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Rationing solar power with lack of sun

The last week and a half has been pretty cloudy where I live and rainy. I can’t put the panel out in rain since it said it is water resistant not waterproof. So I have to ration solar power with the lack of sun.

This means that I have unplugged my cleaning equipment and I have delayed connecting it to my laptops. I am going to use it to charge my iPhone, iPad, solar lights and when it starts to shine again then I will charge it to see how long it takes in normal sunlight. I have only seen the charge rate with it being very dark and overcast and that is not helpful to know the full charge rate it is capable of in my window.

Part of having the solar generator is having an emergency backup supply. I tend to conserve electricity when I can’t charge it regularly. Yes I know I could use the wall outlet but that defeats the purpose of having solar panels. I want to see how the solar panel experience is, so I just use the sun so I can get a sense of the charging times and its capacity.

I mentioned before considering buying a panel that had 330/400 watts. Unfortunately those panels use voltages that are much too high for this device. This device accepts 12 voltage input so that is what I have to use. I could buy a newer Merlins that is 170 Watts instead of 100 Watt Merlin that I am using. That might be an option. Right now though I’d like to see how it does with the 100 watt panel and then it will help me decide what to do.

Now there are other methods I could use to charge it when the sun isn’t shining. I could get a small wind power generator which many people who live off grid say that wind and sun is a great combination. I have investigated wind power and its expensive and I am not sure a good fit for apartments. I think a rotating blade would get the landlords attention. I probably won’t explore this option while I live in an apartment, but it is worthwhile if you have your own property.

I still have lots of power and if the battery gets too low I will charge via the grid. I hope I don’t have to come to that step however.

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