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Thread: Solar Panel kitsets?

  1. #1
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    Solar Panel kitsets?

    From what started off as a lecture to my daughter for taking too long in the shower and the ever increasing cost of power, her rebuttal was that she that she will fix the problem by getting some free power.
    This led to another discussion as to where the free power was to come from and it was decided we would begin with a small solar project.
    A quick sift over AliExpress found a few items but nothing that a Dad and daughter could easily knock together. I was thinking something like a light with a panel and battery.
    I went overboard and started putting a 30A MPPT charge controller and 350W panel together but, at over 100USD per panel its getting outta hand fast.
    Anyone have ideas for easy sourced kits or similar. I would like to explore solar a bit further and see what I can work up to but would like to start with something a bit easier (cheaper).
    The Universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead. -Mr Peanutbutter

  2. #2
    Member Gapped axe's Avatar
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    requires qualified installers i.e Sparkys and Plumbers
    "ars longa, vita brevis"

  3. #3
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gapped axe View Post
    requires qualified installers i.e Sparkys and Plumbers
    Plumbers? Pull the other one.
    Maca49 likes this.
    The Universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead. -Mr Peanutbutter

  4. #4
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    Was hoping if I can find a cheap enough and small enough unit I could take these into local huts and installs them as a permanent light source.
    199p and Tommy like this.
    The Universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead. -Mr Peanutbutter

  5. #5
    Member gadgetman's Avatar
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    Pretty straight forward. Jump on trademe and pick up a solar panel from there, 20-40W would be heaps to get started. Get a basic solar charge controller, also has the load terminals and stops running the battery too low. Get a battery, gel cell or old car battery will do for a start. Wire it all together. Use LED strip light for the load from aliexpress.
    7mmsaum, kiwijames, mikee and 2 others like this.
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    get an exercise bike, attach generator to bike and have daughter pedal furiously to heat water. then tell same daughter nothing is free power
    P38, 7mmsaum, Gerbs and 5 others like this.

  7. #7
    Member Gapped axe's Avatar
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    thought you were talking Solar/hot water. Well you started out on that track and that requires both of those trades.
    kiwijames likes this.
    "ars longa, vita brevis"

  8. #8
    P38
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    @kiwijames

    Does this fit your requirements for lighting a hut with solar, less than $10nzd
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    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Hot-...6-22b4563fab39

    Cheers
    Pete
    7mmsaum, gadgetman and kiwijames like this.
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  9. #9
    GWH
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    James, I run a cool little 5v solar setup for lights and charging phones and small Bluetooth speaker.

    It's low weight and size enables it to be packed into huts/camp etc.

    I'll take a pic of the components later on and post.

    Just a flexible fold up 20w panel, a 10,000 mah battery pack and a couple of different types of led lights (depending what I'm doing)

    Works bloody well. Don't need 12v if you only want to run lights, charge phones and similar.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
    7mmsaum and kiwijames like this.

  10. #10
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P38 View Post
    @kiwijames

    Does this fit your requirements for lighting a hut with solar, less than $10nzd
    Attachment 65268

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Hot-...6-22b4563fab39

    Cheers
    Pete
    Cheers Pete. Maybe I'm asking two things here.
    I've started leaving pillows in huts where and when I can, I hate going so far for a shit nights sleep. I figured leaving a few lights would make mine and others outdoors experiences a bit more comfortable too. These lamps look the ticket.
    I also find I prioritize my eldest over the other two so will look for something that requires a bit more assembly. I'd like this a project I can do with my youngest daughter for a bit of Dad/daughter time. Might look to see if we can slowly kit something together a bit larger in scale. Keen to look at storing from a PV and powering a home device like the fridge or other load. Its going to need some time and cash though.
    The Universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead. -Mr Peanutbutter

  11. #11
    Member gadgetman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P38 View Post
    @kiwijames

    Does this fit your requirements for lighting a hut with solar, less than $10nzd
    Attachment 65268

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Hot-...6-22b4563fab39

    Cheers
    Pete
    I like that. The panel looks like it has the right plug to charge a phone too.
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  12. #12
    GWH
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    Quote Originally Posted by GWH View Post
    James, I run a cool little 5v solar setup for lights and charging phones and small Bluetooth speaker.

    It's low weight and size enables it to be packed into huts/camp etc.

    I'll take a pic of the components later on and post.

    Just a flexible fold up 20w panel, a 10,000 mah battery pack and a couple of different types of led lights (depending what I'm doing)

    Works bloody well. Don't need 12v if you only want to run lights, charge phones and similar.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
    Ok heres my array of bits that i use in a variety of different combinations.

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    If doing a fly in trip, or camping beside the car, i take the whole lot (packed up into a cheap plastic ammo case from SuperCheap auto).

    Or if packing in and wanted to go very light, you could simply take the luminoodle strip light and the little Nitecore F1 (with a spare 18650 battery or two) and not even take the solar panel. The Nitecore F1 can charge 18650 batterys and can also plug a USB cable into it to use as a power bank to run lights, charge phone etc.

    The Luminoodle can be left in the white bag with the battery and used as a hanging lantern also. It weights nothing and takes up no room.

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    And here's the little lightweight bluetooth speaker ive recently got, surprisingly good sound for the size and weight of it.

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    The Solar panel, 5W lamp and 10,000 mah power bank all came from Banggood.com pretty cheap. I ended up buying the Luminoodle new off Trademe in the end, as freight from offshore killed it.

  13. #13
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    @GWH that looks like a really good wee set up you have there, might need to add a few things to my kit seeing your pics

  14. #14
    GWH
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    Quote Originally Posted by 223nut View Post
    @GWH that looks like a really good wee set up you have there, might need to add a few things to my kit seeing your pics
    Thanks, yeah it all works very well for my needs. There is also a 15W folding panel available that only has two panel sections, so a little lighter and slightly thinner.

    If you want to be able to do more with the solar power, then you need to go 12V. IE when we went hunting on Stewy for 10 days, my father in law put together a larger 12V solar kit, it had a 40W panel and 2 x 18AH batteries. We used it every night to run hut lights, and also charge UHF radios, as well as running a Nitecore D4 battery charger to charge batteries for Headlamps, GPS's, cameras, as well as bluetooth speaker etc etc. There was 8 of us, all charging something all the while, and considering we didnt actually get that much sun on that trip the solar power system did bloody well.
    Last edited by GWH; 11-03-2017 at 12:37 PM.

  15. #15
    LOC
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    @GWH just picking up this old discussion again - that luminoodle has really fallen out of favour with me in a hunting camp setting because it is too bright and too white. now will just use it for camping rips with the kids where you ned a bit more light. the LED bulb with on/off switch (the same as yours) has a softer yellow hue and is preferable to me

    however, i have found on aliexpress a rip off version of the Luminoodle for about half the price and got it in a yellow hue. the build quality feels roughly the same, output is similar as far as I can tell and a much softer light colour. will give this one another go

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    for fly camping trips a camp light doesn't make the cut for the pack as it is too bulky and not really that necessary but i have just found these little usb led lights on aliexpress thinking that paired up with a nitecore F1 charger + 18650 battery (which i carry anyway for head torch/phone etc) they might make the cut for the pack. i have ordered a couple with 2x LED and one with 6x LED to test the difference. i assume they won't have much output but are friggin tiny and only $1-$3 each. interested in whether you have you checked these out before??

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