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

  1. #121

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

    NH Lumens - I keep looking at your set up and am in awe and looks like something I could even put together, although I cant see how you've connected the multi meter to the battery or the genasun. It looks directly to battery.
    What do you mean they blew up the death star.......... Wait....What the hell is an Aluminium Falcon?

  2. #122

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

    Quote Originally Posted by pblanch View Post
    NH Lumens - I keep looking at your set up and am in awe and looks like something I could even put together, although I cant see how you've connected the multi meter to the battery or the genasun. It looks directly to battery.
    The DPDT switch has 6 terminals: the output of the Genasun is wired through one set of terminals so it is connected to the battery when the switch is in the right position.

    The output socket is wired to the battery through two sets of terminals, so they are connected when the switch is in either the left or right positions.

    The voltmeter is wired the same as the output socket, but through a momentary switch so it's not on and drawing power all the time.

    The center position of the DPDT switch disconnects the output socket, charge controller and voltmeter from the battery.

    The SAE connector for the PV panel is wired directly to the input of the Genasun.

    Thanks for taking a look and commenting!

  3. #123

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

    A few more photos showing some details.

    The photo below is a clearer shot of the wiring, and the 1-inch aluminum battery bracket can also be seen;




    Here is the momentary switch on the front of the Pelican case;




    The two brass machine screws that hold the battery bracket in place are run up through in the hollow of the two case feet;

    Last edited by NH Lumens; 04-09-2016 at 03:44 PM.

  4. #124
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by NH Lumens View Post
    A few more photos showing some details.

    The photo below is a clearer shot of the wiring, and the 1-inch aluminum battery bracket can also be seen;




    Here is the momentary switch on the front of the Pelican case;




    The two brass machine screws that hold the battery bracket in place are run up through in the hollow of the two case feet;

    Much like I said to Norm before he passed, you have a nice 'start-up' in your future.

    Great work, great posts and great pics, for the rest of us to emulate.

    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.

  5. #125

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    Much like I said to Norm before he passed, you have a nice 'start-up' in your future.
    Chris, thank you for your kind words and encouragement! I have more parts inbound for further improvement: add hardware to better secure the battery in the case, and upgrade the momentary switch to something more durable (I broke the first switch installing it, but I wasn't shocked since I paid under a dollar for it).

    In terms of commercialization, considering the litigious nature of today's society, offering something like this to the public would be extremely risky without CYA due diligence. A powerful market research case would have to made to justify the cost and risk, as well as a well-developed business plan (all of which sounds like work to me). For now I'm happy tinkering with the build and experimenting to learn how useful such devices can be in day-to-day living.

  6. #126

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

    I've been watching charge rates from the Renogy 30 watt monocrystalline collector through the Genasun MPPT charge controller. So far it seems pretty impressive.

    The 28ah Power Sonic AGM battery levels off at 13 volts a few hours after a complete charge. I ran the battery down to 12.6 volts (voltmeter dancing between 12.5 and 12.6 volts) through multiple recharges of iPhones and Kindles, which would indicate a DOD level in the low 80 percent range. Placing the collector in direct sunlight mid day under a clear sky brought the battery back to full charge in 1 hour 24 minutes.

    My next test will be to run the battery down to 12.0 volts (about a 50% DOD). Based on what I'm seeing so far, I expect the battery will be fully recharged under the same weather conditions in four to five hours. If this holds true, the collector/charge controller combo will exceed my original calculations/expectations (my target was six hours to fully recharge from a 50% DOD).
    Last edited by NH Lumens; 04-15-2016 at 04:18 PM.

  7. #127

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

    Just as an FYI, I ran another test today.

    Yesterday I ran the 28ah AGM battery down to 11.9 volts, which would indicate about a 60% DOD. Today was another blue-sky day at 70 degrees F., with the panel mounted on a tripod and keeping it squared to the sun, fully recharged the battery in 7 hours, 5 minutes. This calculates out to a charge rate of about 2.4 amps an hour from the small 30-watt panel and Genasun MPPT controller.

    This is serving as test bed for a larger 800 watt roof-mount system with 440ah of storage that I am envisioning.

  8. #128

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

    Take a look at these beauties I found today. Solar AND wind turbine.

    I was so amazed when I spotted them.
    What do you mean they blew up the death star.......... Wait....What the hell is an Aluminium Falcon?

  9. #129
    Flashaholic* degarb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by pblanch View Post
    Take a look at these beauties I found today. Solar AND wind turbine.

    I was so amazed when I spotted them.

    Whoa! I am imagining, wondering, the small amount of watts of each times 26 to 30 million light poles in the US...If all could contribute their excess energy into the power grid, as micro power plant; how much energy could be produced?


    ........"There are an estimated 26 million streetlights in the United States, consuming as much electricity annually as 1.9 million households and generating greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 2.6 million cars. At least 60 percent of these streetlights are owned and operated by the private sector.".....
    Last edited by degarb; 04-22-2016 at 06:37 AM.
    Some people are all lumens and no lux, while others are all lux and no lumens. Some just thank God they have neither.-- All of my lights have throw--some pretty darn far, into the garbage.

  10. #130
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    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    I like the pelican case build - very clean setup.
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  11. #131

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

    Some nice little setups here! I have a small one myself to run my Soaker Tub pump.
    The Soaker Tub pump experiment is part of the switch over to Lithium Ion Batteries (18650's to be precise).

    Lithiums don't like to be over-charged, so a new controller is on the way.
    Currently using one of my older ones, but also am running 4 18650's (vs 3) so they don't over charge.
    I also will not mention the controller until I've tested it to be sure it works as described.
    I will say it's a 12v 10a mppt with dual USB ports.
    Currently using 30w of solar.

    I'd like to see it work, but I would recommend a TP (?) controller that matches the device your attempting to charge.
    I use a TP4056, but that matches my devices. I use it only with the battery bank removed from the solar setup.
    I'm not convinced that the panels will not spike, even with the controller on there..
    Just being safe I guess...

  12. #132
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    Default Re: Portable solar charging setup I just built...

    Quote Originally Posted by NH Lumens View Post
    Some great looking work!

    Like the rest of you, we have occasional power outages, one the result of an ice storm in 2008 that lasted for seven days. Our 5500 watt portable generator keeps us with heat, water and the basic necessities during the day but at night it is turned off.

    I have since greatly expanded my supply of Li-ion powered flashlights (the flashaholic thing) and needed chargers, but the chargers still depend on power to operate. Two of them, an Xtar VP-2 and the charger that came with my Surefire PR1 have 12-volt adapters for use in a standard auto 12-volt socket, so I decided to build my own version of a solar powered charging station to power these two chargers, as well as our numerous hand-held devices that recharge via a USB port.


    I've been using the DIY charging station for the last few weeks since completion and it is so far working well. My next project is converting a pair of table lamps to 12-volt operation for use with the station during power outages, or for normal use with a 12-volt transformer plugged into a switched outlet.

    I like your Pelican box idea. I've been meaning to start something similar built in one of the plastic ammo boxes I saw on an ice fishing forum for powering an ice shanty, another rabbit hole I've been circling and sniffing. Now I'm rethinking...
    My local Harbor Freight has their Pelican clone on sale, or did. No reason not to expand that idea to include the added versatility of solar charging.

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