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Author Topic: Portable / thin panels & powerbanks proliferate, why R we still wall charging?  (Read 5996 times)
MR GUS
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« on: July 04, 2016, 09:38:55 AM »

Things have moved so far with the advent of portable power banks of 10, 15, 20,000+ mAh in what is more often than not li-polymer due to gadget crazy folk living their lives on flashy phones (yes likely even here on Nav). ...seeing 22000 mAh li-ion for under 20 quid delivered (for instance).

With that in mind, the fact that you can get a thin flexi panel for peanuts (or a proper framed panel, & connect it to an intelligent chip powerbank that will typically fill an energy chugging phone / "phablet" 3-5 times over why we have not seen this basic movement yet in say any housing project to upsell green credentials / actually change folks perception of solar charging?

The wall wart plug is still king, yet vast amounts of folk have bought into power-banks for handbags, rugged (allegedly) for "men" ..& outdoors.

Should we now expect, or demand that housing now comes kitted with suitable small scale solar charge stations to plug into & utilise around say a bedroom window connection (providing elevation typically clear of basic shading).

Only a couple of years ago the energy storage was a problem, it isn't anymore, why are we still no further down the line?

Technology moves yet minor adjustments to buildings & home lifestyle stagnate, yet power use remains a big concern, high on many agendas.

If the rgb led lightbulb can be such a viable gadget product, why not a domestic solar powerbank connection that doesn't look like it should be on a nepal trip.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 09:44:51 AM by MR GUS » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2016, 12:17:23 PM »

Hi Gus,
        I think it is all about education or lack of it and of course,,perception, If somehow we could get folks to believe that it was "Cool" to use these renewable gadgets ,then we might have a chance. Not enough is being done by our lazy governments to educate and get ordinary folks to invest in small energy saving items,then when they see how well they work, they can have a serious  ponder about larger scale investments.
   I sometimes tell folks in Aldi Or Lidl,,folks who are looking at the solar lamps,, I explain that we never have to use our bathroom light, instead we have two solar lights sitting on the bathroom window cill and when it gets dark, they light up automatically, throwing the light around the bathroom.Even if they only work 9 months of the year, it is savings for that 9 months. I intended one time to have the bathroom solar lights on a switch and fitting a heavier battery but I never got around to it. Grin
                                                                              Biff
                                     
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knighty
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2016, 02:22:18 PM »

you have to be careful with a lot of those battery packs / booster packs

they advertised as 4ah

and they have 4ah worth of batteries in.... but they're 4.1v... so by the time they're in a pack to make 12v you only really have 1.3ah available


(obviously changes a bit depending on the cell type they use higher/lower cell voltages etc.. but you get the idea)
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Scruff
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2016, 02:50:40 PM »

I'm still wall charging because my walls are linked to a GTI. I also have dedicated solar USBs on my domestic 12V system and mobile 12V system.

Recently in the airport while waiting for a delayed flight the airport was kitted out with double gang sockets with inbuilt low consumption USB ports. Every other individual either plugged their wall wart in beside the USB and charged from that or stuck a plug adapter with USB ports into the socket and then a wallwat into the adapter. I blame manufacturers for claiming to use only their wall warts as if 5.0VDC CV from any other source is inferior.  Roll Eyes

These power banks beg the question if I need a battery for a battery should I not just get a larger battery in the first place?

22000mAh is 22Ah @ 4.1V or 90Wh don't be fooled by the big number it's just marketese and reluctance to use correct SI units.

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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2016, 03:17:56 PM »

Biff, please can you tell me the style of solar lamps you have sitting on your window sill?  I would like to get a couple to light my bathroom, as it is south facing and the lamps would be charged up pretty quickly.  Thanks in advance.
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MR GUS
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2016, 04:20:27 PM »

List,

Duly noted ...i'm horrendously aware of claimed output / performance  / marketing hyperbole compared to real world, ..but the point remains.

For instance today I bought a portable fold up monocrystalline construct solar charger 13 watts for just shy of a tenner (Eceen brand) you just know the flash test does not marry with real world use, & that the claimed output is more like 10 not 13 watts, (Sunpower brand solar cells) ...for the money though i'm not complaining, but for those who are truly ignorant (ie devoid of fervency typically displayed here)  whistlie they are being well & truly caught short & are the moaners through misinformation.

properly rated packs to clip onto an inside wall (too all intents portable) fed from a decent panel really ought to be making their presence felt nowadays!

« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 04:52:24 PM by MR GUS » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2016, 05:03:54 PM »

I'm still wall charging because my walls are linked to a GTI. I also have dedicated solar USBs on my domestic 12V system and mobile 12V system.

