I've kind of given up on solar as my Power Pocket panel never seems to be able to get enough sun in the evening after paddling to do anything useful. So I've gone and bought one of these:

Image

https://powertraveller.com/iwantsome/pr ... ergorilla/

It's just a big battery which you charge at home. I think it will keep all of my gadgets powered up for over two weeks. I find my iPhone does drain fairly quickly and we are planning a two week circumnavigation of Skye in July. The iPhone is great for checking weather forecasts, uploading photos and video while on a trip to Flickr, updating Twitter, etc.

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