Folding Solar Panel

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cottonpickers
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Folding Solar Panel

Postby cottonpickers » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:55 pm

I'm mid way through building out a clutch of 'Cottonpickers Folders' These are Folding Solar panels capable of USB and 12v Charging. These are all taken but thought I'd share some build details.

Theres a lot of solar panels out there, but most don't put out enough energy. For example I bought a 7w Goal Zero folding solution, but the way its built, the USB port only puts out 500ma - so its only 2.5w for USB. And for 12v its only 200-300ma - just plain too low to do anything useful.

In the end I designed and built my own. Its not perfect, but its better than most other solar solutions I can find on the net.

Its made up of two 6V solar panels that each put out over 900ma. Its a panel I designed to allow me to use 'standalone' or in 'Apple Charger' configuration or in this folding layout. By putting two panels into this folder, you can actually charge two USB devices at 900ma each, or you can use the 12v cigarette lighter socket I include to charge at 12v at over 900ma.

I build these with rip proof, waterproof and fireproof material. When fully made up they will have eyelets for attaching to tents etc, and will include a Li-ion and Nimh battery charger to cover most peoples charging needs.

Because they are made up of 6v panels they are really efficient at charging USB type devices. I've got a 20w 12v panel that can't come anywhere near the performance of the folders for this type of work. Anyway, here's a picture of how the build is going:

Image


TheWhiteDragon
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Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:00 am

Re: Folding Solar Panel

Postby TheWhiteDragon » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:47 pm

lol thats a really cool product Cotton, you really are a Solor King :)

bob adu
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Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:09 pm

Re: Folding Solar Panel

Postby bob adu » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:25 am

Hey cottonpicker, I heard you are the MAN when it comes to raspberry pi's and solar panels. I was wondering if you were finished constructing these folding solar panels? If so, are they available for purchase and do you think they would be able to power this battery in under 5hours--> http://www.maplin.co.uk/6000mah-portabl ... ces-625614

Good job sir

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cottonpickers
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Re: Folding Solar Panel

Postby cottonpickers » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:22 pm

bob: LOL!! Thanks!!! Yes, I still make the folding panels! - I make either 2 panel, 3 panel or 4 panel folders ($139, $169, $199) including postage - I can convert to UK pounds :-) These will *easily* charge that pack. The 2 panel folder is capable of charging that pack at 2.2amps (likely the pack can only charge at max 2amp anyway ;-) so would charge as fast as the supplied mains charger. This assumes you point it at the sun and its a good sunny day. The 3 panel can charge up to 3amp and the 4 up to a massive 4.4amp. More importantly though, the tri fold and quad fold can charge in less than perfect conditions or when not directly pointing at the sun. So all of the folders, in good sun and pointing at the sun, can charge that in under 5 hours. Likely they will all take the same time as the pack is the limiting factor. In less than ideal conditions the quad/tri fold will be more likely to still hit the 5 hours where the 2 panel may not.

bob adu
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Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:09 pm

Re: Folding Solar Panel

Postby bob adu » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:33 pm

Oh wow, those are expensive haha. Do you have anything around $30-40 or less? And it doesn't have to charge below 5 hours. My max time for charging is estimated around 8 hours. I'm guessing a 10W panel would do the trick but im not sure..

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cottonpickers
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Re: Folding Solar Panel

Postby cottonpickers » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:57 pm

bob: Yes, I can offer cheaper solutions!

Your battery is 6000ma so....
150ma USB panel is $19 (price includes delivery) will take about 40 hours to charge (if my math is good) in good sun
500ma USB panel is $39 will take about 12 hours to charge
1100ma 2 USB port panel is $59 and would come with a 3 tip apple lead or a 10 tip multi phone lead. Will take about 5.5 hours in good sun to charge
1500ma 2 USB port panel is $74 and would come with a 3 tip Apple or 10 tip multi . Will take 4 hours in good sun to charge.

See the 'Tripod' section for photos of all of these except the 150ma model.
prices all include delivery. If you are UK I can convert to GBP using google exchange rate and reduce the price by the 'pence' that are left over - so rounded down to nearest pound.

JesusDoyle
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:36 am

Re: Folding Solar Panel

Postby JesusDoyle » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:02 am

cottonpickers wrote:I'm mid way through building out a clutch of 'Cottonpickers Folders' These are Folding solar panels capable of USB and 12v Charging. These are all taken but thought I'd share some build details.

Theres a lot of solar panels out there, but most don't put out enough energy. For example I bought a 7w Goal Zero folding solution, but the way its built, the USB port only puts out 500ma - so its only 2.5w for USB. And for 12v its only 200-300ma - just plain too low to do anything useful.

In the end I designed and built my own. Its not perfect, but its better than most other solar solutions I can find on the net.

Its made up of two 6V solar panels that each put out over 900ma. Its a panel I designed to allow me to use 'standalone' or in 'Apple Charger' configuration or in this folding layout. By putting two panels into this folder, you can actually charge two USB devices at 900ma each, or you can use the 12v cigarette lighter socket I include to charge at 12v at over 900ma.

I build these with rip proof, waterproof and fireproof material. When fully made up they will have eyelets for attaching to tents etc, and will include a Li-ion and Nimh battery charger to cover most peoples charging needs.

Because they are made up of 6v panels they are really efficient at charging USB type devices. I've got a 20w 12v panel that can't come anywhere near the performance of the folders for this type of work. Anyway, here's a picture of how the build is going:


Image


Amazing looking solar panels.. I think it is best way of portable charging.. I will try to get similar panels very soon.


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