Fenix Outfitters        
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 132

Thread: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    I just reposted this from AR15.com, to save on time.

    I got the portable solar charging panel done and tested it out today, 8/1/12 for 20 minutes, before a big rain cloud came in and forced me to pack up.

    Pictures are worth a thousand words, so flame away!

    Controller and 12vdc female socket mounted on plastic corrugated 'sign stock':

    [IMG]ControllerFront by Christopher Garrett, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Controller from the side, 'triangle folds' keep panel in the vertical plane, but still allow for 'flat' packing':

    [IMG]ControllerSide by Christopher Garrett, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Controller laying 'flattish':

    [IMG]ControllerFlat by Christopher Garrett, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Controller running off of 12v/12Ah battery, powering a Maha C-9000 that's charging 4xAAs at ~1 amp:

    [IMG]ControllerMaha@1amp by Christopher Garrett, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Hinged panels in the vertical orientation, pink ropes are carry handles:

    [IMG]PanelsVertical by Christopher Garrett, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Panels from the side, they can be flipped for a more acute angle, when sun is directly overhead:

    [IMG]PanelsSide by Christopher Garrett, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Shallow tilt, whole shebang charging the battery and powering an Xtar WP2 II Li-Ion charger, note case:

    [IMG]SystemRear by Christopher Garrett, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Open voltage before the big rain cloud blew in:

    [IMG]PanelOpenVoltage by Christopher Garrett, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Indoor shot with cereal box for scale:

    [IMG]PanelsHinged by Christopher Garrett, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Facts and details:

    Panels: Two Soplay 30w/1.74a (22"x16.5"x1") @ 5.5#. $178 shipped for both, with 2x12" Y connectors.

    Battery: Power-Sonic 12v/12Ah AGM/SLA. $37 shipped.

    Gun Case: Plano 4 pistol case cut to fit by me. $25 shipped.

    Controller: Morningstar SS-10L 12v. This will take up to a 25v input, 10amp load. $70 shipped.

    Mc4 Connectors: 3 pair of M/F for the Controller terminations. I ruined 3 halves, so get a few! $10 shipped.

    Assorted adapters: Maha, LaCrosse 12v adapters, USB 2.1a adapter, 12v female socket. $35ish delivered.

    Hardware: Hinges, bolts, nuts, washers, rope, Gorilla glue (wire was free!) aluminum bar stock: $20-$30.

    Most of the stuff, I got new off of Ebay. The fitted case will hold two 12v/12Ah batteries, even though I only have one for now. The case will also hold the Maha C-9000, LaCrosse BC-700, Xtar WP2 II, all three 12v adapters and the little iPhone/iPad 2.1 amp USB adapter with 6' USB cord. The controller and its backing sits nicely on top of the fitted layer of foam.

    Everything fits fine and closes. With 2 batteries, weight should be about ~22-23 pounds, maybe a tad less.

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisGarrett; 07-12-2017 at 11:34 AM.
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Great job! I have a similar (but smaller) set-up to charge a 12v deep cycle marine battery. 12v charger plugs right in! Power outage? No problem!

  3. #3

    Default

    Very cool, looking to do the same soon but with LiFePO4 battery chemistry. Disadvantage is initial cost.
    Advantages are lower long term cost, Long life, intrinsic safety, cutting weight by 75%, and being able to jump start a car with the same battery that serves as your deep cycle.
    Last edited by eh4; 08-03-2012 at 06:55 PM.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Wow! "Portable" is a relative term, but this is a good effort

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ualnosaj View Post
    Wow! "Portable" is a relative term, but this is a good effort
    It's not 'backpackable' but it is portable. Car trunk, back seat, walking down three flights of stairs to get to the lake/grass area, to charge things up.

    I wouldn't want to walk a mile carrying the thing, but it's not too heavy.

    PowerFilm, Sunlinq, Goal Zero and Brunton all make 26-27w foldable panels which put out as much current as one of those panels, but they're expensive and only have 3 year warranties, so nothing compared to the 10yr/90% and 25yr/80% warranties that the rigids have.

    Once you get up into that 30w class, you're looking at a minimum of $420 for the PF foldable. I bought everything for a lot less than that.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    WOW!! Really nice transportable solar power system. The only suggestion I have is when the SLA dies look into replacing it with a Lithium pba drop-in in replacement. They should be affordable by then.

