Power banks and solar cells -could be great Instructable for you to make! Answered
I was lucky to score a nice and real 8000mAh power pack with a solar cell from my local discounter.
Realising the solar cell is more a gimmick than of real use I started to wonder....
We all love our mobile devices and really hate that they need to be constantly charged up again.
On long outdoor trips people used to carry a lot of gear and vital supplies.
In todays times it almost seems that solar and battery power start to replace food and water.
No trip is complete without pics, selfies and videos, some even take a drone with them.
So: are there ways to increase your luggage weight by thinking smarter?
Modern technology has come a long way and moves faster ever year.
Solar cells are no exception here.
Be it foldable setups or now even roll ups of flexible cell systems, you have the total freedom of coice.
But then again: You are going on a week long camping trip in the middle of nowhere...
Going on foot or using a bike means you need to keep the extras down or hire someone to carry them.
Here are some of my yet to be finnished ideas:
As long as you don't use them commercially feel free to make an Instructable or just use the ideas!
1. Pop up amd normal tents.
They seem to be the new standard now.
Big with no poles on the inside and even someone who never used a tent can set them up.
With the design comes a certain way of folding everything to pack it.
Flexible solar cell designs won't break and can often be arranged so they would actually be able to replace parts of the outer tent material.
And if it could mean they would get kinked too much and too often they are still perfect to create some "strap on panels" that can be rolled up and included with your foam underlay or mattress.
A 200 or even 400W system can be transported easy and has less weight than a 80W fold up solution that you struggle to secure on your backpack or bike.
What is now almost a standard for fixed installations is still not seen in mobile setups.
You pop up your panels, connect the power packs or batteries and go fishing, hiking or whatever.
The sun moves on, the efficiency of the panels suffer.
There are a lot of great Ibles for these solar trackers, from simple to 3 dimensional.
Kites loves to use carbon fibre rods to reduce the weight.
A tracking frame to hold a good sized flexible panel would count at less than 300 grams....
In return you get up to 40% higher effiency and overall output compared to a fixed panel!
Roll the panel up, fold the frame and you end up with a quite small roll that is easy to transport and very low in weight.
3. Battery backups.
No matter how long and well you planned, the weather might let you down shortly after your trip started.
For a lot of comitted people that is no problem.
The lack of power though can cause some to struggle to keep their video logs running.
Your small drone might be great but it only lasts for less then 30 minutes until you need fresh batteries.
Similar story if you use stabilizers, automatic tilt and pan gadgets or just a 360° camera.
Just your cell phone alone can be a hassle if you use it as the main thing for GPS, pics and videos.
At least one set of spare batteries seems to be a must have these days.
For a lot of things it does make sense, for others not so much.
Unless you really need ongoing power it might be enough to just charge you empty battery at the end of the day.
But then the sun is down and options are gone for solar energy.
In the RC area we can find a lot of powerful battery packs.
Usually around 14V but 40 or more are no problem.
And if you check the E-bike and scooter sections you will find some quite powerful and light weight battery packs.
If you go outdoors a lot and for longer periods of time then it makes sense to replace the multiple battery options with just a single one.
Use a high power backup battery with your solar system.
DC-DC converters make it possible to literally combine everything with everything.
Select the battery size so it will suit your charging needs and capabiliteis of the solar setup.
Once time to close the tent you enjoy electricity to finnish your logs while your batteries are being charged during the night from the backup.
4. Emergency generator.
We all know these cheap gadgets like crank up torches or cranking mobile phone chargers.
Nice to play with, utterly useless if you actually have to rely on them.
A full charge for your modern phone might mean you crank for at least half the day - good luck!
If you already carry a supply of gas for your cooking needs then these new fuel cells running on butane might be nice.
Some of the Kickstarter projects actually made it into production!
Prices though are more for real fans or those with enough money...
But a small RC engine can drive some nice DC motor with very little fuel....
In return you get a pocket sized generator that can charger your phone fully in the same amount of time a wall charger would...