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complete solar dummie/ noob,bicycle trailer power hub. help?

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  • complete solar dummie/ noob,bicycle trailer power hub. help?

    Hello

    I have some questions about solar concerning a panel I currently have and also lifepo4 batteries. my plan is to build a solar system to charge and operate my laptop+ speakers or car stereo and maybe a light and charge my phone while on a bike tour down the pacific coast. I've done some googling and not found much info on solar + lifepo4 batteries. not any I can understand at any rate,. I could be called a dummie or noob when it comes to solar electrical stuff.

    Ok so I have a hand me down uni-solar flexible solar panel MBC-525 its about 50" long 15" wide and a sun selector M-4m photovoltaic charge control(I'll take pictures) the panel works fine with the controller for car or truck batteries and without the control in direct sun puts out about 21v (I'm writing this at night I'll recheck during the day)

    my first question is if the power is the same from the lifepo4 batteries or can I just replace the car battery with a 12v lifepo4 battery with no problems or do I need a higher voltage battery?
    and does running them in parallel change anything?

    secondly, will I need a special type of charger? I've looked into the goal zero solar generators but I'm not sure if it can use my panel. also the juicebox from Hardened Power Systems. I'm not sure if my panel is powerful enough for one also the price is a bit much...

    so here's my dream setup: the solar powering "something like a goal zero yeti 150" or my sun selector controller if it'll work+an inverter>powering a 200w 2channel car stereo for just pedaling along to some tunes nothing to drastic, not like I need to bump subwoofers. and enough power to watch a movie or two or play a video game on my laptop, charge my phone, and hook some lights when I pull into hike and bike camps. the trip is going to take two months. I want to use lifepo4 batteries because of the weight of course also the size. if anyone knows of something I could use or a way to set it up I thank you in advance.

    Any advice or suggestions will be gratefully appreciated

    thank you
    Spooner
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Your questions more or less encompass the entire of solar, so that makes it hard to recommend anything right off the bat.

    What we do know is your old panel is a nominal 12v panel rated at 22 watts. So that's about 1.2A continuous under the BEST of conditions. That is going to limit you right there.

    Without knowing the specs of your charge controller, which appears to be a bit decrepid, with no other changes I'd suggest a Morningstar 4.5A SunGuard for what you are doing right now.

    What you could do for charging things like the cellphone on the go while cycling (well, stationary at rest) would be to use something like an Anker 10-15000 mah li-ion pack, and a 12v > 5v usb mobile adapter, like the Anker 24 Watt high-power dual-port units attached directly to the panel. They accept 12-24v input.

    Otherwise, you are going to have to get a handle on how much power all your gear draws, and for how many hours you intend to use it. Also needed is what geographical area you are going to be in to make sure that you have enough solar-insolation hours to recharge a battery. In other words, YOU are going to have to start measuring things with either a multimeter or Kill-A-Watt meter and multiplying that need over your time period.

    Other than purchasing maybe a small external li-ion pack like the Anker for small stuff, along with the mobile adapter, the best advice is to do more reading here to discover that what you want to do is going to cost you some MAJOR $$$ unless you simplify your needs.

    Comment


    • #3
      Your charging will have to be done when you are stationary for the most part. On the move the panel will rarely be correctly oriented and the production will be a small fraction of name plate capacity.
      [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

      Comment


      • #4
        200w of stereo seems high for a bicycle radio. Headphones/ear pods are out, because you need to hear /heed traffic around you, but small speakers on your shoulders (like epaulettes ) would get sound really close.
        Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
        || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
        || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

        solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
        gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

        Comment


        • #5
          Li batteries are totally unforgiving of over charge and deep discharge. So you would need a "drop in replacement" motorcycle battery that has BMS (battery management system) built in. Otherwise, you are likely to discharge it to death, since enough solar to keep it going is problematic.
          Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
          || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
          || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

          solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
          gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

          Comment


          • #6
            I wonder if a bike generator spinning off the wheels would work better?

            I see a few on Amazon that say they will charge phones so if you use a smartphone for music & gps you would be all set.

            As for lights 12V usb powered lights could be found as well.

            Comment


            • #7
              First you want to determine how much energy it requires from you to make a watt.

              Those chargers off your bike you see on the net are junk for sale to suckers.
              [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

              Comment


              • #8
                You need to determine your daily power use before you do anything. You might likely find out you need a truck to follow you around with all the equipment. Solar is not light weight, small, or cheap.
                MSEE, PE

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PNjunction View Post
                  Your questions more or less encompass the entire of solar, so that makes it hard to recommend anything right off the bat.

                  What we do know is your old panel is a nominal 12v panel rated at 22 watts. So that's about 1.2A continuous under the BEST of conditions. That is going to limit you right there.

                  Without knowing the specs of your charge controller, which appears to be a bit decrepid, with no other changes I'd suggest a Morningstar 4.5A SunGuard for what you are doing right now.

