Solar Power Bank

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by glenpinn, May 26, 2021.

  1. glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    Hey everyone, i have been thinking about grabbing a new 20,000mAh Power Bank for travel, and i was recommended these AusPowerBank models, thought i might try one of these Solar ones with the torch light, but i just wanted to ask if it really is worth it, and also to ask if anyone knows of a better brand/model that i should also look at.

    https://www.auspowerbanks.com.au/pr...r-bank-with-wireless-charging-and-flashlight/

    Cheers
     
  2. Butcher9_9

    Butcher9_9 Member

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    I have not tried that one but the solar battery bank I have takes forever to charge from solar so I just charge it via the USB. It only have 1 panel vs 3 but still.

    I just had alook at the specs and that panel is rated at 5.5W but given you are unlikely to have it at the correct angle its more likely 4W max, bank is 72Wh so 18 hours of full sun to charge so maybe 2-3 days for max charge.
     
  3. OP
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    glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    I reckon that most of the time it would be sitting on a small velcro pad on the centre section of or Dash in our Forester, just above where the screen is located, should get some charge during the day, especially in Qld, and if we are overseas in Asia where we normally go every other year, it would just sit on a table outside our room or even on a window sill facing the sun.

    Getting some charge from 3 small panels is better than just relying on a USB charge, especially when we are in more remote places and power may be an issue.
     
  4. merlin13

    merlin13 Member

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    If you're going to locations remote enough to have dodgy mains power then personally I wouldn't be relying on reliable cellphone coverage... :lol:

    I'd be inclined to also pack a little 12-to-5 volt converter that can output some serious milliamps and some alligator leads. At least that way you could poke yer head in under the nearest bonnet for a quick charge top-up for both the phone and the powerbank. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  5. OP
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    glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    Well during our travels to places like the Philippines we do travel mostly to some very remote places (islands and beaches) where in some cases there is no power at all (powered from generators only) but yet their may be a decent cell phone coverage.

    Not that we can go overseas because our Dictator leader Skomo and his liberal cronies won't let us.

    Have you got any links to these little 12-to-5 volt converters that you refer to so i can take a look.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  6. Butcher9_9

    Butcher9_9 Member

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    If you have a car then get a USB car charger and a cheaper bank. Way faster charging, more reliable ect.
     
  7. OP
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    glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    LOL yeah i think i had a blonde moment with that comment about sitting the power bank on the dash to charge it with the solar panels, i never thought about the 20 usb ports that we have in the car to charge it with while traveling locally :rolleyes:

    So let me clarify, i actually thought about these solar models more for when we are away from mains power and not having a car, as in traveling to remote places and overseas travel, because we have had a lot of cases where we have gone to remote places in Asia for a few days or more, and had the phones and netbook go flat, in one case i had my white 20,000mAh Mi branded power bank with me and i had forgotten to charge it after being in another remote area for several days, so when our phones went flat, that unit didn't have enough juice left in it to do any charging at all, so having the solar unit with us in those situations and just leaving it somewhere to charge during the day would be pretty handy, making sure that it is fully charged before we get there.

    Think i will just grab one, i know it might seem like overkill, and can pay a lot less for a non solar unit, but at least i will have the solar option if i really need it, and i can give my other Mi branded unit to my Daughter to put in her car.
     
  8. paulvk

    paulvk Member

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    I would never go anywhere remote without a EPIRB "Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon"
     
  9. merlin13

    merlin13 Member

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    Sure, ugly as the ones I'm thinking of and even bought myself are... (told you to add in alligator leads...). ;)

    There's something like this or this. I've got some of the first ones "somewhere" in the shed, and one the later ones lurking around somewhere in the bits box that I didn't bolt into the Wife's vehicle a few years ago.

    But the ones I was thinking of are this one and this one, that I bought one of each of couple of months ago to strap into the overhead consoles of my older Forester and Outback, to run the dashcam and maybe the reversing camera and ditch running the USB power lead(s) from the cigarette socket right up around the windscreen.
     
  10. slavewone

    slavewone Member

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    I bought my parents a $30 Maxxlee 10,000 mAh solar power bank. This thing is pretty cheap and nasty. The unit works well enough and since it lives on a window sill, it is always charged enough for several top ups but not 10,000mAh worth.
    I got it because their mountain retreat can lose power for days at a time and charging the phones is really the only thing they don’t have an alternative for.

    I’ve got an ~A4 sized 20w panel, and a USB output thingy designed to run off 2s-4s lipo’s that can charge a phone in a few hours (as long as it’s not cloudy). It’s just dumb USB, and a little agricultural for a setup, but It’s great for charging the USB camping gadgets during the day (and power banks at a pinch).

    I have also bought a USB skin for my cordless tool batteries. It’s enough for a weekend. They just need to make a skin that does USB-C, power delivery etc and once armed with a few batteries, I doubt I’ll bother with the solar panel on - even a long weekend.
     
  11. MakerZone

    MakerZone New Member

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    Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think battery packs with solar built-in are a bad idea because:
    1) The battery pack needs to sit in the sun for hours, which is likely to damage the batteries as they heat up (lithium battery lifespan is shortened by too much heat)
    2) The solar panels (even with 3 on top) never seem to be large enough to charge the batteries at a practical speed

    These types of solar battery packs seem more like a gimmick to me than a practical device.

