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RWBrooks

Battery charging from photovoltaics

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Hi,

I'm looking for recommendations on Photovoltaics to charge my camera batteries whilst out on extended shoots. I would prefer this method over a genny. Realistic charge times are obviously a must. Basically looking for a panel system with regulator and a cable system that is swappable between various chargers.

Any feedback is much appreciated.

 

Richard

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I think the energy balance is going to mean a big PV if you want quick charging. Maybe a permanantly set up PV with a buffer battery eg 12V bike gel cell might do it. Can you charge off a vehicle.

The most transportable system is probably more spare camera batteries.

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20 watt panels with 12 v output are like $80 to $150 and are quite large. Maybe 2 x 3 feet.

Bill

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Ok, so how do the guys do it when they are in the middle of nowhere? on foot?

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I think some of them take the more expensive foldable solar power chargers and some have lots of porters to carry things like small generators.

Bill

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I car camp in remote areas and use a generator. On occasion where a generator was forbidden we used solar panels with an associated car battery. The solar panel spent the day in the sun charging that, and then I was able to charge small batteries off it at night. Of course the car battery also turned up fully charged which probably helped over the course of the week. And it all depends on the sun coming out.

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Yeah all depends on the sun! I'm 6 degrees north of the equator but that's no guarantee in Palau where "it never rains".......

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There really is no substitute for mains voltage which I achieve 'on location' using 12 volt deep cycle leisure batteries and a 1200 watt voltage inverter. The leisure batteries can be taken to site pre-charged and maintained using solar panels or a vehicle alternator. Using this system gives 12 volt DC or 240 volt AC and ample resource for battery charging, laptop computer and lighting. It's easy to provide greater resources by adding further deep cycle batteries in parallel or by upping the Ahr. 3 fully charged 115 Ahr deep cycle batteries provides me with ample independent power for more than a week. Of course, hauling heavy deep cycle batteries by hand may not be an option and may need to be cached at base camp.

 

HTH, Tim

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There really is no substitute for mains voltage which I achieve 'on location' using 12 volt deep cycle leisure batteries and a 1200 watt voltage inverter. The leisure batteries can be taken to site pre-charged and maintained using solar panels or a vehicle alternator. Using this system gives 12 volt DC or 240 volt AC and ample resource for battery charging, laptop computer and lighting. It's easy to provide greater resources by adding further deep cycle batteries in parallel or by upping the Ahr. 3 fully charged 115 Ahr deep cycle batteries provides me with ample independent power for more than a week. Of course, hauling heavy deep cycle batteries by hand may not be an option and may need to be cached at base camp.

 

HTH, Tim

Thanks Tim'

Base camp is the idea and boats to outlying sites the transport. Thanks for the info.

 

Richard

Edited by RWBrooks

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I car camp in remote areas and use a generator. On occasion where a generator was forbidden we used solar panels with an associated car battery. The solar panel spent the day in the sun charging that, and then I was able to charge small batteries off it at night. Of course the car battery also turned up fully charged which probably helped over the course of the week. And it all depends on the sun coming out.

It is nice way to use solar power.. There is complicated situation when SUN is not out but otherwise the system works pretty well..

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