Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 2 [3]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Seeking advice for portable solar panels  (Read 10765 times)
Morris Taub
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 372



WWW
« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2008, 05:03:51 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Dear all,

I am planning an extended trip in Nepal in a few months from now, and am starting to look for a rugged solution to recharge my batteries on the go.

Solar panels come to mind, but I have no yet found anything really convincing. The idea would be to find something I can fix on the top of my bag pack so as to recharge batteries as I walk.

The camera is a Nikon D3.

Any experience/advice would be highly appreciated.

Thank you.

Regards,
Bernard
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Bernard...maybe you know about this already, maybe someone has mentioned it in this thread (i didn't read all the replies) but i came upon this info on thom hogan's site and thought it would interest you...

[a href=\"http://www.bythom.com/solar.htm]http://www.bythom.com/solar.htm[/url]
Logged

Argentina
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2008, 12:43:58 AM »
ReplyReply

I'm hiking the PCT(Pacific Crest Trail) this year with an olympus had some of the same concerns except I can get out about once a week. I am just going to carry extra batteries, but I fly radio controlled aircraft also, and there are plenty of somewhat light weight 12 volt chargers for lithium batteries, most cameras use a 2 cell lithium rechargable, but lighter still would be a car charger since it has one output voltage setting and fairly low input requirements in most cases.

Get any generic flexible solar charger that will recharge nimh or nicads probably will do 4 at once due to voltage constraints. I'm assuming your not going solo as I am so if 3 in your group carried a solar charger on top of their pack  you wil have 12 charged cells to provide 14.4 volts. Most of the light weight chargers only charge AA cells but you can easily solder your own packs of cells. you will need to experiment to see if this is sufficient at low temps(note: specialty cells for rc motors can be discharged rapidly).  Except car batteries are really more like 13 volts so you may need a resistor for cheap and dirty or a voltage regulator to connect to the car charger, I would probably test with 12 cells and see if the voltage and temperature are still reasonable before trying to regulate voltage.

I could easily make something like this work with a few hundred dollars in parts. I believe the weight to power ratio would probably not be worth it unless you could set up a large flexible panel in the sun during the day and hike only in the evening through early morning ie. night hike.  But it would need to be tested in cold weather. The solar panels should be fine, except for power out put needed for your requirements. If your hiking how do you make sure your panel is receiving optimum sunlight? Will you be able to set the panels in the sun for the better part of the day? Instead of AA you may need sub C or larger so a larger panel but the batteries voltage/amperage testing would take time. Also you would have to determine how many days in a row you may have no sun? (weather related). How many Batteries per day will you need to recharge? How large a safety margin you want vs weight you would want to carry? possibly might be lighter to just carry a bunch of spare batteries.

Heres a company that makes what your looking for but in no way would the backpack actually work for a 3 week trek and from the reviews I've seen it is kinda short on power, And you still need the car charger.

http://www.voltaicsystems.com/

I remember seeing an article a few years ago about a backpack design that creates energy from the up and down movement of the pack, I cant find it now and don't believe it was ever produced commercialy. Theres also someone playing with a knee brace generator.

I know you probably want a solution but I dont believe its praticable at this time. My base weight clothes, sleeping bag, back pack, stove, etc is under 13 lbs. Add food, water, camera gear im up to as much as 35 to 40 lbs. for 6 to 7 day sections Ounces matter to me and spare batteries make more sense. Sounds like a fun adventure have a great trip.
Logged
Sigi
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 92


WWW
« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2008, 12:10:31 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Dear all,

I am planning an extended trip in Nepal in a few months from now, and am starting to look for a rugged solution to recharge my batteries on the go.

Solar panels come to mind, but I have no yet found anything really convincing. The idea would be to find something I can fix on the top of my bag pack so as to recharge batteries as I walk.

The camera is a Nikon D3.

Any experience/advice would be highly appreciated.

Thank you.