    A better solution IMO would be a dedicated battery pack and a large folding camping solar panel (which folds up to a small portable package).
    That way you get a lot more power from the solar panel, and you can sit your battery pack in the shade (even makeshift shade by sitting something over it), with a cable running between them.
    Yes you lose a little bit of power through a cable (due to the voltage drop) but considering the foldout camping solar panels are many times the size of the one on that battery pack it's still going to charge a lot faster.

    HTH

    Cheers,
    John
     
  12. OP
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    glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    You may well be right, i had no idea that batteries suffer while being exposed to heat for too long, but i have never had anything to do with these fold up camping solar panels either, so i can't really comment.

    As far as buying a solar power bank myself, i have not bought one yet, and most likely won't bother until we are able to travel overseas again, and just don't see the point in having one or two of them sitting in my drawer not being used.
     
  13. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    The first thing that crossed my mind when putting a solar powered battery pack on the dash is, wow, do you know how hot a dash can be on a sunny day? Glass is a great way to magnify the suns heat.
    By all means if they are solar powered then you would assume they would be fine in the sun, but on the dash is a whole different kettle of fish.

    I'd be too scared to leave one on the dash when the car is parked and the ac or some kind of airflow is not happening, unless I was hoping the insurance company wanted to buy me a new car.

    A USB charger wired to run even when the ignition is off would be a better option, the needs of a power bank are tiny compared to the available capacity of a car battery.
     
  14. paulvk

    paulvk Member

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    I do as I have a sensor there 60 deg C regularly even in winter.
     
    Ratzz likes this.
  15. Pemalite

    Pemalite Member

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    You are better off just buying a regular large-capacity battery bank and buying a seperate 80w solar panel/blanket to charge it via USB with... Plenty will roll or fold up so you can store them in convenient locations.
     
  16. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    105Ah Deep Cycle second battery in the boot, charging from the alternator with a Voltage Sensing Regulator. USB ports and a 240v inverter in the cabin, running from the rear battery, just in case :D.
    That's what I did with my car... but I also wanted to run a CPAP machine overnight, and watch movies when I wound down after a long drive and wanted to sleep in a tent next to the car.

    It also acted almost like a giant capacitor, on a high powered car stereo, which stopped the lights from dimming with the beat using just the standard battery system, which it was doing with a 120A alternator and a start battery which turned out to be on it's way out.


    Seriously though, just a simple USB outlet in a cigarette lighter/12v socket in your car should be all you need IMHO.

    If you plan on being away for the car for any length of time, buy a very high capacity power bank rather than a solar powered one. It would probably cost you a fair bit less and be more reliable than a solar powered one.

    I have a TP-Link 10,000 mAh power bank I bought online from Computer Alliance (QLD) for 30 bucks, that would be enough to recharge most phones from dead flat several times. I bought that specific one as I know for a fact that it allows passthrough, which many don't. Acts like a tiny UPS due to the passthrough, which is what I needed it for.

    You could probably buy a much larger capacity for not much more money by shopping around without the specific need for passthrough that I wanted. I'm sure I've seen 40,000 mAh power banks for under 50 bucks on Ebay.

    Still not enough? Buy a pair.... :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
  17. Phido

    Phido Member

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    The USB power banks are available in quite large sizes now.

    https://www.amazon.com.au/ROMOSS-30...1&keywords=rossmoss+30+&qid=1626659231&sr=8-1

    I have 30,000 mAH one, which does fast charging, and works great for the family. On long interstate car trips, the kids can keep their tablets charged up in the car and then at the stop, wife and I can charge our phones, plug any other usb device (head phones etc). It has enough juice to keep us going for about 5-7 days. At which point we are usually able to charge it back up.

    Its about half a kilo and is the size of a small paperback book in thickness but size of the phone in deskspace. There are smaller ones. You will get dozens of charges out of it. Lithium has minimal phantom draw, and so the battery will keep significant charge without use for many months.

    You need significant solar cells to charge that kind of battery, like a 1m2 worth of cells. ~100w+. Not the sort that are built into a battery charger.
     
  18. OP
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    glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    I have decided not to go with any type of solar power pack for some of the reasons mentioned in the previous posts, plus i neglected to mention that i also need to buy something that is able to recharge or power a netbook or a laptop as well, and have a bunch of connectors and appropriate cables to fit most netbooks and laptops.

    I will keep my current 20,000mAh Mi branded unit for every day use while traveling with a phone, and for travel to more remote places for several days at a time, i think i will just buy a single 50,000mAh unit that will power or recharge a netbook or laptop.

    My current 20,000mAh Mi branded unit does not do this, only good for phones.

    https://www.auspowerbanks.com.au/ - seem to have a great range of power banks, they are not cheap to buy, but their units are very reliable and apparently very good quality, unfortunately they are not accepting calls right now so i can't speak to someone about recommending me the right model for my needs.

    As yet i have not bothered looking elsewhere, but there may well be other much cheaper options out there, but i am prepared to pay more to get the best quality unit/s that i can buy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021

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