Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Understanding Power Use In A Disaster Solar, Wind and Water

Solar power, we all know about it, we all know its not cost effective for who ever buys it, its more an Investment for the family and future generations, But in a disaster its heat, light, cooking.. its Great Power if you understand its limits.

I had a plan to test a theory, it cost me money (so follow me blog or share the post or somethin in return huh lmao) Anyway, Power, its about Middle Men, you can't really just go from A to B with solar power (especially on the move)

My test required a few things...

Google  AllPower Solar Panel
A portable set of 4 solar panels (for apparently charging a phone, pad or Even a laptop) This has an 18v output & a 5v USB port. But although its 18 volts the Amps are very low, this is a trickle charge system, it wouldn't power a laptop for example without its battery & even then it wouldn't be capable of charging & powering the laptop at the same time.

These are very light weight and fold up (no glass) but as stated using these Alone wont help as clouds makes charging unstable and unreliable.

But if you use these to charge a bigger battery (not even a car battery as such but maybe a small jump starter) which i also bought as a buffer.

This is so small and light weight its unreal, though this isn't the exact one i bought (same brand but different specs which i shall define) The one i bought has 2 USB ports and more importantly what i opted for was a power bank that can supply 3 stages of power. it does 5v  x2 with the usb ports & the laptop output offers 12v, 16v and 19v.  Another important aspect is how the power bank is charged "joining the solar panels to the bank with compatibility" The bank i chose comes with a 14v Mains Charger & a car cigarette lighter charger (note although cars are 12v, the lighter port can output more when a cars moving faster) But as you can imagine an 18v Trickle in varied weather into a 14v input is more than enough to keep this bank topped up. Also note it can't Output while charging, so this auto stops power flooding back out the battery into the panels converter.

After testing i found using the 19v output from a fully charged bank i could power a 19v laptop & charge it twice (that gave me 16 hours of laptop use) but then took almost 5 days of uk weather to charge the bank fully with the panels. That said, this concept is to use the USB output to power a small USB AAA or AA or D cell charger. Or a battery charger that does a row of batteries.

1 Example here power wise, i can use the power bank to charge a completely dead iPhone 5 with the usb wire (at night) the moment the phones charged the bank goes into standby and stays that way. When the sun comes out the bank starts charging.. i seldom see the bank drop from 5 lights to 3, normally flashing bar 4 when i wake. Ber in mind you can get better panel sets (i was buying.. not raiding a store during the apocalypse lmao) And you can get better power banks, but its all about the Volts & the Amps.

Another great example of "power distribution to cut down on Amps" is how fairy lights work. 240 volts is fed along strategically placed bulbs so each bulb divides up the 240 between them. if you where to put all the bulbs off the chain and divide each of the wires you can power them all at once off something as small as a 9v PP3 battery, fairy lights are 12v bulbs.  You could charge 1.5 batteries if you evenly distribute the 12v from the bank,  1.5v and 1.5v = 3.0v, chain them up top to bottom till you have 12v worth of 1.5's (though i would ideally recommend a battery charger that uses a 12v mains adapter) and take the wire and rig it to the laptop output on the bank. Then you could use the bank to charge say 8 or 10 AAA or AA or 4 D cell batteries. If you have TWO power banks you could do two lots of charging from 1 bank (while the 2nd bank is still getting charged fro the solar)

But the real point here is you need solar & a power bank (to charge Other stuff) its like a Water butt.. multiple days of rain = enough to run a steady water flow if its been stored (the rain its self is erratic, as is solar power) Its not really that complex, the thing to remember is a 12v with like 80000mha is going to take for ever to charge & is way over the top for what's needed)

I Essentially Have
4x solar panels giving out 18v (1300mAh)
1x power bank that Takes 14v+ that Gives 5v x2 and 12v, 16, and 19v
1x battery charger takes 10 AA, AAA or 6 D cel or 6 PP3 (usually powered by a 12v mains adapter)
Charge batteries of a night using bank... then panels auto charge Bank of a day..

I had spare wires off others things so i didn't need to get extra stuff to run my tests, but in a panic id grab a few of the same thing, like if you sacrifice the car charger wire to use that from (solar output to bank input) then car charging the bank is messy & car charging is faster if u can) so spares is a must. 2 sets of solar panels, 2 power banks, 1 battery charger, 100+ batteries, you'll probably never want for light, radio and what ever again... Regardless of Oil, Gas n crap we apparently need real bad... Its Silent to...

Side Step here from solar (same concept, but water) a small stream, if you can get a push bike frame, back wheel & a 6v Dynamo on either side, attach plastic strips to the spokes of the wheel so the water turns it.. your now generating 12v.. amps will increase charging speed the faster the wheel goes (same can be said for wind. A basic Car alternator spinning can increase the output, what if a bike wheel (geared right) driving the alternator where the peddle crank used to be?

Knowledge is Power... Power brings an easier & safer life.. if we do things clean...

Random pics of my stuff in action...

My panels on a Mic stand lol
Old phone plug head fitted my banks Input, saved me gutting car wire
Right wire Input from solar, Left wire 12v to 19v bank output
Just remember  LOWER  mAh = faster turn around, quicker charge, but has less amps on output long term. Cig charger in a car.. go for Higher number mAh, using solar or bike, wind water dynamo based go for lower mAh.. even if you use a few Low  mAh (of a night) to charge a larger mAh & only use solar to charge the smaller ones.. It Is about "storing power" for use  (not just having Direct Use in real time for free at the tip of your fingers) power Must be Generated and Stored.. to be able to use it.. or for it to have any real use to anyone.

The methods here work because NO power goes back from the Bank into the panels, if you tried feeding power from panels directly to live battery terminals then powers gona fry the solar controller, now your talking Resistors and more tek to charge a raw battery, power flows both ways unless you resist one direction lmao

Wana really know the kinda things you should be thinking about, read the survival post here.. again.. it may save your life,  it'll certainly make you an Asset rather than a dam Useless Burden

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