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Old 07-27-2013, 02:06 AM   #1
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Solar generator

http://www.goalzero.com/

http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZZkUVfKyZDQ

Here's a link to find them in your area, plus they send reps to costco and run some deals. Anybody have one or try it out? That 1250 is 100lbs though!

http://www.goalzero.com/store-finder.html
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:14 PM   #2
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Re: Solar generator

Yeah, the weight is to be expected. Basically it seems to be a solar regulator, 1200 W inverter and a 100 Ah AGM battery in a nice kit with some nice connections. But a battery that size is gonna weight 60+ lbs and then add in all that other stuff.

And they seem to be selling it with 3 30W panels. So you'd have quite a headache, I'd expect, storing and dealing with all that. So unless you really need to have a "portable" 100lb battery I'd think going solar with the van's existing electrical would be a better way to go. You could buy all the components for less than that Goal Zero unit, although it is nicely packaged.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:06 PM   #3
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Re: Solar generator

I can see something like that for smaller vehicles where a large battery bank would be difficult to install.
I've made a few crude power supplies to run equipment using battery boxes. ARK has a high tech box out but is not designed for 110 AC output yet because Europe uses 220. My guess is they will build something for us in the States.



What I like about something like the ARK box or what I built is after the battery is toast, you can simply replace it. What I would really like to see is a smaller version that could be banked together for more AH. Having to tote a heavy battery like the ARK box to run a portable stereo that has minimal load needs isn't to my likings. I might use a Pelican case with a 20+ah AGM battery that has a couple of 12vDC ports to use as my portable power. Adding a small inverter would be easy if I need AC but the more AC you need the bigger the battery will have to be, hence weight.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:32 PM   #4
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Re: Solar generator

You might consider lead acid instead of AGM. Since it might not always be in the van, maintenance might not be an issue, and they're cheaper and come in about every size and shape. But 20 AH AGMs are also available in motorcycle sizes, just more expensive.

I managed to get a relatively cheap battery (8AH) by buying one of those emergency car jumper thingees; it wasn't too hard to take apart and as a bonus I got some heavy gauge copper wire, clamps, and cig lighter sockets. Sometimes they're cheaper than the battery inside would be sold separately.

What I should've done is installed a pigtail off my solar controller so I could switch it from the house batteries to the portable power pack (or some other destination). My house ones are often full, and attaching the power pack into the house DC circuit will charge, but not very well.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:21 PM   #5
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Re: Solar generator

Has anyone got any suggestions about a portable self regulating solar panel setup , I can just plug into one of my house battery outlets , my portable fridge freezer uses quite a bit of power when left plugged in all day . need to keep the Beer cold
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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Re: Solar generator

After an amp or so of charge you really need a unit that has a controller with the 12v regulated units. Not to say that with a load you have to have one, but only when you leave it on the system for extended times like maintenance schedules. Somebody posted about one in this section that was high tech like the goal-zero but I can't recall the brand. There are several out there from Cabela's and what not but I don't know the quality.

I think power film is a good one
http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/
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