Recently in the airport while waiting for a delayed flight the airport was kitted out with double gang sockets with inbuilt low consumption USB ports. Every other individual either plugged their wall wart in beside the USB and charged from that or stuck a plug adapter with USB ports into the socket and then a wallwat into the adapter. I blame manufacturers for claiming to use only their wall warts as if 5.0VDC CV from any other source is inferior.  Roll Eyes

These power banks beg the question if I need a battery for a battery should I not just get a larger battery in the first place?

22000mAh is 22Ah @ 4.1V or 90Wh don't be fooled by the big number it's just marketese and reluctance to use correct SI units.



There is a security issue as well, you should never use your USB data cable with any third party USB charging port as you do not know what else the port may try and do and I know very few people who have UBS charging only cables. There is also an issue about the voltage you may see on random USB charging ports, a while ago I purchase a nice in-line USB meter that shows voltage and current and one or 2 ports that I have come across have been very poor. The worse was running at 6.5V, but I've also seen under voltage and very low currents on other offerings.

All in all it can be a lot safer to just use your power supply via an available mains socket.
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2016, 05:08:31 PM »

Biff, please can you tell me the style of solar lamps you have sitting on your window sill?  I would like to get a couple to light my bathroom, as it is south facing and the lamps would be charged up pretty quickly.  Thanks in advance.

Get one of these and go the whole hog. bike

http://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-led-solar-floodlight-with-pir-silver/1499G?kpid=1499G&cm_mmc=Google-_-Product%20Listing%20Ads-_-Sales%20Tracking-_-sales%20tracking%20url&cm_mmc=Google-_-Shopping%20-%20Electrical%20and%20Lighting-_-Shopping%20-%20Electrical%20and%20Lighting-_-all\electrical%20&%20lighting\floodlights\lap_71fed731-a4d0-402c-9b7d-cc63cabde971&gclid=CNalhKeT2s0CFQ0SGwodbe8C6w
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smegal
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« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2016, 07:49:51 PM »

Things have moved so far with the advent of portable power banks of 10, 15, 20,000+ mAh in what is more often than not li-polymer due to gadget crazy folk living their lives on flashy phones (yes likely even here on Nav). ...seeing 22000 mAh li-ion for under 20 quid delivered (for instance).

With that in mind, the fact that you can get a thin flexi panel for peanuts (or a proper framed panel, & connect it to an intelligent chip powerbank that will typically fill an energy chugging phone / "phablet" 3-5 times over why we have not seen this basic movement yet in say any housing project to upsell green credentials / actually change folks perception of solar charging? Solar chargers are bulky and often slow.

The wall wart plug is still king, yet vast amounts of folk have bought into power-banks for handbags, rugged (allegedly) for "men" ..& outdoors.Powerbanks can give a couple of charges and fit in a pocket. A worthwhile solar charger would be quite big and would need leaving in the sun.

Should we now expect, or demand that housing now comes kitted with suitable small scale solar charge stations to plug into & utilise around say a bedroom window connection (providing elevation typically clear of basic shading).I'd just go for proper grid tied. This would be unlikely to pay back it's embodied energy due to not being particularly effective and under utilised.

Only a couple of years ago the energy storage was a problem, it isn't anymore, why are we still no further down the line?

Technology moves yet minor adjustments to buildings & home lifestyle stagnate, yet power use remains a big concern, high on many agendas.

If the rgb led lightbulb can be such a viable gadget product, why not a domestic solar powerbank connection that doesn't look like it should be on a nepal trip. They are only really useful for nepal trips.

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MR GUS
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2016, 08:46:14 PM »

Smegal, i'm not talking about leaving a charger that is portable & has a naff solar panel in the sun, ..i'm referring to a powerbank, that by nature of material & energy density is technically portable when compared to many other gadgets that have taken over.

To link it into a decent solar panel of say 30 watts sited on the outside of a house wall with a feed through to the windowsill where items can be interchanged, or the powerbank (take your pick) can be grabbed for outside time in the field, like many things a pattern of habit needs to form to ones routine to then work out its viability & potential for that embodied energy, ..therefore definitely utilised.

We could therefore state the embodied energy argument into many fripperies & conveniences of modern life, the insulated s/steel drinks vessel, the thermos, ..both requiring definite change of practise ...i'd be more inclined to agree with you if you if you said, juicer, bread maker, or ice cream maker.

I cannot tell you how many times back in the day I have got in late with a horse to untack & rub down in complete darkness, a powerbank would have been very welcome as many have built in torches, a bit of light in a stable to avoid being stamped on ...priceless!

for basic use in a barn or a bothy,  ..like anything if you spec it properly & folk understand how to use it, (esp limitations) that's half the battle won because you change around it, & charging a phone / phablet aint that hard.  ..EV battery anxiety anyone!?

conditioning surely.
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2016, 11:35:47 PM »

Things have moved so far with the advent of portable power banks of 10, 15, 20,000+ mAh in what is more often than not li-polymer due to gadget crazy folk living their lives on flashy phones (yes likely even here on Nav). ...seeing 22000 mAh li-ion for under 20 quid delivered (for instance).

