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Old 08-09-2008, 07:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Solar Powered Battery Charger

I have seen these at some local hardware stores, just wondering if anyone has some testomonials about them?? Looking at getting one, I am talking about the chargers that charge AA, AAA etc........

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Old 08-10-2008, 11:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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from my understanding they do work but I would assume they would be really slow...beause the photo cell is so small.
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have one here somewhere but it needs strong sunlight to charge the batteries. Once it gets slightly overcast, the amperage needle just drops off and your batteries will practically never charge. However, in direct sunlight, AAA's will charge in about 1 hour, AA's in 3 hours and the solar panels are reasonably tolerant of the suns position changing over time. If you set it up that the sun is to the left of optimal position, then it will progressively get better over time and then worse by the time the batteries are hopefully charged. They're good but fiddly. Cheap too!

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Old 08-11-2008, 11:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input guys, guess i will go buy on, hopefully its not overcast for the next few days :P
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have one I bought on Amazon and I can't get it to do ANYTHING. I bought a bunch of rechargeable batteries and everything. That was several months ago and I figured I'd just stop buying regular batteries and start putting the rechargeables in as I needed batteries. It appears that it might be another year before I actually need a charger that works, so I'm watching for one that works better than mine.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Looks like there are some good 15Watt panels on Amazon for under $100. Add a controller, a 12V rechargeable battery, and a portable car heater, and you could heat your car's interior on cold mornings (or evenings after work) without affecting FE.

Not a cheap solution, but anybody try something like this?
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've got a little panel I picked up from Harbor Freight for about $15 on sale. It holds two AAs and I have two well lit windows near my wii, so I figured instead of getting a charger that used electricity, I could use this to charge my wii controllers' batteries. It doesn't do much though. Has to be in VERY direct light, like outside. I think I've charged maybe 4 AAs in it in the 9 months since I got it.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extragoode View Post
I've got a little panel I picked up from Harbor Freight for about $15 on sale. It holds two AAs and I have two well lit windows near my wii, so I figured instead of getting a charger that used electricity, I could use this to charge my wii controllers' batteries. It doesn't do much though. Has to be in VERY direct light, like outside. I think I've charged maybe 4 AAs in it in the 9 months since I got it.
Yeah, the panels I'm talking about are much larger, like this one which would take up my whole back deck. With this controller, I would think it could do a good job on a rechargeable 12V battery like this one.

The other option would be to connect the controller directly to the car's 12V battery to keep it charged as much as possible. In a hybrid, I would think this would help reduce the load on the high-voltage battery. This was tried in a Honda Civic Hybrid and documented over at CleanMPG.
Not sure how well it worked though...

Eph
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here's a question for you guys. I have a bunch of the low voltage landscape lights laying around my garage, the kind that use a 921 type bulb. I was thinking about disconnecting the power souce since it's only a 12 volt converter anyway and connecting them to a car battery and then connect the battery to a solar charger. If i changed the bulbs to 194's which are only 1.5 watts or even leds, what size battery do you think I'll need and what type/size of solar battery charger do you think I need to get?

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