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Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:48 am
by cottonpickers
This is for discussing various folding solar solutions - Let me know what things you'd like to see in one.

to whet your appetite, this is a 4 panel solution capable of delivering over 2amps charging. This means it can even charge an iPad at rates equivalent to a mains powered solution.

This particular one is $199 delivered anywhere in the world and comes with a 12v socket (car style) as well as Li-ion charger and a nimh AA/AAA charger.

It has 2 USB ports -each one can supply over 2amps in strong sunlight. Most PC USB ports only deliver around 500ma-800ma.

The 12v Socket is also capable of delivering over 2amps so perfect for many 12v accessories. I've even managed to charge my Dell D420 and Asus EEEPC off it.

As these are hand made, I can tailor the solution to your needs, including adding in items such as leads to directly connect to Lead Acid batteries or 'Tweak' the voltage and current to meet needs.



Weight is less than 1.5kg with all chargers included.

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:24 pm
by SolarNut
I posted this earlier on CPFMarkeplace but it takes some time to be released by a moderator.

After reading the related CPFMarkeplace thread for the past 4 days I would like to thank you for the outstanding work you have done with this alternative energy solution. Since 2010 many improvements were introduced to your design and I am sure many more will come. That being said, I will describe my goals and then I will try to come up with a solution looking for your input of course.

I would like to be able to charge the following:

- NiMH (1.2VDC AA and AAA Eneloops) [Can I use a MAHA C9000 (has 12V car adapter) to connect to your panels?]
- Li-Ion 3.7VDC 18650, 14500, RCR 123 [Can I use a Pila charger (DC IN 6VDC / 2-3A -- DC OUT 4.2VDC / 600ma x 2) (has 12V car adapter) to connect to your panels?]
- Pb 12V batteries, liquid and gel
- Various phones / USB devices including iPhone and iPad


Quad Folder: (comes with 4XNiMH and LiIon charger) and 12v socket with Apple type converter on the 12v socket

Empty 6x18650 charger/storage (Can this come with on/off display version? Is the charge going to be CV/CA no matter # of cells? Is it a mini charger per cell for individual charge, all bundled in one case?)

Empty 4xNiMH charger/storage (any display on this one?)

Mini Voltmeter

Multi Tip adapter for phones

Extra Stuff: Stove and lighter

Please advise on pricing and availability. Thank you.

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:56 pm
by cottonpickers
SolarNut: Thanks. Its not perfect by any means, but think of it as a way to have something made up for you. I'm improving as I go, but there will remain some areas for improvement as I go on - eg fit and finish is not perfect, but similar to if you were to make one of these with the ability to customise what you want.

Maha and pila should be fine via car adapter (but not tested these personally) you may be able to also connect the pila straight off one of the usb panels. I can include a bare usb lead or if it has a standard input size I can make that up for you.

Looks to me like most of your stuff is 12v, so I would be targeting 4x6v panels to give you the 2amp 12v circuit. The lead acid will be the hardest part, as these panels will likely hit about 13.5v maximum and at that voltage the current is near zero. So they will be fine for rescuing a depleted 12v gel or acid battery and getting it to say 80% full, but they will not be able to give it the boost/equalize or 'full' charge that lead acid needs periodically. If this is important you could consider a 3 panel solution and I would give you 3 usb leads (each about 1 amp) but when combined you get 18v or 12v on the car socket (with half the current though compared to the 4 panels solution)

Availability is 2-3 weeks currently. I'm making black currently but will also be making burgundy batch if you prefer that colour.Price is
Quad folder with 2 cell nimh and lion charger; apple charging via the 12v socket and included USB converter $199
empty 4xnimh charger/store - no display, not ipad compatible $10
2xvoltmeters $14
2 multi tips $14
Stove/Lighter $10
Total $247

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:53 pm
by cottonpickers
I'm building up a Tri Fold 1.5amp solution from my new Panels.

It will have 3 USB ports each offering up to 1.5amps. I'll provide a USB combiner to bring all three ports together to provide a monster 4.5amps on a single USB port. This will make it perfect for charging pretty much anything USB even in poor conditions. I'll also offer a combiner to provide 1.5amps on a Car cigarette socket. This will be a 30 cell solution so can be used to charge lead acid batteries directly as well (it will come with croc clips for this purpose) The aim will be that this will be the highest USB solar solution there is, whilst also giving some great flexibility on having 3 usb ports, and the direct lead acid charging without a controller (google self regulating solar panels to understand why this will allow this) this one is already taken, but assuming it all goes well, I'll offer these for $199 delivered anywhere in the world. - To make it a bit special I'll embroider on a logo or name on the front.