Regards,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=168327\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Hello Bernard,

I can not help you with solar panels but for trips like this I use a product called "PIXO C2" to charge my batteries for my Canon. Mine came with a cable for normal electrical sockets but also with a cable for 12 V car adaptor - cigarette ligher. I do not know if it will also charge the batteries of your camer but one can find out I guess.

Sigi
Logged

matt4626
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 187


« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2008, 12:39:14 PM »
ReplyReply

Thom Hogan has a recent post on his web site regarding this topic. FYI
Logged
Sigi
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 92


WWW
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2008, 05:34:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Bernard,

check out this site:

http://www.powermonkey-explorer.com/

It might be a solution for you.

Sigi
Logged

Morgan_Moore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2221


WWW
« Reply #45 on: March 07, 2008, 11:14:21 PM »
ReplyReply

Bernard

Any progress report - have you been yet ?

------------------

I had the pleasure of photographing Pen Hadow last week

I tried to extract some info from him

He was a little cagey and busy and I was trying to take pictures to a national paper deadline so the conversation didnt go too far

This is what I gleaned..

-Some batteries dont take charge in the cold

-He has some expensive and specialist custom made chargers on his kit to equalise input voltage at 12v and are very efficient

-Lots of battereies !

(a side note : being a dumb ass I left my wallet in his office, kindly he tried to take the time to send it back to me but ended up flying to LA with it in his luggage ! He was then kind enough to Fed Ex it back to me from LA to the UK - what a nice chap - a bit embarrasing for me being  in front a bloke for who losing kit could be fatal I am sure - luckily I am so tight that I can live without a wallet for a week)

SMM
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 11:15:42 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
www.sammorganmoore.com -photography
Kumar
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 659


WWW
« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2008, 12:39:52 AM »
ReplyReply

Hello Bernard,

Peter Grote has taken some amazing pictures in the Himalayas with a Betterlight and a Pano/Wide View Camera Adapter. At the 2006 Betterlight conference he showed us his pictures and spoke about the photography conditions and equipment preparations. He spoke in some detail about the solar panels he was carrying, as well as the weather conditions. He is a very straightforward guy and would be able to tell you more directly. Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced his email address. I have his postal address and telephone number, which I can PM if you like. Or you could ask Mike Collette at Betterlight, who would have Peter's email address.

Cheers,
Kumar
Logged

Jerry Clement
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 26


WWW
« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2008, 12:49:19 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Dear all,

I am planning an extended trip in Nepal in a few months from now, and am starting to look for a rugged solution to recharge my batteries on the go.

Solar panels come to mind, but I have no yet found anything really convincing. The idea would be to find something I can fix on the top of my bag pack so as to recharge batteries as I walk.

The camera is a Nikon D3.

Any experience/advice would be highly appreciated.

Thank you.

Regards,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=168327\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


My experiences as a amateur radio operator (ham) with everything solar for powering radios in the back country brings me to believe what you need is a flexable solar panel of aproximatly 8-12 watts in output used in conjunction with a selectable voltage converter that has selectable outputs to match the voltage of your camera batteries (or very close such as the 9.6v setting for my 8.3v canon Li-Ion batteries). The cable that exits the converter as a rule has various connectors that may be of no use to you as they will not match the contacts of your batteries, however a couple of small alligator clips will get around this problem. I have used a flex 12v solar panel on my backpack charging my 9.6v Li-Ion battery packs for my portable transcievers and other electronic gear while backpacking. Mountain Equipment Co-Op carries some nice roll-up panels that attach to your backpack for this purpose.
Jerry
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 07:36:41 AM by Jerry Clement » Logged

Sigi
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 92


WWW
« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2008, 01:51:29 AM »
ReplyReply

Hello Bernard,

here is the link to Peter Grote as mentioned in a reply:

http://mastersofphotography.com/index.php?...ntpage&Itemid=1

sigi
Logged

Pages: « 1 2 [3]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad