This is a place to get advice and find links to cheap offgrid enegy products.

If you would like to support reviewing products click the donate link and add what you wont reviewing in the paypal option :)

 

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...

A evil tainted favour leads to a renewable energy mess

  To illustrate what a mess we are currently in. Solar power over the last 10 years has plummeted in cost and crept up in efficacy, leading to a shift to sustainable energy in many...

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...

Smartphone Solar Charging

Am thinking of running a workshop on small scale solar power. Here is an example of a cheap set-up that will run your large smart phone (and charge a tablet) ...

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...

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...

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...

Basic boat 12v electrics

Basic boat 12v electrics I see so many people with battery issues thought I would do a basic post. Battery state is a bit of witchcraft, you can get an idea of charge by using a...

Puting up the wind mill

My test wind mill, works, made from PVC piping a a small electric motor and a quadcopter blade for the rotor. Puts out 2-3v in a small wind. Testing the aluminium scaffolding...

Balcombe Protection Camp has a working solar power station

While summer lasts we aspire to camp electrics being completely powered by solar power. Currently the kitchen, massage/meeting tent and the media/tech tent are working. We have LED...

Balcombe - power use

I have been at Balcombe anti-fracking camp for two weeks now (DRAFT) Broken inverter box of shame We have come a long way in the tech tent in helping to change the mindset...

Balcombe - working in the tech tent

Its been an interesting and educational experience working in the tech tent at the anti-fracking protest camp.  When I arived, in the first 3 days none of the solar panles...

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...

You can't always get what you want

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/09/19/the-coming-era-of-unlimited-and-free-clean-energy/ This is sugar coated but has truth to it, the end of carbon based economy...

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...

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...

Review of Goalzero adventure pack - Solar power

UPDATE : they sent a replacement panel and battery pack and am awaiting a bag to send back the old ones so they can test them. Good company. Nomad 7 (7 watts) Solar Panel and Guide 10...

Camp tech needs for Balcombe

Currently we have half the solar panels we ordered working to power core camp phone, laptops and tech tent (250w) – with limited public phone charging. And a second 40w solar powered...

How to solar power your Tablet

You need a panel with at least 14W to charge a tablet, the are a lot of them out there, but, they get VERY mixed reviews. I have only used larger or smaller panels so can't vouch for any of...

Cheap travel/small screening projector

LED bulbs, cheap lithium battery’s and high power USB charging have changed what a projector is. Its now easily possible to have a full cinematic experience in your pocket and run it for hours on very cheap USB battery’s. The days of expensive, power hungry and fragile projectors are over for all but the most demanding permanent set-ups. The are hundreds of these “micro” projectors available, they vary in quality a lot, here is a review of a good one.

If your looking for a very cheap travel/small screening projector I can recommend this one

ECsee-ES130-Mini-DLP-Projector

Tiny, relatively well made, lots of ports and did I say very cheap.

LED bulb so robust long life and low power.

Plays videos from HDMI, USB thumb drive, micro SD card in many formats (it will not play surround sound audio files). As with many embedded playback devices it can get the aspect ratio wrong this is a normal problem. Will work fine by HDMI with image and sound from a laptop etc.

Used it at a recent all night illegal rave party under a railway bridge to provide background images, plunged into a small USB battery (5000mah) it easily lasted the night on loop.

Fits in your pocket and has a built in battery which last 1-2 hours, charges/runs off standard USB up to 2amps.

Its no were near its rated 800 lumen, more like 50-100 which is normal for a projector this size. You would have to pay something like £500 for a 500 lumen LED projector. Its brighter and the sound is louder if you plug it into a 2amp USB battery/power supply rather than run it off its internal battery.

Sound might be an issue when running on mains power due to hum.

In darkness it creates a large bright (somewhat over saturated) image, like all micro projectors it will struggle to overcome ambient light.

Specification:

Display Type DLP Technology
Resolution 854x480
Highest resolution supported 1080p (this is acturly only 854x480 and will be dowen scaled)
Brightness 800 Lumens (this is not true)
Contrast 800:1
Aspect Ratio 4:3 ,16:9
Built-in battery 3.7V 1500 mA
Focusing Manner Manual Focus,F=125
Image Size 14 to 150 Inches
Projection Distance 35.5cm-430cm(short throw)
Lamp LED Lamp
Power consumption 10W Max
Speakers 8Ω1W
Lamp Life 20,000 Hours
Interfaces HDMI/USB/AV/SD/3.5mm earphone jack
Supported Video Format 3GP(H263, MPEG4) / AVI(XVID, DIVX, H264) / MKV(XVID, DIVX, H264) / FLV(flv1) /
MOV(H264) / MP4(MPEG4,AVC) / MPG(MPEG1) / VOB(MPEG2) / RMVB(RV40)
Supported Audio Format MP3 / WMA / ASF / OGG / AAC / WAV
Supported Picture Format JPG / PNG / BMP
Supported Document  Format TXT
Color Green, White
Dimensions 78*71*24.5mm (L x W x D)
Weight 130g

 

Have been testing it for a week, so far I would say a buy.

7/10 value for money

 


Installing new or upgrading solar

These Tracer MPPT charge controllers are good and worth the extra money.

Get the display and you have a no brainpower set-up.

LINK
 


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 175W

These look good for boats, bimblesolar is the place for ethicaly cheap solar.

Specifications:

Maximum Power: 175 watts
Maximum Power Voltage: 23 volts
Open Circuit Voltage: 29.3 Voc
Short-circuit Current: 8.29 amps
Model: SESE48-156M

LINK

 

 

 


Best small USB Solar Panel

Solar USB Charger 6W

Simply plug your USB charger into the back of the charger and let the sun charge it back up, good for external USB batterys.

Good for travelling, festivals, trips to the park and charging on your car dash board.  If you are traveling then you can use the side tags to strap it to your back pack so it will charge your devices while you walk along.  It has a zip up net on the back to keep all your charging cables neatly together.

Specifications

Maximum Power: 6W±5%
Numbers of Panels:2
High efficiency:20%
Operating Voltage:5V
Operating Current:1200mA
Output Terminal: Intelegent USB
Extend Size: 200 x 400 x 20mm
Folded Size: 200 x 155 x 26mm
Weight: 250g
Bag Material:Fabric (waterproof):PVC
Solar Panel: Sunpower Solar wafer
Color:black
Zip net to keep cables

LINK

Features

  • Recharge by: USB, Solar Panel
  • Power Output: USB, AA/AAA Batts.
  • Ideal for: Phone, GPS, Headlamp
  • Kit Includes: Guide 10 & Nomad 7
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs

With the Guide 10 Plus Recharger and Nomad 7 Solar Panel you have a portable, rugged charging kit as adventurous as you are. Charge AAs from the sun or any USB port, then power your phone, MP3, GPS, or perk up your tablet in a pinch.

LINK

 


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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