Author Topic: Freeloader: Portable Solar Charger  (Read 3495 times)

Offline PistolWhipped

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1977
  • Karma: 87
Freeloader: Portable Solar Charger
« on: March 21, 2009, 12:25:52 PM »

I saw this device and instantly thought of this site.  Can be used to charge various electronic devices, from cell phones to laptops, and has it's own internal battery that holds a charge for up to 3 weeks.  Not a end all, be all, but a handy way to have some level of solar available quickly and cheaply.  Runs about $50 with extra batteries in the $25 range.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2009, 12:33:18 PM by PistolWhipped »


  • Guest
Re: Freeloader: Portable Solar Charger
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009, 04:26:22 AM »
It's nice but for 12 bucks you can get a car battery charger solar panel from surplus shed

You'd have to fabricate your own connection wires and adapters but given the one you posted puts out far less power you'd still be better off money-wise. (The surplus panel is 12v / 1watt - specs aren't given on the other panel but based on the devices listed I'd guess it's good for 6v and 1/2 watt).

Surplus shed also sells "junk" panels very cheap (junk as in loose, 4 inch arrays, not junk as in quality). Wiring the auto charger panels in parallel you could assemble a panel large enough to power a laptop or charge batteries and an inverter for A/C appliances with 5-10 of these.

The "real" panels built using modern, efficient methods run about 500 bucks or more for a panel capable of 200 watts. A basic solar backup system capable of running a fridge a few hours a day will cost you around 1200 for the panel, batteries, controller and inverter. I'm always looking for a cheaper way to build one of these if anyone has them.

Hopefully some of the new solar panel technology will become available, like the hyper efficient panels based on the same type used by satellites and the space station but much more affordable or the "printable" ones currently in testing. So far my research shows building a solar concentrator with steam or Stirling powered generator or a biofuel / methane fuel cell will give you more power for less money. The CHP systems which use thermal energy for heating and hot water to also generate power are probably the best but they are expensive to buy and require a fuel source to burn.


  • Guest
Re: Freeloader: Portable Solar Charger
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2009, 06:28:27 PM »
Today, July 19th, 2009 on eBay "Deal of the day" I bought a solar Ice Tech i101 for 19.95 and free shipping.

Offline TimSuggs

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1519
  • Karma: 86
Re: Freeloader: Portable Solar Charger
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2009, 07:28:22 PM »
Cool gadget PistolWhipped!  Another + 1 feather in yor hat!  I too can see the options that this little device brings to the table.