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Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:26 pm
by mr.jb.swe
I would like a fold-able based on your 1.5A 5V panel

1. Should protect panels in backpack ( rough treatment )
2. Good connectors like XT60 between each panel and allow the user to select serial or parallel
3. Nice to have easy way of mounting

I think a pragmatic approach is to sell the options separately"fold-able" protective case, wire,connectors...users can choose a kit that fit their needs.
( like you are doing with the usb option right now )

I have ordered cottonpickers plain 1.5A panels. I plan to use XT60 connectors and silicon wire .
My reason for not buying ready made foldable panels is the they seem to be to delicate with tiny connectors and hidden wires...

I want a fault tolerant system aimed for 5-6V but that allows me to sometimes boost it to "12V". If one panels break I want to be able to charge with the rest ( VERY important )

Volataic is close but no cigar ( don't like it's thin wire and bad connector )


Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:09 am
by cottonpickers
I like your ideas - particularly on series / parallel . I've got numerous drawings on how (not) to achieve this, but I agree that it would be very cool to achieve that. Currently I do it 'externally' by using a 'combining' lead for USB voltage or for car cigar voltage. I'm interested to see how your ideas progress ! :-) For my folders I use 24AWG silicone wire, and (touch wood) none have broken to date, but there's also something very cool making your own to your own design!

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:50 am
by mr.jb.swe
> 'externally'
I think it's the best way, exposing it to the user encapsulated stuff that can't be repaired. Then supply a "connector box" to facilitate serial/parallel and here is a good place to put the Schottky. Since Schottky comes in many different flavors ... it should be optional ( allowing the user to solder it ). Personally I prefer 95SQ015 Diode (a bit expensive...but well worth it's price ).

Modular - connector box
With this approach the "connector box" can be reused for other power sources like TEG ( ... table-gene )
I have ordered a special version of the PPX where I can choose serial or parallel. It's also worth to note if the system is made in modules failing part can be replaced by a working one from an other twin system.

Foldable cover ( protection )
I think it's use should be limited to just protection....( box could do the trick ). The main reason is solar panel will lose efficiency when hot ( increasing serial resistance ). A soft cover acts more like an insulator and does a lousy job for protection.

Cooling ( more efficiency and long life )
This puts the focus on how to best ( easy/fast ) mount it....and COOL it. My measurements indicate you could easily earn 20-30% by cooling the panel.
At least an aluminum-plate at it's back could be a start, but some kind of simple water cooling would be really nice...maybe a sponge sucking water pressed to the back.

"Screen" protection ( expensive but might be worth the trouble )
I have been using Copter Screenprotector on one panel for 6 months an no protection on it's twin...currently the one with copter protection performs slightly better.
I don't know if it will damage the PET once I choose to remove it...My Idea is this approach might increase the total life span of the panels ( take most of the beating from UV light )

Quick mount
I'm thinking glass fiber tent poles ...

Battery shade
Once the panels are placed in the sun would be nice if they could shade the batteries ...since Ohms law is a heartless bitch

It might end up like charger fungus =)

This hardcase and it's simplicity is very very close ( except the most important part ..the panels are not modular like cottonpickers ) ... ar-charger


Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:23 pm
by Rlmiller
Thanks for your reply Cottonpicker,
I am thinking about getting a triple 1100ma and a quad box. My next question is, does the quad box have over charge protection? And, when I order would it be better to order here or email you?

Thanks again,

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:19 pm
by cottonpickers
Hi, the quad box does have protection against over charge and under charge. Email is more responsive as I check email daily but log in here every other day or so :)

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:25 am
by Rlmiller
I am looking at getting one of your 2 or 3 panel folding chargers with the 1100ma panels and a 18650 cradle or two, and I have a couple of questions.

What is the size and weight of the units?
Does the 4 cell 18650 cradle have screws that hold it together?
Does it come with a merging cable or would I really need one?
What all comes with that package?
Does the 3 panel do the same thing the two panel does, Just faster?

So you can see I’m torn between the two, I’ll be using it this fall on a weeklong hunting trip in Colorado. While on the mountain it would be used to keep all my batteries fresh.

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:13 pm
by cottonpickers
Rlmiller: the double folder weighs about 600g and the triple about 900g If this is important I will find out more accurately (but none built currently so will have to search my old posts for details on weight. Size is about 30cm x 20cm x 2cm
The 4 cell does not have screws, you 'slide' it in. Its a different model from the one I sell with the combo box.
I include a merging cable to give you 2amps or 3amps from one usb lead, as well as a merging lead to give you a nominal 12v car socket.
The 4 panel one gives you 15v on the car output compared to 10v on the double panel (a car battery is about 10v flat and about 15v full) most small electric is fine at 10v but some needs a higher voltage. The triple has an extra usb port otherwise both about the same !. Either will take me 2 weeks to make up, and available in red, blue, camo, black cloth with red blue yellow black edging.

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:20 pm
by Rlmiller
Thanks, Cottonpicker
That's the information I was looking for, for now.
I'll get with you on an order later.