    =D~~ Kilted

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    It's not 'backpackable' but it is portable. Car trunk, back seat, walking down three flights of stairs to get to the lake/grass area, to charge things up.

    I wouldn't want to walk a mile carrying the thing, but it's not too heavy.

    PowerFilm, Sunlinq, Goal Zero and Brunton all make 26-27w foldable panels which put out as much current as one of those panels, but they're expensive and only have 3 year warranties, so nothing compared to the 10yr/90% and 25yr/80% warranties that the rigids have.

    Once you get up into that 30w class, you're looking at a minimum of $420 for the PF foldable. I bought everything for a lot less than that.

    Chris
    Chris, what's the goal for this build? I know sometimes we build things "just because", but what's your vision?



    ________________
    Sent from my mobile device. Please excuse the brevity of this message.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Central Florida, USA
    Posts
    13,050

    Thumbs up Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Nicely done!

    Where did you get MC4 connectors for $10?!

    I'm slowly following your path also, just haven't found a significant reason to put it all together. I don't use that much 12V devices, and those I do are for the last resort during a hurricane
    Currently I have in my possession
    2x EPCOM 50W Crystalline, $150 shipped/each
    1x MorningStar SS-10-12V, $53 Shipped/each
    1x Tysonic 35AH, $76 Shipped/each

    For starters, I'd recommend something like this, which I built. Works well even in moderate sunshine.
    2x 10W panels, mine were salvaged... a decent substitute would be LiteFuze, $60 shipped
    1x 3A charge controller $17+Shipping
    1x 7.5AH SLA $24+Shipping
    Optional 1x Murata DC/DC Converter 7-26Vin 5Vout $5+shipping
    I used a DC/DC converter to step down 12V because my battery chargers only accepted 5V and that the voltage is regulated. I threw a 2200uF Low ESR caps on both the input and output for good measure.
    USB ports were from these, you can probably bum a set from the local PC repair shop

    Mine looks something like this, everything is built in a watertight ammo can, can only be hooked up with the lid opened. Everything goes through the battery fuse [left], including the wall charger connector [hidden in the converter well lower right]. the PV passes through its own fuse and everything has a disconnect switch: battery, controller, converter. A voltmeter from Wowhobbies is built in and turns on when the battery switches on. Load from that is negligible. The LEDs on the controller is cut out and panel mounted.


    Solar Panels are situated on a [don't laugh] "deluxe irrigation tripod" typically sold with a sprinkler head mounted at Home Depot. A couple plumbing fittings later its now a two piece setup.



    While its probably not going to last too long charging anything at 12V, it does a good job charging eneloops on partial cloudy to sunny days. Right now I have on average 33WH of usable capacity with the battery fully charged. Assuming no sunlight input is available, usable capacity on 5v after converter losses is about 5300mAH. Somewhat inadequate, but the entire concept relies mainly on sunlight. the battery is merely acting as a voltage buffer.
    Speaking of vision, I really want to have 12V capability because theres alot more things you can run. Just about anything you can plug into your car you should be able to run on the system. 12V fans, 12V Florescent lights, charge your GPS, power your mattress pump, Maybe run a small soda cooler or a small inverter during peak sun hours, who knows. Thats my vision, I'm sure Chris has something much better.

    ChrisGarrett, I noticed your MorningStar has a LVD built in, unfortunately it cuts off at 10.5 or some value near that. For sealed lead acids, I don't recommend draining them below 12V unless you've got a good desulfator. In my experience they seem to die very quickly and not cater many cycles. My batteries are typically floating at 13.8-14V here at the house with either BatteryMinder plus or Attwood Battery maintainers and only recieve solar juice when I am on the road or on location to organize/participate in some sort of an activity.

    Personally, I think you striked a perfect balance between capacity and weight on the 12AH battery. In my opinion the 7AH batteries are too small and the 35AH batteries are just too heavy. If I was intent on putting a load on the battery at night, I would discharge the battery no greater than 40% rated C/20 capacity, but thats just me. But I would still recommend testing the maximum current load on your battery charger, and estimate a general usage time just for good measure.
    Last edited by Illum; 08-04-2012 at 09:28 PM.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ualnosaj View Post
    Chris, what's the goal for this build? I know sometimes we build things "just because", but what's your vision?

