Portable Solar charged power

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I am trying to learn more about portable solar powerpacks that have AC and DC power outlets on them. Please visit my site or reply below to let me know if there's any more of this technology available on the market. If there are any suggestions on promoting the use of portable powerpacks please let me know. These can help reduce the amount of throw away batteries people use; specifically focused towards RV's, camping, and boating.

Please visit to help me learn and have more ability to promote portable and cheap natural energy:

www.storenrg.com

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  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,490 admin
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    I am not sure where you want to go with this... The Xantrex Solar 400 you link to on your website, for example, has a 5 watt solar panel attached.

    Roughly the unit can supply from its 10AH 12 volt internal battery, 400 watts for maybe 15 minutes (and the battery will probably not last more than a few weeks under that cycling condition)... And during the summer, it would take around 2 weeks of full sun to recharge. Not very practical for most people.

    Almost all "portable solar power appliances" are tragically flawed. And will never live up to anyone's expectations (from reading the marketing literature).

    Instead of focusing on the "product'--Take a look at the "needs", and then find/design/build a system that will fulfill those needs.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    Thank you for the suggestion. I don't max mine out as camper that tries to do everything without using power if necessary. Mainly I use it just to recharge a phone. What literature suggestions do you have to help me learn more?
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,490 admin
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    A lot of it depends on where you want to go and how much time (and money) you have to get there...

    In High School and College... A couple of semesters of basic electricity/electronics would be a great help.

    For a more practical starting point (i.e., how to design a basic solar system for my RV, Cabin, or home)--you can start with the FAQ's around here... I have started a thread that will probably become a multi-post "Sticky" for some interesting links and basic how-to information:

    Working Thread for Solar Beginner Post/FAQ

    In general, the suggestion for Solar RE power--First conserve. Then characterize the load, and lastly "design" the solar RE power system.

    Many off-the-shelf solar RE solutions are not really practical... Like the Xantex 400, they have too small of panel, a battery that is larger than needed to charge a cell phone, but too small to power the included 400 watt inverter.

    If you are happy with the system--great. But understand its limitations.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • heynow999
    heynow999 Solar Expert Posts: 80 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    I built a solar powered hair and make-up trailer for the film industry here in Toronto. (actually a couple of them) The owner and I are constantly throwing around ideas about building a powerfull portable battery pack. As mentioned, the ones on market now are cr@p. I envision a small box a bit bigger than a milk crate and weighing about 50-60 pounds. It might be on wheels like a pressure washer. Batteries would be Lifepo4 from China. The inverter could be 2000/3000/4000 watts, whatever is needed. Put a 12v cigarette lighter plug for 12v and maybe add a USB charger as well. Add a plug for solar input, and 110v recharging.

    Basically, an off grid system in a box.

    It would cost at least $1500 just for the parts
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    Here's my implementation of it, I use at Burning Man. This photo from last year, I had a pole behind it, with a 40W fluorescent worklight as a streetlight. 64W Unisolar panel, 2 group 24 deep cycles batteries in the base. Plywood and a simple dolly. Shelf holds inverter and other goodies. About $600 parts, inc PV panel
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • heynow999
    heynow999 Solar Expert Posts: 80 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Here's my implementation of it, I use at Burning Man. This photo from last year, I had a pole behind it, with a 40W fluorescent worklight as a streetlight. 64W Unisolar panel, 2 group 24 deep cycles batteries in the base. Plywood and a simple dolly. Shelf holds inverter and other goodies. About $600 parts, inc PV panel

    Nice! I like it......
  • Tron
    Tron Registered Users Posts: 20
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    If you're interested in something pre-made, take a look at the Xantrex 802-1500 XPower Powerpack 1,500-Watt Portable Backup Power System.
    Amazon sells them for around $400. All you would need to add to this system is whatever size solar panels you choose. But by itself, you can charge it from a wall outlet or other charging device. It's only 60lbs, and breaks down, so it will fit in the trunk of your car even!
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005RHQQ/ref=asc_df_B00005RHQQ880007?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=nextag-tools-tier3-delta-20&linkCode=asn&creative=380341&creativeASIN=B00005RHQQ

    Sorry about the long link, but it has some nice details about this gadget.
  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    Those Xantrex units are cheap, but the failure rate is quite high - which is one reason we do not carry them.
  • Tron
    Tron Registered Users Posts: 20
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    This one looks a little better, since they will customize to your specs. ;)

    solfest1.jpg
    solfest5.jpg
    solfest4.jpg

    Much more expensive, but as they say, you get what you pay for right?
  • Kamala
    Kamala Solar Expert Posts: 452 ✭✭
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    I assume that the outer two panels are stowed or otherwise secured while "wheeling."
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    in zooming in on it it looks permanent. that would be nice if a hinged arrangement was used making it more maneuverable. one would need to be careful regardless.
  • Tron
    Tron Registered Users Posts: 20
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    Yeah, I'd go with a single panel one, like the one in the background of the first pic. Then be able to have additional panels that I could quick-connect on separate stands? Also, if the wheels had quick-disconnects like on mountain bicycles, that would make this system somewhat compact for travel.
    8)
  • mshen11
    mshen11 Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power

    because of my HOA im actually trying to figure out a mobile system like the ones mentioned here. right now im thinking of getting an old pickup truck w/ 6x8 (or larger bed) and mounting 6-8 panels on the back.
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Portable Solar charged power
    mshen11 wrote: »
    because of my HOA im actually trying to figure out a mobile system...


    Darn HoA, getting in the way of progress.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,