I realized that I had taken lots of photos of solar energy products and I thought that others may be interested in them. Here are the photos with explanations.
Earlier I wrote about the GoPad 8 Watt solar panel. Incredibly this makes solar power even on overcast days. It has been overcast all week yet has charged my iphone, ipad, and solar lights. It is amazing. What you see in the photo is it being held in place by a bug screen. I bought some grommets for it and they work great. So that is attached to some paracord and it is safe and secure.
You can see at the bottom the RunACC lights that I also wrote about. I have had them for two months and they have been amazing. No problems and I don’t mind charging them each day. I use these at night and on their brightest setting they provide 7 hours of light. I have not used other lights at night than these two.
You can see that it has the sticker of the place that I bought it from. Every other small panel I have seen advertised always says “need direct sunlight” to work. It has been very cloudy this week and only a few minutes of bright sunlight. In those few minutes the charge rate quadrupled. This is just a guess but probably on overcast days it makes 2W instead of the 8 due to the speed increase I saw when it was full light. Since it can be rolled up this would be my first choice to take camping, and so much more affordable than the powerfilm and smaller as well.
This is an interesting photo. What you see here is a Mini anderson to 5.5mm DC adapter. This will allow me to plug it from the solar panel that has a 5.5mm DC output, into the new solar generator I will be receiving soon. I will share when I get it. I am so excited! It will triple my power and enable me to have several days worth of stored power instead of several hours.
Yes I decided what I wanted to do. I am not ready to spend $1500 to get a week of stored power yet mostly because the solar generator I want would weight 61 lbs. Since I move often, that isn’t the best weight for me. I will wait a little longer to see if battery technology will progress and then perhaps buy another newer solar generator.
Now this Mini anderson is also called an Anderson 30A (Amp). It can be confusing when you look for an adapter and you don’t recognize the names. You really have to look at the photos. I believe I got the right adapter. With this connector the black/red are clearly connected and I have the correct gender for it as well.
I bought another one of these adapters because I didn’t like the gauge of this wire. As you electricians know, the thickness or gauge of the wire is very important to how much power you are using with it. I’ll give you an example. I once had an electric heater with an extension cord. That cord was thick but it started to melt because the heater was used often. I had to buy a thicker cable because it was so hot with all the current flowing through it.
So here is my plan with the new generator and solar panels. I want to be able to connect my new generator to any solar panel I have. I will also buy a Mini anderson to MC4 adapter so that I can use the Merlin panel I have.
I just went on Amazon and bought this cable twice. I bought a male that was positive, and a male that was negative to the Mini anderson so that I had the right polarity guaranteed. I have noticed that some vendors sometimes switch their polarity so I am not taking any chances. Plus when I buy things in the future I am covered with the adapter issue.
Yes this might be overkill but I like being prepared and I want to be able to plug it in to everything that I have in my growing collection. Plus having an extra adapter lets me have some measure of backup if something gets damaged when I use it. When you are starting out, extra parts are always handy.
This is called a coupon. If you zoom in on this you will see small wires between the two panels, and you will see also a collection point of the energy at the left. What I love about this is that it demonstrates the technology of the solar panel. This is a close up of the Merlin panel that I have. The company I bought it from sent it to me since he knew I was interested in understanding solar power better.
I have to say that the difference in support from that vendors and others is like night and day. Other people didn’t want to give me the time of day but he spent time on me on the phone answering my questions, and even reached out to contacts in industry to double check on information I was told by a vendor. It turns out that the vendor told me the wrong information so now I will buy their product. He is very knowledgeable and I feel good supporting him rather than some faceless person on Amazon. The problem I have had with vendors there is that they often don’t even make sense.
For example, I considered buying some solar equipment from Amazon and I read their Q&A. Their poor english and strange responses make it difficult to want to do business with them. I wondered at times if they even understood what was being asked. I also don’t like that there are few guarantees or websites about these companies from Amazon. I am transitioning from buying on amazon to smaller mom and pop places. I need the service.
This is a closer shot of what you see above. I wanted to make it clear what I saw. This line is sewn into the portable foldable solar power and so far it has worked very well. I even accidentally damaged my Merlin and it is still working!
What happened? I put it out and a strong wind came up and it flipped it around and smacked it against the building. It has a small silver streak about a quarter of an inch but it hasn’t affected the power output. This is totally my fault. I should have balanced the panel better and thought about wind more carefully that day. My solution to this is that I am going to hang some weight off the bottom and that will keep it from flipping over. Since I have paracord that can support 550 lbs, I am not concerned about the extra weight.
One of the things that I have learned is that thin film solar panels can take abuse better than regular panels. I don’t advise this, but the powerfilm that I had slammed against the side of the building too and got a similar discoloration. It didn’t affect the power output. However I didn’t like the low power yield of the Powerfilm or its high price so it goes in the emergency bag and will stay there.