                  What you could do for charging things like the cellphone on the go while cycling (well, stationary at rest) would be to use something like an Anker 10-15000 mah li-ion pack, and a 12v > 5v usb mobile adapter, like the Anker 24 Watt high-power dual-port units attached directly to the panel. They accept 12-24v input.

                  Otherwise, you are going to have to get a handle on how much power all your gear draws, and for how many hours you intend to use it. Also needed is what geographical area you are going to be in to make sure that you have enough solar-insolation hours to recharge a battery. In other words, YOU are going to have to start measuring things with either a multimeter or Kill-A-Watt meter and multiplying that need over your time period.

                  Other than purchasing maybe a small external li-ion pack like the Anker for small stuff, along with the mobile adapter, the best advice is to do more reading here to discover that what you want to do is going to cost you some MAJOR $$$ unless you simplify your needs.


                  hi thanks for the reply, and I'll look into the anker thingie. I can simplify just to the solar and laptop for charging my phone. just need a few hours of laptop power each day. if I need a larger battery with more than I need for the laptop. but I would really like to have tunes in my trailer also, so maybe a separate battery for the tunes.

                  I was thinkin g about getting something like this to push a pair of small outdoor speakers.
                  http://www.ebay.com/itm/200W-12V-Min..._qi=RTM1562569

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                    200w of stereo seems high for a bicycle radio. Headphones/ear pods are out, because you need to hear /heed traffic around you, but small speakers on your shoulders (like epaulettes ) would get sound really close.
                    thank you for your reply
                    I was thinking about using something like this to power my small outdoor speakers they have 4 and 8 ohm inputs. what type of lifepo4 battery would you use to power this for say 4-6 hours a day?

                    http://www.ebay.com/itm/200W-12V-Min..._qi=RTM1562569

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KenZ71 View Post
                      I wonder if a bike generator spinning off the wheels would work better?

                      I see a few on Amazon that say they will charge phones so if you use a smartphone for music & gps you would be all set.

                      As for lights 12V usb powered lights could be found as well.
                      I have the solar panel, I want to put it to use. plus the wheel generator will slow me down even more than my trailer with all my gear.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spooner View Post
                        I have the solar panel, I want to put it to use. plus the wheel generator will slow me down even more than my trailer with all my gear.
                        Any test runs with the solar panel? Maybe leave it in the sun for a couple hours and see what it does.

                        When I am off camping I frequently use a sealed UPS battery hooked up to a cigarette lighter type plug so I can charge my phone. However the more remote I am the worsr the cell service which leads to higher power use. So turning the phone off or set to "Airplane" mode allows for faster charging.

                        Yeah, the UPS battery wont tolerate frequent discharges but it works for my needs. Perhaps you could find a Lithium Ion or other battery designed for frequent discharges.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KenZ71 View Post
                          However the more remote I am the worsr the cell service which leads to higher power use. So turning the phone off or set to "Airplane" mode allows for faster charging.
                          Just leave it off unless you need it - when on it spends power looking for a signal. Tell people to call between the hours of - -
                          [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spooner View Post
                            thank you for your reply
                            I was thinking about using something like this to power my small outdoor speakers they have 4 and 8 ohm inputs. what type of lifepo4 battery would you use to power this for say 4-6 hours a day?
                            Nope. Get a nice digital AM/FM car radio with MP3 inputs or a memory card slot. 10 watts into semi-efficient speakers will make your ears bleed. You really shouldn't need a seperate amp -or 200W of power.

                            So, 200w per ch, half volume call it 200w per hour consumed. Laptop is about 50w per hour. phone charger, say 20w for 2 hours.

                            your 22w PV panel is hopelessly undersized.
                            Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                            || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                            || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                            solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                            gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                              Nope. Get a nice digital AM/FM car radio with MP3 inputs or a memory card slot. 10 watts into semi-efficient speakers will make your ears bleed. You really shouldn't need a seperate amp -or 200W of power.

                              So, 200w per ch, half volume call it 200w per hour consumed. Laptop is about 50w per hour. phone charger, say 20w for 2 hours.

                              your 22w PV panel is hopelessly undersized.
                              I was thinking I would just run an mp3 player into an amp like that to power just the speakers. last year I built a mobile stereo with 2 450w amps a 10"sub, 2 6x9's off of two everstart deep cycle batteries with a headphone to rca cable the batteries lasted up to 12 hours if I turned the sub down. but lifepo4 is another animal. my question is about lightweight lifepo4 batteries and charger that will work with my solar panel. I could get two batteries and charge one at a time maybe or run them parallel or whatever I'll also be staying in a hotel from time to time on my trip so I can charge up back up if I need. I have a cheap inverter but will it work with lifepo batteries? is there a known(affordable) dependable device that charges and inverts?

                              so I just took the old volt meter out to it and measured 14.3 at the controller and the panel is kicking 19.8 In the shade! I'm charging a deep cycle battery right now.

                              Comment

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