    Sent from my mobile device. Please excuse the brevity of this message.
    I'm in Miami and while my power only went out for 18 and 15 hours during hurricanes Andrew & Wilma, my girl friend, uncle/aunt and former boss lost their power for 7-21 days here in SoFla, so my goal is to be able to charge up any batteries I have, cell phone, radios and perhaps a battery operated fan, or two.

    Another goal was to keep it under $400 bucks, as I was approaching 'decent' generator territory if I went higher. I'm in a condo and even during 'power outages', running a loud genset is going to be a problem with the neighbors and the 'whisper model' Honda 2000, Yammie and even the Briggs and Straton are $500-$1000, so I didn't want to go there.

    Finally, the objective was to keep it light and portable/transportable and give me enough juice where I won't have to babysit the thing for six hours to charge up what I need charged.

    I'm not really a camper, but anything past a day, or three, without power, is where this thing should come in handy. It's a 10 year insurance policy, I figure.

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisGarrett; 08-04-2012 at 10:15 PM.
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilted View Post
    WOW!! Really nice transportable solar power system. The only suggestion I have is when the SLA dies look into replacing it with a Lithium pba drop-in in replacement. They should be affordable by then.

    =D~~ Kilted
    I've looked at the A123 Systems 7Ah SLA drop in replacement, but IIRC, they're up over $125 and frankly, that's about 4 PowerSonice 12Ah batteries.

    Maybe one day it'll be worth it to me. At under 2# it is pretty light, isn't it?

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Illum:

    The Mc4s are TUV IP68, so pretty much dust and waterproof. Midwestsolar2012 sells them on Ebay in 3s, 5s, 10s--whatever quantity you want.

    The low voltage disconnect on the Morningstar 10L is 11.5v, so a bit better than what you thought, but I don't expect to get down that low, however, I did pay an extra $8 for the feature.

    I was even looking at the 18Ah batteries, but ehhh...I went with 12Ah, for better, or for worse. One can always go larger, with panels, voltage, batteries and well, keeping weight manageable was a major thought.

    I want to look for a couple of fans and maybe a 12v C/D size charger, if there's one out there. That way I can run the fans and stir the air during the muggy nights without power.

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisGarrett; 08-04-2012 at 10:43 PM.
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    I've looked at the A123 Systems 7Ah SLA drop in replacement, but IIRC, they're up over $125 and frankly, that's about 4 PowerSonice 12Ah batteries.

    Maybe one day it'll be worth it to me. At under 2# it is pretty light, isn't it?

    Chris
    Chris, yes I'd like tom shed some weight. There are reasons why we use lithium's in our flashlights and not lead! One thing I discovered do a web search on "lithium motorcycle battery". There appear to be some quality vendors out there. When my 12v 12a SLA dies I will probably replace it with lithium. I have 3 APC-UPS, a house battery bank and two transportable power systems so I need to start learning about these lithium SLA drop-in replacements.

    =D~~ Kilted

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilted View Post
    Chris, yes I'd like tom shed some weight. There are reasons why we use lithium's in our flashlights and not lead! One thing I discovered do a web search on "lithium motorcycle battery". There appear to be some quality vendors out there. When my 12v 12a SLA dies I will probably replace it with lithium. I have 3 APC-UPS, a house battery bank and two transportable power systems so I need to start learning about these lithium SLA drop-in replacements.

    =D~~ Kilted
    It looks like Shorai is the big dog in LiPo motorcycle batteries. The one I'm looking at is their LFX12A1-BS12 , PBeq 12Ah at $129 and 1.54#. Problem is is that they work best with their proprietary charger and 5 pin battery port, although you can use trickle chargers without an automatic desulfation stage, whatever that ultimately means. The charger is ~$84 and only works on AC, so that kind of defeats 'my' purpose for building the solar charger in the first place, although that's why God invented cheap inverters, lol.

    I'm no Pb hater, so I'll live with this until it dies. If you wanted to blow $700, you fit five of those suckers in my case for about the same weight as one 12Ah SLA!

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    It looks like Shorai is the big dog in LiPo motorcycle batteries. The one I'm looking at is their LFX12A1-BS12 , PBeq 12Ah at $129 and 1.54#. Problem is is that they work best with their proprietary charger and 5 pin battery port, although you can use trickle chargers without an automatic desulfation stage, whatever that ultimately means. The charger is ~$84 and only works on AC, so that kind of defeats 'my' purpose for building the solar charger in the first place, although that's why God invented cheap inverters, lol.

    I'm no Pb hater, so I'll live with this until it dies. If you wanted to blow $700, you fit five of those suckers in my case for about the same weight as one 12Ah SLA!

    Chris
    Yea I seen those also and they maybe good batteries but kinda suck for our transportable solar chargers. I came across LiFePo4 bat that had a BMS built into the battery case this is the same as the A123 system, like these; http://www.lithiumion-batteries.com/...ts/deep-cycle/

    For a small solar power charging station I was thinking of some thing like these; http://www.ballisticparts.com/produc.../batteries.php note the small 4-cell version. Their custom charger looks like a a hobby charger and can be run from 12v dc. Check Amazon for pricing.

    I looked at Shorai, Ballistic are a better system. Ballistic are USA made in Wisconsin.
    Ballistic Balance Charger instructions
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3cuB...ature=youtu.be

    OK one more thing these are starter batteries high pulse current for turning a motor over, they are not deep cycle power batteries.

    For my Larger battery banks one of the things I'm not finding is the service life of the batteries. My Concorde batteries are at 10-years and if the Lithiums cannot do 20 years then they are not worth it. For stationary applications weight is not a factor, service life and cost are important.

    =D~~Kilted.
    Last edited by Kilted; 08-05-2012 at 10:44 PM.

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilted View Post
    Yea I seen those also and they maybe good batteries but kinda suck for our transportable solar chargers. I came across LiFePo4 bat that had a BMS built into the battery case this is the same as the A123 system, like these; http://www.lithiumion-batteries.com/...ts/deep-cycle/

    For a small solar power charging station I was thinking of some thing like these; http://www.ballisticparts.com/produc.../batteries.php note the small 4-cell version. Their custom charger looks like a a hobby charger and can be run from 12v dc. Check Amazon for pricing.

    I looked at Shorai, Ballistic are a better system. Ballistic are USA made in Wisconsin.
    Ballistic Balance Charger instructions
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3cuB...ature=youtu.be

    OK one more thing these are starter batteries high pulse current for turning a motor over, they are not deep cycle power batteries.

    For my Larger battery banks one of the things I'm not finding is the service life of the batteries. My Concorde batteries are at 10-years and if the Lithiums cannot do 20 years then they are not worth it. For stationary applications weight is not a factor, service life and cost are important.

    =D~~Kilted.
    Thanks for the links!

    First off, we don't really need CCA intensive starter batteries, like the Shorai or Ballistics, do we? As you mention, we want 'deep cycle' cells, correct?

    I looked at the Concorde Sun Xtender series and while they're still SLA/AGM and heavy, that brand looks to be at the apex for SLA technology. They rate their batteries over a period of time, the main stat being 24 hrs and to a cell voltage of 1.75v, which is 10.6v for the entire battery, but they state it a different way and give no load.

    For example, their smallest 25#, $165 battery yields 34 Ah over a 24 hr period? Would this be a 1 amp load...2 or 4?

    Anyhow, I found their PVX-340T on Ebay for $165 shipped.

    That's similar in price to the A123 company's LiFePo4 Pbeq 7Ah cell and even the 8 cylinder Ballistic jobbie. But we need another charger and even the 12v versions for PV panels, run $80-$200, so I don't know. That puts me in total cost, almost at a Honda 2000 genset!

    The LithiumIon company starts at $399 for their 20Ah Pbeq offering. Ouch!

    I'm not wanting to jump start trucks, or motor cycles, so 'starter batteries' aren't my best solution, are they?

    Thanks, Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  16. #16
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    879

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    For example, their smallest 25#, $165 battery yields 34 Ah over a 24 hr period? Would this be a 1 amp load...2 or 4?
    Erm.. 34Ah/24h = 1.42A.

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowww View Post
    Erm.. 34Ah/24h = 1.42A.
    Thanks.

    I was just out smoking a cigar on the patio and started to ponder that question and came up with roughly <1.5a.

