Author Topic: Solar Charger  (Read 2572 times)

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Offline dancingcyclist

Solar Charger
« on: January 05, 2017, 07:08:37 pm »
I want to be able to use my phone during the day while riding for music and mapping and then recharge the phones battery at night using the solar chargers battery that has been fully charged during the day. Is this possible? Do they make such a setup? I'm new to this technology and have always had access to a 110 outlet this past year but that may be changing this summer with luck.

I have an iPhone 6 if that makes a difference.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Solar Charger
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 12:11:12 am »
I purchased a Voltaic Systems "Fuse 6W" 6.0W Portable Solar Tablet Charger about a year ago in preparation for a Northern Tier trip this year.  I strap it on the top of the gear on my rear rack and it has a full charge in a couple of hours.  It seem fairly rugged and I've had no issue with it.   I use it with an Android device but the description says it's compatible with iPhone and iPad.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Solar Charger
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 08:29:26 pm »
IDK I depends on your device and the battery of the solar charger.  I've used two different systems so far, and so far the Goal Zero system is the better of the two... but I haven't tried the Voltaic Systems Fuse 6W.   The Goal Zero Nomad with a Venture 30 battery would charge the itself and also was able to keep up with my old Samsung Galaxy 2s while I used MapMyRide as long as the screen was off. With the screen ON it couldn't keep up. The biggest thing I noticed is that if you don't have full sun, it drastically increases the time it takes to charge... so it's not really reliable in that sense that you could count on being able to recharge after fully draining your iPhone battery with a full day of music listening, and if you're planning on touring like this and want to also use your iPhone for communication and GPS, I would put some limit on your usage to ensure you have enough juice left to still do that...

I tried my hand at a review of it here
https://youtu.be/hRtrUYbVZwk

Link to their website (the solar kits portion) here
http://www.goalzero.com/solar-kits

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Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Solar Charger
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2017, 09:32:21 pm »
I purchased a Voltaic Systems "Fuse 6W" 6.0W Portable Solar Tablet Charger about a year ago in preparation for a Northern Tier trip this year.  I strap it on the top of the gear on my rear rack and it has a full charge in a couple of hours.  It seem fairly rugged and I've had no issue with it.   I use it with an Android device but the description says it's compatible with iPhone and iPad.
Comparing the specs on both systems, the Venture 30 has 7800 mah compared to the Fuse's 4000 mah (so it makes sense that the charge time would be about half) the panels compare at Nomad7 (7w) Fuse (6W) so the systems are roughly the same except that the Venture 30 has greater capacity and it's separate from the panels, so you can use it without the panels. since both systems are similarly priced, that puts the Goal Zero as a better buy, based solely on the numbers.

You can also get bigger panels from Goal Zero. there's a 15W, and a 20W that are compatible with the Venture30, and you can link multiple panels together (not sure if that's practical on a bike, but maybe, if you're taking a rest day on a tour) They also have larger batteries.  Also you can buy all the components separately from them too, and I recommend going for more if you can afford it and you'll be semi-counting on it. go right for a sherpa50 with a Nomad 20... it's pretty pricey though.  you can link multiple Nomad7 together, but you're still limited by the 7 watts max which is OK for charging a smartphone and the Venture 30 together, but not also, a light, a BT headset all at once

The Fuse you can get an additional external battery for as well
Also, now that I examined some of their other options it looks like they have some other offerings that might be worth looking at that have separate batteries although it doesn't look like the panels are hinged, which could be less efficient on a bike (the nomad 7's are 3+ hinged panels, a I can have one on top, one facing left, one right, to better ensure that at least one or two of them is facing the sun as I ride)

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