Solar for Battery Charging

oldracer

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Has anyone experimented with these folding solar arrays designed to charge USB and 12 volt devices? My wife and I have a 3-day stay at a lodge in Africa that has no electricity. I will probably just take a bunch of charged batteries for my GX8s, but she uses her phone camera and we both read books on our Nexus tablet computers. So I'm looking for anyone who might have tried one of these solar chargers.

I need something that would pack easily and not weigh a lot, like around 1 lb. --1/2 kilogram.
 

Burt Porter

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I've had excellent results with a Voltaic folding array and pattery. For the past four years, I've used their 20-watt folding panel and their largest battery (20,000 mAh that the time I bought it) for 5-6 weeks at a camp that's off the grid. That setup has kept the following list of electronic goodies charged.

1. Batteries for my camera (currently an Oly EM1 Mk 2)
2. Two iPhones
3. Two iPads (1 mini and one Pro)
4. A bluetooth speaker
5. A rechargeable headlamp

I can maintain that array of stuff without any problems. When our kids (and their gadgets) visit, I have to be careful to manage use in order to keep everything going and the battery level up.

Highly recommended.


Has anyone experimented with these folding solar arrays designed to charge USB and 12 volt devices? My wife and I have a 3-day stay at a lodge in Africa that has no electricity. I will probably just take a bunch of charged batteries for my GX8s, but she uses her phone camera and we both read books on our Nexus tablet computers. So I'm looking for anyone who might have tried one of these solar chargers.

I need something that would pack easily and not weigh a lot, like around 1 lb. --1/2 kilogram.
 

Holoholo55

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WaltP

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I've had excellent results with a Voltaic folding array and pattery. For the past four years, I've used their 20-watt folding panel and their largest battery (20,000 mAh that the time I bought it) for 5-6 weeks at a camp that's off the grid. That setup has kept the following list of electronic goodies charged.

1. Batteries for my camera (currently an Oly EM1 Mk 2)
2. Two iPhones
3. Two iPads (1 mini and one Pro)
4. A bluetooth speaker
5. A rechargeable headlamp

I can maintain that array of stuff without any problems. When our kids (and their gadgets) visit, I have to be careful to manage use in order to keep everything going and the battery level up.

Highly recommended.
Similar to my experience. I used a 21 watt folding unit and a GX85 USB battery charger rather than the E-M1.2, Samsung rather than iPhone, and no iPads or bluetooth speaker. Definitely get a rechargeable lantern, you will want light at night. Everything can be sourced from Amazon. inexpensive and worth keeping as a backup even at home.
Enjoy Africa!
 

oldracer

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Thanks, folks. This is exactly what I was looking for. @WaltP, what is the brand on your charger? I found mixed reviews on the Voltaic brand.
 

WaltP

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Thanks, folks. This is exactly what I was looking for. @WaltP, what is the brand on your charger? I found mixed reviews on the Voltaic brand.
I got the "Big Blue" 28W Solar Charger. Get as much wattage as you can, the efficiency of these units is getting better, but still has a ways to go. They need FULL SUN to work at all decently, so they will try your patience, but hang in there and they actually DO produce current.

Edit to add: And don't be too concerned about the reviews on Amazon. I would look for a hiker/camping/wanderer site online for better reviews.
 
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