    My degree is in English Literature and Communications and phizics/maf aren't my forte'.

    I guess that battery can run a 100w incadescent bulb at ~.833 amps for 40+ hours!

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisGarrett; 08-11-2012 at 08:06 PM.
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Some discoveries digging into FAQ's and various sales sites. The Ballistic batteries are using 2300 milliamp LiFePo4 cells. The cells are wired 4 in series strings with; 4cells 1 string, 8cells 2 stings in parallel, 12cells 3 strings parallel, 16 cells 4 strings parallel. These LiFe batteries can be 80% depleted vs. for Pb normal usage is 50%. Another FAQ take 1/3 of the Pbeq value will give the internal cell 1C rating. For example LFX12A1-BS12 , PBeq 12Ah / 3 = 4 amp. Use this value to calculate your deep discharge energy.

    To work it in reverse the Powersonic 12v 12a pictured above has total watthours = 12x12 = 144 x 50% = 72 whrs of usable energy, 72 / 12 = 6amps x 3 (LiFe conversion factor) = 18 Pbeq. Therefore in Shorai terminology a LFX18A1-BS12 ($171) at .997 lbs will deliver the same energy as the Powersonic PS-12120 at 7.92 lbs.

    If you are backpacking saving 7lbs of lead is probably worth it.

    =D~~Kilted

  19. #19
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    879

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilted View Post
    Some discoveries digging into FAQ's and various sales sites. The Ballistic batteries are using 2300 milliamp LiFePo4 cells. The cells are wired 4 in series strings with; 4cells 1 string, 8cells 2 stings in parallel, 12cells 3 strings parallel, 16 cells 4 strings parallel.
    Erm, actually 8 cell is single string of 4 paralleled cell banks, not two strings of 4 cells in parallel. Same with 12cell and 16cell.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowww View Post
    Erm, actually 8 cell is single string of 4 paralleled cell banks, not two strings of 4 cells in parallel. Same with 12cell and 16cell.
    Yerr right otherwise the BMS would not work. An FYI parts to assemble your own battery; http://www.evassemble.com/index.php?...=index&cPath=2

    =D~~ Kilted

  21. #21
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,515

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    I have a 40 W panel and a charge controller on the way to me, I have a 110Ah AGM battery for use at home and will eventfully buy a 24Ah AGM for my portable set up.

    Here's my question, whilst waiting to build up funds to purchase a battery can I run a charger and other devices directly for the output of the controller?

    Norm

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    I have a 40 W panel and a charge controller on the way to me, I have a 110Ah AGM battery for use at home and will eventfully buy a 24Ah AGM for my portable set up.

    Here's my question, whilst waiting to build up funds to purchase a battery can I run a charger and other devices directly for the output of the controller?

    Norm
    During the few times I've fiddled with my Morningstar SS-10L controller, I thought that it would NOT power the load unless my mother battery was hooked up, but that shouldn't be the case.

    We're in clouds now, here in Miami, so on the next sunny day, I'm going to break it out and reconfirm that observation. I may have been mistaken, but I had my DMM down there with me and that's what I seem to remember, which would be a bummer.

    I can power the load with my battery with no solar panels hooked up, as evidenced in my photos above.

    To be fair, I can't speak to other controllers, just my MS SS-10L.

    I just picked up a Chrome battery, 22Ah to back up my dinky 12Ah PowerSonic. Free shipping and got it withing 3 days of placing my order. I don't know if they ship to Australia, but for those here, it might be a good option. Made in Indiana here in the US. 60 day return and 1.5 year warranty if it goes south on me.

    http://www.chromebattery.com/12v-22a...connector.html

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* hiuintahs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,791

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    .....Here's my question, whilst waiting to build up funds to purchase a battery can I run a charger and other devices directly for [from?] the output of the controller?
    Norm
    No, I wouldn't recommend this. The output of the charge controller likely will be a PWM signal and not a DC value. There will be no voltage regulation. Since a battery is like a huge capacitor, the charge controller is attempting to raise the voltage on the battery via charge insertions. The way it does that isn't necessarily by putting a regulated DC voltage that is higher than the battery but rather by PWM.

