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Solar powered backpack options? Answered

I would like to create a backpack/rucksack that can properly charge a modern cell phone with enough to spare or a MP3 player or small GPS.
Preferably something that works while riding a horse for week long adventure trips.

Standard solar cells are not just quite rigid and heavy but also relatively fragile.
Flexible panels seem to be the alternative but price and power levels mean going well above the size of a standard 12V/10W panel.
And even getting those standard 25 by 35cm on average fitted onto a modern backpack is no easy task.
Trying to do so and getting the full 10W out is next to impossible it seems.
The theoretical 1000Wh on a 10 hour, sunny day for such a panel would go don to a realistical 100Wh hours at best.
Nowhere near enough to fully charge a hungry phone with a 4000mAh or bigger battery.
At least not if you really need a quick chage and consider a realistic environment.
Means a 2 hour quick charge at home might take 5 hours or more when hiking or riding a horse through the bush.

A foldable or roll up panel when having a break or camp might be nice but not if it would mean carrying an extra solar panel.
The most logical conclusion would be to integrate solar cells into the clothing as well.
sadly technology is not that far yet :(
So, how could a solar powered backpack or similar be created that is not too big and still capable of providing at least 5-6W under not so perfect conditions?
And preferably with at least 10W no matter how it is placed into the direct sun with the panels.
How could it be made possible to utilise the sunlight if you are facing the sun with the backpack, well, on your back?
What types of solar cells in terms of technology and being available would be best suited for such a rough application?

Discussions

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Orngrimm
Orngrimm

4 weeks ago

I am just throwing in my 2 cents, ok?
Why not think a bit outside the frame of solar? Like Thermoelectric? Also known as stuff like
https://www.bioliteenergy.com/products/campstove-2 with around 3W output (I dont have one but would love to try one!) or the tPOD (Only about 0.25W as it only has a candle as energysource but hey...) or the tPod 5 (with 5 W)... I own an original tPOD from kickstarter and the idea of "multiplying" the light from the candle to the LEDs is still a marvel to me and fun every time i use it :)
Other have jumped the bandwagon as well like https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flamestower/c...



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Downunder35m
Downunder35m

Reply 4 weeks ago

Peltier elements are nice but not of much use if mostly on the back of a horse.
Nice though if you need a cup of tea anyway, but what phone charges in 4.5 minutes? LOL

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Orngrimm
Orngrimm

Reply 4 weeks ago

Yeah... Thats why i didnt "sell" them as solution... It was to give ideas...
...
... But hey... Ideas? Horseback... Whats abundant on a horseback? Movement!
https://www.soyacincau.com/2010/05/07/give-it-a-sh...
https://www.wired.com/2012/10/this-charger-is-made...
https://www.mobiletor.com/genneo-charger-for-mobil...
https://cellphonebeat.com/cellphone-chargers-rely-...
https://inhabitat.com/brilliant-kinetic-batteries-...
https://veloxity.us/top-3-kinetic-energy-phone-cha...
... more if you google kinetic generator or shaking charger or stuff like that...

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AussieAlf
AussieAlf

Reply 4 weeks ago

Hey Orngrimm,
They look pretty cool, must source one from somewhere...I didn't know they existed.

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Orngrimm
Orngrimm

Reply 4 weeks ago

The tPOD are really cool... You light a tealight wich would give off... well... 1 candela of light and you capture its waste-product (Heat, non blackbody-radiation) really lossy, process it with a really inefficient TEG and use that to feed a series of LED... and yet you still get moere light than with the candle itself...
I am always astounded how LOW the lightoutput of a candle is compared to the released energy... :)

The Biolite are also cool... Saw one in a local outdoor-shop in switzerland for a horrendous price... Will use the incentive to design and build an own version and learn a thing or two on the way :)