A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

My videos are on these two youtube channels visionontv 3,832,876 views and undercurrents 22,689,976 views

 

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Entries with tag 12v .

Problems with boat solar install

 

Installed a MPTT 12v set-up on my boat about 9 months ago, worked well getting 4-8 amps from 2x 120w panels mounted flat on the boat cabin roof.

 

A week or two ago it started to fail, one of the panels was putting out 1.4v the other full volts so disconnected one panel and the set-up worked for a few days before the other panel failed. It was putting out full voltage but only showing 0.1 amp on the MPTT controller under full sun.

 

Checked all the wiring, no change, so replaced all the wiring, this did not fix the issue. With all the new wiring I put in a older non MPTT charge controller and went away for the weekend, came back to find the battery’s at the same state of charge.

 

The “broken panel” was putting out 1.4v in the shade and 9.5v in full sun, the “working panel” 13-20v depending on the sun, but no power was going though to the battery’s.

 

I removed both panels and installed a old 100w flexible panel, this worked with the old charger and the MPTT charger. It seams both of the 120w panels had failed.

 

Talking to the the suppler to resolve the issue.  

Support reviewing offgride tech

Would like to test some bits from banggood for cheap offgride life. If you would like to push me a donation on the button on the left would help to make this happen.

Here are 2 potentially useful pieces of off grid kit


12000mAh 12V Car Jump Starter Car and laptop/USB Power Supply Battery


In theory this should charge off a portable solar panel, and run a laptop and any USB device. Almost all of these will fail to charge off 12-14v needing 16-19v to charge properly, this one says it will charge off a boat/car (12-14v) so good to test if this is true so I can recommend it as a backup winter boat/summer travel power source.

Nitecore MH20 CREE XM-L2 U2 1000LM USB Smallest LED Flashlight 18650



This would not only make a good flash light for dark nights on the tow-path it would make a good anti mugging device to scar away undesirables 1000 lumen is blighting bright. The current touch i use for this is only 70 lumen which works fine. This charges by USB so easy plug and forget no battery’s to replace.  Will it work? Hands on testing is the only way to tell.

If you would like to support reviewing these products and many others click the donate link on the side bar

Cheap solar panels

This is a very good deal for DIY solar power install

Second hand, Kyocera modules are known to last for well over 30 years, these panels have been used for around 10 years so there is still plenty of life left in them.

Link

Wind Turbine full of water

Charge controller looks fine

A simple guide on how to use boat batteries

The only time you can get a “true’ish” reading is after they have been sitting without charge in or out for a few hours. The rest of the time it's a “ruleofthumb” reading, you need to get used to this.

Don't go lower than 12.2v if you want your battery’s to last any time and 12.4v would be sensible cut off point to extend their life.

If you have limited power generation you need to run your battery's on full rather than empty. Otherwise your paying out big time in a year or less. It's normal that everyone wrecks their first set of batteries. Learn from this for the next set, this is a first step for new boaters.

You're living on a boat not a house, you can't just turn the lights on without thinking about all the above. The sooner you get used to this the sooner you can let it drift to the back of your mind.

Happy boating, my your lights shine bright and your laptop be fully charged.

Ps. Ignore anything beyond this as it’s likely to do more harm than good. Pss. Does not apply to geeks.

More info http://hamishcampbell.com/en/home/-/blogs/basic-boat-12v-electrics

Mobile Solar power for a laptop

Am thinking about running a workshop on portable solar power.

This is 32w folding solar panel with a battery pass through DC to DC transformer and 13' video editing laptop running adobe CS.

All Folds up and fits in a laptop bag.

The solar costs £200-250 and you need a relatively expensive ultra book with 3D graphics card to do CS editing. Portable solar will struggle to power a full sized editing laptop. Total cost just over £1000

Offgride travel with Small Solar Power

If you are taking your small USB powered devices off grid for a week or so then you will need a way to keep them powered up. In this review I look at 2 small folding solar panels. Both will charge a "dumb phone" or a normal smart phone and can charge larger phones or tablets for occasional use.

