Intro: Simple Solar Power Station/Air Compressor
This instructable is an entry in the Green Tech Contest, so please vote!
So I wanted a very simple solar power station that was simple to use and very easy to transport. So I started looking at jump-starter's. I found one made by cobra that had every thing I would need to have a nice power station that was very easy to transport.
Cobra sells a jump-starter/power-pack that has jumper cables, charge indicator, usb, a light, a cigarette lighter outlet, a power inverter, and a air compressor. I found my power station at Cable's in the bargain cave for 25 bucks. It was discounted because it was missing the AC/DC charger.
I went to harbor freight and got a solar panel. It was only 15 dollars and came with its own built in charger controller and cigarette lighter plug.
So I got everything together and plugged the solar panel into my Power Pack. Once it was fully charged I put it to work.
I used it almost every day. It charges all my usb devices even my Iphone. I use the cigarette lighter outlet to charge my kids portable dvd player. I use the power inverter to run a set of speakers to listen to music. I can also run my soldering iron off of it. I have even used it when the power goes out to power my dsl modem so I can still have internet on my laptop. Its even useful at night as it has a build it flash light. And then to add to all the goodness it can air up my small 1 gallon air tank I use on my work bench for cleaning off dust. And then to top it all off. If I go to start my car and the battery is dead I can use this to jump start my car.
So If you don't have the means, knowledge or the time to build something like this here is the simple way to do it.
Anyway I put this together for the Green Tech Contest. The problem I was having was making a portable power-station that was not bulky and that the kids could carry around and not mess up. Well this did what I needed and then more. It also saves me a lot of power by not having to have wall-warts plugged in all the time. It also keeps me form having to run my big air compressor to fill up my little air bubble. So once again more power saved there.
So I know its not anything I made. But this is how I am helping use less energy.