Canadian Canoe Routes

Recommend me a solar charging system
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Author:  sbaillie [ November 8th, 2019, 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommend me a solar charging system

I use the biolite pretty exclusively now, and we have no trouble keeping the cameras and phones charged for 10 day trips with it. Its not terribly fast, I'd say in a morning of boiling multiple pots of coffee, cooking bacon, boiling oatmeal the phone gains around 20% charge.

Author:  Paddle Power [ November 8th, 2019, 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommend me a solar charging system

Battery packs are simple and ease to use. They are great at recharging devices while in a tent etc. They loose some charge over time as well as using them in colder temperatures. Battery packs work very well on fixed duration trips or when you know how much charging/battery packs you need. There’s a break even point weight wise.

Solar panel battery pack kits are a bit more work as you have to recharge the battery pack. Usually I can keep the battery pack charged by leaving the solar panel out recharging the battery pack during breakfast, lunch or once in camp. If the battery pack is low because of a higher demand of recharging devices or if it’s been overly cloudy then I’ll have it out during the day in the canoe. The concept is a battery pack paired with a solar panel means never running out of power. It’s a flexible setup. Recharging by battery pack, by solar panel, by both separately or combined. Even through overcast skies some charging is possible. I have a second solar panel that I sometimes take to increase options such as to speed up charging especially with clouds. I think my GoalZero Venture 30 battery pack and solar panel kit is about 700 g, the same weight as the aforementioned two Anker battery packs.

I don’t think Biolite recharging is for me. I like the fact that my system is hands off once opened/setup. Plus I charge while using a device. Nevertheless it’s good to present options.

Author:  recped [ November 8th, 2019, 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recommend me a solar charging system

Paddle Power wrote:
They loose some charge over time as well as using them in colder temperatures.

I agree but I have found a great deal of difference between manufacturers. On my summer trip I had 3 and used the two "lesser" (not well known brands) first because I am aware that they do lose power over time. The Anker on the other hand does not seem to do the same, I did not use it at all during the trip and when I returned home (after 40 days) I was able to fully charge it in only two minutes which indicates to me the loss was VERY small.

In a similar vein, my unbranded GoPro batteries will only hold a charge for a few days whereas my GoPro branded batteries will hold a charge for several weeks (at least).

Lithium batteries come in many levels of quality, for mission critical uses it is wise to pay more for quality.

On the other hand, budget alkaline batteries seem to be almost as good as much more expensive branded versions. I recently tried some Duracel AAA's instead of the dollar store ones I generally use, they seemed to have greater output initially but didn't last much longer than the cheapo ones.

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