With that in mind, the fact that you can get a thin flexi panel for peanuts (or a proper framed panel, & connect it to an intelligent chip powerbank that will typically fill an energy chugging phone / "phablet" 3-5 times over why we have not seen this basic movement yet in say any housing project to upsell green credentials / actually change folks perception of solar charging?

The wall wart plug is still king, yet vast amounts of folk have bought into power-banks for handbags, rugged (allegedly) for "men" ..& outdoors.

Should we now expect, or demand that housing now comes kitted with suitable small scale solar charge stations to plug into & utilise around say a bedroom window connection (providing elevation typically clear of basic shading).

Only a couple of years ago the energy storage was a problem, it isn't anymore, why are we still no further down the line?

Technology moves yet minor adjustments to buildings & home lifestyle stagnate, yet power use remains a big concern, high on many agendas.

If the rgb led lightbulb can be such a viable gadget product, why not a domestic solar powerbank connection that doesn't look like it should be on a nepal trip.


At the end of the day the real issue of using such units comes down to the cost of the device. Taking the following as an example as it has an image showing its design (5 LG/Panasonic cells and a real control unit)

       https://www.amazon.co.uk/RAVPower-16750mAh-Portable-External-Technology/dp/B00OJXVDAU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1467669104&sr=8-3&keywords=powerbank

Its cost is £22 and each full charge stores 62W (16.750A x 3.7V) and if we take the life of the cells as 500 cycles it means we can store a total of 31kWh over its life. That's not a lot of energy storage for £22 + the cost of the PV.

One strange thing we do have to look forward to in the future is the general replacement of household 230V AC - If you look at the devices we are now purchasing, outside of the Kitchen area very few items have very high wattage requirements and the latest USB standard already supports 100W at 20V. So maybe we end up with houses powered by mainly USB ports from a central DC supply rather than 230V ring mains. With such a configuration maybe a large inline battery would be cost effective as there would be a major saving from the removal of all the block power supplies people are installing.
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2016, 12:11:03 AM »

Will send you pic JR,
                When I get a chance,
                                   Biff
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Scruff
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2016, 12:18:31 AM »

5A through a USB port  Shocked.
I need to get me one of them to see how long it takes to melt.  Grin

We'll never escape the blocks it's that, voltage drop or global copper shortages.

The security issue on the data, are you thinking third party chargers are somehow intercepting the phone data RIT or that it can damage the port?
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2016, 03:27:49 AM »

5A through a USB port  Shocked.
I need to get me one of them to see how long it takes to melt.  Grin

Yep, it was added to the standard for both USB 2 and USB 3 ports a few years ago as a way to charge portables, but 100W is a hell of a lot with many 65" TVs now running below that.

Quote
We'll never escape the blocks it's that, voltage drop or global copper shortages.

That's where the current USB standard fails as it only supports short cables of < 2m for 100W. The much older power over Ethernet standard got up to 25W (at 50V) over 100M, but as the standard wires are 24 AWG, the cables also managed a 12% loss due to heating at full distance (push 30W in and have 25.5W available at the end point).

Quote
The security issue on the data, are you thinking third party chargers are somehow intercepting the phone data RIT or that it can damage the port?

Both

  - Security, while still more Hollywood than fact plugging into an unknown usb socket may get you more than just power

              https://www.wired.com/2014/07/usb-security/

  - Port damage, as you have no way to tell if all the ports are fully isolated you could be plugging into a common 5V and earth rail. As such someone else could cause a problem on those rails or go as far as forcing an issue. You would not want to share your charging port with one of these devices placed on the same rails, or find that the lead you are plugging connects you directly to such a device.

              http://www.pcworld.com/article/2896732/dont-trust-other-peoples-usb-flash-drives-they-could-fry-your-laptop.html

 
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2016, 11:24:14 AM »

 Hi JR,
     We used to have this one in our ensuite , The cable was long enough to stretch outside so that the small panel could charge the batt to the best. The battery is in the lamp itself and the setting  are on the back as well. The light came on automatically when we sat up in the bed and after a week ,we got really pizzed of with it because the light was so bright it would put you out of the bed, The babies are bored, the shed awaits us.

  These are all we use in the downstairs bathroom, The rock lamp is excellent, we used to have 2 of them but gave one to a visitor, The other is a solar faiery that changes the color of the bathroom. It is quite nice. Normally i am not into that kind of thing but Mrs Biff has superior tastes to me.

 
                                                       Biff
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