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Specs of a small solar panel

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  • #16
    This debate about the specs is a sideshow. The real problem with this is that it will be very difficult to get anything useful out of it, in practice. Maximum output current is only achieved in the middle of a cloudless day, with the panel facing directly toward the sun, while being kept cool. Depending on where the OP intends to travel, some or all of those conditions may be impossible to achieve.

    The YouTube video posted showed how severely current was affected by less than ideal conditions.
    CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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    • #17
      "Output:USB 5V ,1200mAh."
      This would indicate there is a battery somewhere. Likely a typo but if a typo on the mfg's. part it makes one wonder ....
      2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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      • #18
        Originally posted by littleharbor View Post
        "Output:USB 5V ,1200mAh."
        This would indicate there is a battery somewhere. Likely a typo but if a typo on the mfg's. part it makes one wonder ....
        It just has a voltage regulator on the output of the panel. The 1200 mA should not be interpreted as an "always available" level of current like it is on a wall wart, it represents the most that is likely to be usable under ideal conditions.
        CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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        • #19
          But it says 1200 mAh Milliamp HOURS, as in 1.2 amp hours. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't amp hours related to battery capacity.
          Last edited by littleharbor; 12-14-2017, 11:56 AM.
          2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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          • #20
            There is no such thing as a 5 v 1200 mah solar panel
            MSEE, PE

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            • #21
              Ive ordered one cause its cheap. Just curius what kind of panel it is. I presume its a 12volt 10 watt panel with build in usb stepdown module.

              I will keep you informed after i have received it.

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              • #22
                You could have bought a 10 Ah power pack for less. They were on sale yesterday at Lowe's.
                CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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                • #23
                  10Ah powerpack less than 14Usd?? Wow, thats cheap.

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                  • #24
                    I'll offer my opinion as a dirtbag climber, skier/snowboarder, mountaineer. I've used various 5v usb solar chargers to charge my i-devices for probably the past 10 years. Brunton, Instaspark, Goal Zero, Revolve, Solio, you name it I've probably owned or experimented with it at some point in time. MOST of them are junk. As Sensij suggested if you are not far from grid power you are better off with a usb powerbank.

                    If you like getting after it in remote places like I do a panel that can output 5v 2a or greater (I've had my instaspark 10w for over 6 yrs now) can provide a decent charge to most modern phones. Of course they've gotta be laid out in full sun (and if you've got a stupid IPhone or IPad any cloud or shadow that passes by will give you an error message, this accessory is not compatible. GRRR) My instaspark can easily return ~50% charge to my IPhone 6s+ (2700mah battery) in under an hr under ideal conditions.

                    What I've used over the years is a combination of a usb powerbank with my instaspark. Use the panel to charge the bank at base camp during the day and then use the powerbank to charge the phone at night.

                    Hope that helps,

                    Supra

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Suprasoup View Post
                      I'll offer my opinion as a dirtbag climber, skier/snowboarder, mountaineer. I've used various 5v usb solar chargers to charge my i-devices for probably the past 10 years. Brunton, Instaspark, Goal Zero, Revolve, Solio, you name it I've probably owned or experimented with it at some point in time. MOST of them are junk. As Sensij suggested if you are not far from grid power you are better off with a usb powerbank.

                      If you like getting after it in remote places like I do a panel that can output 5v 2a or greater (I've had my instaspark 10w for over 6 yrs now) can provide a decent charge to most modern phones. Of course they've gotta be laid out in full sun (and if you've got a stupid IPhone or IPad any cloud or shadow that passes by will give you an error message, this accessory is not compatible. GRRR) My instaspark can easily return ~50% charge to my IPhone 6s+ (2700mah battery) in under an hr under ideal conditions.

                      What I've used over the years is a combination of a usb powerbank with my instaspark. Use the panel to charge the bank at base camp during the day and then use the powerbank to charge the phone at night.

                      Hope that helps,

                      Supra
                      FWIW you can improve that quite a bit and on the right track. First thing to understand USB was never intended to charge batteries. The cable conductors and plugs are too small to carry any significant current. 2 amp sis about the max. With that in mind and knowing if a panel is spec is for 2 amps is not a match. A 2 amp panel cannot generate two amps except under ideal conditions in a lab. Work around is simple, use a larger panel of say 4 to 6 amps. The charger will never ever use more than 2 amps but with a panel rated significantly higher than 2 amps can and wil supply 2 amps a heck of a lot longer so you can have a 4 hour window of roughly 10 am to 2 pm. Of course the downside on portability is the panel will be larger and heavier.

                      MSEE, PE

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                      • #26
                        Ive received this thin panel and it is charging ok, also a powerbank. I intend to use a usb led tube as lighting of a shed, see pict. So, i will connect this panel continiously to a powerbank with 5 li-ion 18650 inside and if im in the shed i then can lightup the tube, for example twice a week for two hours per shed visit. The usb led tube draws 1.5amp and im looking now also for a usb radio.

                        Perhaps i can install this also for my small bathroom but then as permanent lighting. 5 minutes visit the bathroom turn it off again. Daily 5 bathroom visits i think this tiny system can do the job.

                        Added:
                        Here is a review of the led tube
                        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gWMWFcTnN8E
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by fivewin; 12-24-2017, 01:30 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Sunking View Post

                          FWIW you can improve that quite a bit and on the right track. First thing to understand USB was never intended to charge batteries. The cable conductors and plugs are too small to carry any significant current. 2 amp sis about the max. With that in mind and knowing if a panel is spec is for 2 amps is not a match. A 2 amp panel cannot generate two amps except under ideal conditions in a lab. Work around is simple, use a larger panel of say 4 to 6 amps. The charger will never ever use more than 2 amps but with a panel rated significantly higher than 2 amps can and wil supply 2 amps a heck of a lot longer so you can have a 4 hour window of roughly 10 am to 2 pm. Of course the downside on portability is the panel will be larger and heavier.
                          Thanks Sunking. Those are good considerations for when I upgrade my current setup.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Suprasoup View Post
                            Thanks Sunking. Those are good considerations for when I upgrade my current setup.
                            You are welcome. Keep in mind solar panels are current sources, and poor ones at that. Just the nature of the beast. If a panel spec is say 2 amps, it wil never deliver 2 amps. Say 1.8 amps on a good bright day at solar noon pointing directly at the sun. But that is just for a few minutes at noon. So what takes an AC charger one hour, can take a day or two on solar.

                            The work around really sucks. You would thin say a 6-volt 2-amp panel would work (12 Watts), but it would perform very poorly and SLOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. So look for say a 6-volt 10 amp or 60 watt panel. A heck of a lot more money, much larger and heavier. Better off with another battery. You get what you pay for like anything else. Buyer beware.

                            MSEE, PE

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