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Old 12-10-2016, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,992 posts, read 3,369,076 times
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Just wanted to share. Came across this https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01M2...SY5NHP27FNWTNQ on amazon and thought it was pretty cool.

It's a 400wh portable lithium ion battery pack that can be charged by AC/DC or a solar panel. It would be pretty handy for a small scale solar system for a remote camp or cabin. Easily take it with you when you leave, so when you arrive it's fully charged and you can keep it going with a small solar panel to be able to have some lights and charging capabilities.

I like the fact that it's completely silent, unlike a gas generator. The reviews say that it lasts a decently long time on a charge, depending on what your running. It seems many people buy it for their CPAP machines to work in places without electricity while traveling, but that's not what I want it for. Does anyone else have any experience with these? Seems like a decent alternative to the typical solar panel/ deep cycle battery/ charge controller/ inverter set up if you're just looking for something small scale. The built sine wave inverter is nice and the lithium battery should last a long time.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
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It looks good, and it ought to be for $380 bucks! The 400W is for 12V (300W on AC), but you can run LED lights and fans with that. It won't run a small fridge unless you keep charging it with a solar panel or a generator. A "decently long time" depends entirely on what your draw is, not the battery. You may be disappointed if you stay a week at that remote cabin...you'll run out of power. A CPAP machine could run 3-4 nights on that, if you didn't use it for anything else.

I don't have one of those, but I have 2 of these, for $110 each, giving me 400W of power for $220:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...odtag133659-20

Lowe's and Wally World have them for about the same price. They are also jump-starters, have a built-in LED light, and a tire air compressor. People use them for CPAP machines also, being good for about 2 nights' worth. 2 AC ports, 2 DC ports, and a USB port built in.

Unfortunately, batteries don't "generate" power, they only store power. So to say that a battery is "silent" while a generator is "noisy" is a bit unfair. The generator generates power, but a battery does not, even a lithium one. Caveat emptor.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,992 posts, read 3,369,076 times
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Thanks for the links on the others, I'll check them out.

I understand it doesn't replace a generator and doesn't actually generate power so that comparison perhaps was unfair. However with a portable flexible solar panel and this you should be able to keep it pretty charged instead of hauling around a whole typical solar panel set up.

Also, it's pretty cool how you can charge it off a cigarette lighter socket in your truck. You could also use it in conjunction it with a small Honda inverter generator during the day, and use this during the night, cutting down on gas consumption and noise pollution.

Hopefully lithium ion batteries continue to get cheaper and better in the future.
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Old 12-10-2016, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
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Yes, I agree that charging off your cigarette lighter or a generator would work great. But a folding solar panel? You mean those 15 to 20W rigs meant to charge cell phones? That isn't even going to make a dent with a 400W battery. Maybe you meant a more powerful one, I dunno. They do make folding ones of up to 100W, which would work great.

I also agree that the industry is long overdue in coming out with more powerful, affodable lithium batteries to compete with the heavy lead-acid batteries. Those are what I'm using at our off-grid place, and I can't wait to get rid of them!

The link I posted is just for price comparison. We all have to get the most bang for the buck!
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Old 12-10-2016, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
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Yes, a 100 watt flexible panel. Like this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01DX...6M4HXHGZSEFVKG for $179 with free prime shipping. Hopefully on sunny days one of those would be able to charge it fully.
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,320 posts, read 9,050,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
Yes, a 100 watt flexible panel. Like this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01DX...6M4HXHGZSEFVKG for $179 with free prime shipping. Hopefully on sunny days one of those would be able to charge it fully.
I guess so! That's a nice piece of kit!
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:13 AM
 
1,344 posts, read 2,874,152 times
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I like your choices! The closest I have to the first item is my UPS for computer. I don't recall the specs but it's a big one.

I do have a jumper box like Nor posted but mine is an old one that just starts cars & inflates tires but it does have a built in light. I like the inverter/110v option. Would like to find one with the starter, compressor and inverter but haven't found one yet. I use mine primarily for the compressor.

Just so I can toss something into the thread, have y'all seen these little power supply/jump starters?

Here's the one I have but there's smaller ones for about 1/2 the price.
https://www.amazon.com/Antigravity-B...k+jump+starter

They're about the size of a paperback book but this one can jump start engines up to a 7.3L diesel. Built in flashlight and can run all kinds of electronic devices.

We keep one in every car. I know my daughter often tosses hers in her backpack so she has enough power for her laptop and phone when she has a full day of classes (many college classes more or less require you to have a laptop in use for the class)
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Old 12-11-2016, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,992 posts, read 3,369,076 times
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^ I have seen those little power packs but never have used one personally. Seems to pack quite the punch for something that can fit in your hand, very cool and especially handy to keep in a vehicle.

I think the future will bring great things with continiously more powerful and more affordable lithium ion batteries.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
32,557 posts, read 53,030,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
Yes, a 100 watt flexible panel. Like this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01DX...6M4HXHGZSEFVKG for $179 with free prime shipping. Hopefully on sunny days one of those would be able to charge it fully.
A 100-watt photovoltaic panel can produce 100 watts at it's normal peak. Depending on where you are located you may get a solid 5 hours of usable daylight.

Going through a charge-controller and into a battery you will usually lose 20% of that power.

Out of a possible 500 watt-hours per day you can only get around 400 watt-hours into the battery.

Enough to run one 100-watt reading at night for 4 hours.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,992 posts, read 3,369,076 times
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Or 5 20watt LED lights for 4 hours! I can't argue with your math but people reviewing it reported it being able to run all night, not sure of their loads though.

In the summer I have 21 hours of sunlight with 16+ of that strong direct light. I would be able to charge it fully then, although I have no use for lights in the summer.

We are down to 4 hours and 20 mins of daylight now with maybe one hour of that direct heading into winter solstice. So when I need the lights most, I have the least solar capabilities.
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