Future pic updates coming!

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:43 am
by AimlessRolling
saw you over on CPFMarketplace and tried to contact you there, but creating a user account and getting a moderator to accept my three minimum posts so that I could contact you was too much of a chore (i gave it my best shot, but the mods over there must be on vacation or something). websearch got me here.

I want a folding solution for the 18650 batteries that I use for my flashlights and headlamp. I am going on an 8 day wilderness backpack hunt where both size and weight are very important, so I wanted to see what your best solution for this would be. I plan to hike in and make a basecamp, where the charger would be set up. The charger needs to be able to function in cold (down to below freezing) and handle any possible rain while it is unattended and I am off chasing wild game. I may also want to charge a blackberry or iphone during this excursion.

What would you recommend, costs, and how long would it take to arrive in Texas, USA? (I have several weeks before I depart so time should not be a barrier).

I look forward to hearing from you,

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:45 am
by cottonpickers
Hi Aimless, yes that's me over on cpfm - :-)
As you ask for a folder I started thinking about double 1100 (so 2.2amps total) folder - this can charge iphones, and 18650s etc quite nicely. Its $139 delivered and takes about 2 weeks to make up and 10 days crossing the pond. I do have this one already made up so could ship sooner if time is important:

This is the 'standard' size rather than the 'minimilist' style that loses some of the cloth on the right.
This will come with a removable car socket and a lead to join the two usb ports together to give you one powerful one at 2.2amps (as well as a 700ma li-ion charger for your 18650's and a cheap nimh charger).

If your charging needs are not too high (you don't have too much to top up too much battery) you might actually be better off with the much smaller 2x500ma (total 1amp) mini folder at $44 delivered: See pic below
This one does not come with any chargers or car socket. the one in stock is actually Red in colour.

For either solution I recommend a means to store your charged energy while on walkabout. I sell empty 2, 3 , 4 and 6 cell boxes. These are $15 each except the last which is $30. If I were getting the small panel I'd also get the small 2 cell box. If I were getting the 2.2amp solution I'd get the 4 cell box personally.

My only concern is the 'below freezing' which can be an issue for solar. Its not recommended to charge them below zero -this includes cell phones, laptops etc - so hopefully you put that warning into context. As they will only charge when the sun is shining that may not be an issue as they will warm up a bit during the charging cycle. Leaving out sub zero is ok, its charging at sub zero that is not recommended. Feel free to ask further questions.

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:45 am
by ZebraStripes
How may I contact you to discuss what solar panel I would need for my purposes and how can I complete an order? Feel free to delete this post once I know how to get ahold of you.

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:45 pm
by cottonpickers
Zebra: you can either discuss here, or shoot me an email at "" and I can help you out.

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:57 am
by Rlmiller
Good day Cottonpicker,
I am looking for something that I can use to charge 2- 18650 3.7v batteries, while I am out camping or hunting. The batteries I have range from 2600mAh to 3800mAh. I would also like to change my iPad or iPhone. I guess I don't really need to change 2 at a time as I like to carry 6 or so extra, just asking what you can recommend for me to make sure I'm all changed up if I need it. I use the batteries in flash lights and headlamps.

Thanks from Texas,

Re: Folding Solar Solutions

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:34 am
by cottonpickers
If you need something small, I would suggest my 'mini' folder. It uses 2x 500ma panels so can provide 1amp from the single usb port. SIze is 19x18cm and weighs just 250g. This is $44 shipped to the US. I would then suggest adding an empty 2xcell battery store/charger ($15) to both charge the cells and use them later to charge iphones etc. Has a small led for flashlight use also.
Image If you want to 'upsize' I'd suggest a double ($139) or perhaps triple ($169) folder using 1100ma panels and upsize the dual box to a quad box ($15)
I can make these in various colours (black, blue, red, green, camo) and takes a couple weeks to complete. The pic shows the mini on top (red is in stock) and a triple 1100ma (I have black in stock either double or triple - need to check) the larger ones have a car cigar socket also and come with with 2 or 3 usb ports as well as a basic li-ion charger and a cheap nimh charger. all prices are including delivery anywhere in the world.