We have the Goalzero Nomad 7 from the USA and the smaller and cheaper UK based Bimbalesolar panel (A badged china import)

Both have approximately the same power output but the is a large price difference. The Slightly lower powered Bimble panel (6W) is a few years newer than the US panel (7W) thus smaller due to the use of 20% efficient cells compared to 17% for the older panel

The Nomad 7 has a light wait plastic regulator/plug box and has both USB and a 12v output (3-4W) which could be useful for trickle charging lead acid 12v battery’s. But not much everyday use for this function.

  • Weight: 16.2 oz (460 g)
  • Dimensions (unfolded): 9 x 1.5 x 17 in (22.9 x 3.8 x 43.2 cm)
  • Dimensions (folded): 9 x 1.5 x 6.5 in (22.9 x 3.8 x 16.5 cm)

The Cheaper panel has a heavy folded metal box.

Extend Size: 200 x 400 x 20mm
Folded Size: 200 x 155 x 26mm
Weight: 250g

Is the size and large price diffrence worth it?

Nomad 7 £80

Bimblesolar £28

The build quality of the Goalzero panel is excellent, with custom components throughout, and it will likely survive for longer with hard use. While the Bimblesolar panel has good build quality and will like survive OK. The cheaper panel might prove to be easer to repair if it fails as it is made with standard components. Both will work fine to charge your small USB device.

On balance the price, and to a lesser extent the size differences makes the Bimblesolar panel the clear winner between the two.

How to use:

If you can turn your device off to charge it as this will reduce charging time. (some devices will not turn off while pluged in such as iphone's)

Use a power pass through USB battery pack to store power while your charging your devices. You must look hard for "power pass though" and pay slightly more for this feature.

Keep your expensive electronics dry, cool, in the shade and out of site.

Take care of your USB cables as they are fragile. If you can use the cable that the device came with as each cable is actually different and can alter charging times. Shorter cabals are better than longer cables in general.

Wind Turbine Generator

Small Nemo 400W wind turbine with controller

1. Light weight
2. Silence blades(10meter noise 58dba)
3. Good alternator output (same wind speed the output power more than other brands at least 15%.)
4. Good wind design(excelent design can be working in 3m/s to 49.2m/s wind speed) 

Rotor Diameter:47 inches (1.2m)
Weight:12.3 lbs (5.6kg)
(Shipping: 26.5”x13.8”x8.3” (672x350x210mm) / 17.2 lbs (7.8kg))
Mount:1.5” schedule 40 pipe (1.9” OD, 48 mm)
Magnetic Material: NdFeB  (Neodymium Iron Boron)
Shaft Bearing: High Standard Sealed Bearing
Shaft: Stainless Steel
Fasteners (nuts and bolts): Stainless Steel
Start-up wind speed:7 mph (3.13 m/s)
Voltage:12 and 24 VDC
Rated Power:400 watts at 28mph (12.5m/s)
Controller:Microprocessor-based smart external regulator with Peak Power Tracking
Blades:Carbon Fiber Composite
Body:Cast aluminum (Marine is powder coated for corrosion protection)
Energy Production:38 kWh/mo @12mph (5.4m/s)
Warranty:3 Year Limited Warranty
Survival Wind speed:110 mph (49.2 m/s)
Over-speed Protection:Electronic torque control
Battery Bank Minimum:100 amp hours @ 12V, 50 amp hours @ 24V

Smart external regulator with Peak Power Tracking Controller
1. Automatic Circuit Break protection.
2. High wind protection.
3. Constant output power display LED.
4. Over charge protection.

LINK

 

Chargeing your Laptop form solar power

12V Macbook Magsafe2 Laptop Charger, rather than running an inverter and then your standard charger this will allow you to charge directly from your 12V batteries being more effecient and saving you power. Link

12V Universal Laptop Charger, rather than running an inverter and then your standard charger this will allow you to charge directly from your 12V batteries being more effecient and saving you power.

Adjustable output voltage at 15V, 16V, 18V, 19V, 20V, 22V 24V
Support most of the Notebook for HP IBM COMPAQ and SONY (With circle plug) LINK

 

 

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