    Also what might happen is that by not connecting to a battery, providing a feed back signal to the charge controller, it simply might not output anything since it see's no battery. It just depends on how the charge controller is designed.

  24. #24
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,515

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Thanks Chris, I'm trying to put together a portable system roughly based on yours, not sure why, I have no need, but I thought it might be a fun project.

    So far I've ordered.

    New 40W Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel
    CMP Solar Panel Charge Charging Controller Regulator 10A 12V 24V
    4 USB Car Charger Step-Down DC 12V to 5V Power Supply Module

    Thanks for the battery link, I imagine the freight would be $200+ There is plenty of stuff available here. I'll be buying an AGM battery, I currently have a 110Ah that cost me nothing, I bought a 110Ah originally for our caravan, it wasn't until after the truck had delivered it I realized one of the end cells was cracked and the company replace the battery leaving me with the cracked one, a friend suggested I get it plastic welded which I did, I then opened the cell and topped it up with acid with the help of the local battery wholesaler, I was very pleased to see the battery come up as OK on his test meter. That battery is amazing it sits outside of my radio shack and I check the charge every so often and put the ctek on it never charges for more than about 15 minutes, even after three months standing it never drops below 13V.

    Norm
    Last edited by Norm; 08-15-2013 at 01:31 PM.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    906

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Looking good! If you could salvage some old carry on bag with wheels and an extendable handle to mount
    all the parts on and in might make transport a little easier unless vibration is a no-no for those
    types of panels.

    Thanks for showing the build!

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    "Thanks Chris, I'm trying to put together a portable system roughly based on yours, not sure why, I have no need, but I thought it might be a fun project."

    Mine was a fun project, but I hope I never have to use it in an emergency setting, but it's there if I need it, since T.S. Erin is currently off of the coast of West Africa, spinning my way!

    Your panel looks great and it's more than reasonable in price. I went Monos, mostly because they were one of the first ones I came across on Ebay. Since I did dual 30s, for weight and size considerations, I needed some Y connectors, so I spent a little more than I had to, because my seller would put one panel up for auction a week and they usually went for cheaper than what I paid--$178 shipped with 2 Y connectors, from California to Miami.

    Anyhow, as we both figure, it's a fun project and you can get quite flexible with it.

    I just received a small $41 12v TrippLite PV-375 375w inverter, so if I need to recharge a laptop, I've got that going for me, or powering a small table lamp!

    Hiuintahs might be correct about the 'battery disconnect' safety with the solar panels engaged. The more that I think about it, the more I think that the voltage to the load was in fact, cut, when I removed the battery, but I'll reconfirm that down the road and consult the Morningstar .pdf sheet.

    Have fun!

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  27. #27
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,515

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    I looked at Mono panels Chris but for the extra 3% in efficiency the extra dollars didn't add up for me.

    My panel just arrived, less than 24 hours after placing the order, just realized I have a 12V 7Ah battery I can play with until I buy a larger battery.

    Norm

  28. #28
    Flashaholic A.O.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    The Promissed land, South Carolina!
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Granted, mine is not portable but it makes a great battery charger.

    Got the basic system from HF on sale for $139, added a small gel cell deep cycle battery $89, an el-cheapo inverter (enough to run a small TV in event of a power outage to gather news), an Accumanager20 charger for your basic A,AA,C,D,and 9v batteries... works off the 12dc so its efficient. and now awaiting my Nitecore i4 for my new 18650's to arrive.

    Seems to do the job nicely for less than $300.Will also charge my phone and laptop to boot.





    Last edited by A.O.; 08-22-2013 at 11:27 AM.

  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,014

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Looks good A.O..

    One doesn't have to spend a lot on a 12v system and by going 12v, one can really power a lot of other devices down the road. If you're stuck with a USB solar charger at 5v, you can still charge up stuff, but it's just not as flexible.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic A.O.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    The Promissed land, South Carolina!
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Yeah, this set up comes with the USB port, but it doesn't have enough power to charge my Iphone.. smaller phones and stuff yes. It does have 2 12v cig lighter ports in it though, so I have a USB adapter in one and it works just fine that way. Forgot to mention, although one is in the picture , it comes with 2 12v emergency lights and ports for both.
    Good basic emergency set up on the cheap, I mostly use it for battery charging though. No emergencies since I set it up!

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •