s3nki by September 2022, 23 | 0
You'll need this stuff when the world ends
This package can save a life or, in the best case, just reduce the overhead.
I'm not the bunker-building type, but probably, like many of you, I've had a bit of paranoia creep into my life. I don't spend my days being terrified, but more and more often I think about what will happen if:
- No water from the tap
- no gas comes into the boiler,
- no power comes from the socket.
It's clear that people don't like to think about such things, but I have children, so I consider it responsible thinking to prepare for things that I don't even want to think about anyway.
For this reason, I already have a water purifier at home, which I can use to clean a few 100 liters of water. There is a gas cooker with bottles at home, there is a cheap radio receiver and roughly two weeks' worth of durable food. I know many of you are now thinking that this man has lost his mind, I will not read this nonsense any more.
If you feel the same way about this, I'll reassure you, I haven't lost my mind, I'm still not building the nuclear bunker in the garden, I just bought a few cheap things that can provide a solution in case of trouble. So I know what to cook, I know what to drink, I can communicate within a few kilometers without a mobile phone and from now on I will have a little electricity.
In this article, I will present a package that does not work miracles, but can be useful in many cases. In times of peace, you can take it camping, hiking, fishing, and if the outlet runs out of power, it might save your life. So it's not stupid.
Well, this article will not be the usual one, because I will write about a product that is not currently available. By the end of the article, you will understand why it still makes sense to write the test.
So, the package I ordered consists of two pieces. In one of the boxes we find a small battery pack, of course properly wrapped and ready for use. The second package contains a solar cell that can be used to charge the battery in the first package.
Let's start with this, that is, with the solar panel!
A flat bag measuring 360 x 540 millimeters comes out of the package. At first glance, approx. it's like a folded thing we used to lie on at the beach. That semi-hard thing that I can't think of right now.
Of course, it's not that, but a solar panel package that consists of three larger pieces. Unpacked, its total size will be 1520 x 540 millimeters, which will collect the sun's energy.
The packaging, to be precise the outer casing of the solar panels, is correct, protects the cells, and is easy to carry. After opening, we find two legs on the back, which are attached to the package with Velcro. By unfolding the legs, we can support the solar panels so that the sunlight hits them at the most optimal angle possible.
On the back side of the solar panel cover, you will find a pocket in which you can find the solar panel terminals.
The package includes quite a few cables as accessories. We have two USB cables, one end of which is normal USB A, and the other end is microUSB, Type C and Lighting at the same time. So we can charge several devices, but not at the same time.
There are also carabiners for attaching the solar panel, but interestingly, no string was included in the package, you have to take care of that yourself. Returning to the cables, we find two clamps with which we can charge our car's battery, we find a DC extension cable, a plain DC cable, and a lot of terminations for this. With this, we will be able to charge quite a lot of things, to say nothing of notebooks, for example.
The battery pack is coming!
A regular cardboard box, containing the barely 1,6 kilo pack and the accessories. It has a small handle that can be used to carry it, it has a few USB ports, but there are also AC and DC outputs. There are two buttons on the front panel, with these you can turn it on or off, here you can switch between AC and DC outputs, and with these you can turn on or off the bright light built into the end of the battery pack.
In addition to the outputs and buttons, there is another display, on which we can see whether the device is set to AC or DC output and we can also see the charge level. The only thing left out is the AC outlet, that is, the outlet into which we can plug 220 (230) volt devices.
As an accessory, we get a charger with a socket next to the battery, a cigarette lighter charger, and another converter next to the cigarette lighter connector, which we can use as a charging cable for the solar panel.
Now comes the most interesting part of the article, at least in my opinion. Let's discuss what the two devices can do!
Again, we start with the solar cell, which in this case is a monocrystalline solar cell. I would not really go into the differences between mono- and polycrystalline solar cells, which is perhaps important, that polycrystalline is less sensitive to orientation, but is larger. The advantage of monocrystalline cells is their simplicity and smaller size.
The unit itself, as I wrote above, consists of 3 parts. The power of the solar cell (Pmax) is 100 watts, and its voltage (VPmax) is 18 volts. According to the manufacturer's description, the maximum efficiency is 22,6 percent, which in practice means that if 100 watts of energy reaches the solar panel per hour (with solar radiation), then 22,6 Wh of it will be at the output.
Anyway, if the 22,6 percent efficiency is true, then it is definitely considered good.
On the back of the solar panel, as I already wrote, we find outputs. There are three USB connectors (PD, QC3.0, BC1.2) and two DC outputs. The latter is what you can use, for example, to charge the battery pack. The USB is also capable of fast charging, as can be seen on the markings.
So what can we use the solar panel for?
We can use it to charge the external battery pack, connect it to a car battery, and charge it as well. Through the USB connectors, we can quickly charge all kinds of devices, phones, tablets, smaller capacity battery packs, etc. etc. etc.
The battery capacity in the package I use is 155 Wh, and its type is Lithium-ion. You can charge it from a power outlet via the adapter provided next to it, in which case it receives 15 volts and 2 amperes, which takes approximately 7-8 hours to fully charge.
It can be charged with a solar cell, in which case the maximum charge varies between 13 and 22 volts, and the current is also 2 amperes. In addition, we can even charge from a cigarette lighter if we are driving and the generator is working in the car.
We find 4 USB outputs on it, two of them are 5 volts and 2,1 amp normal output, and the other two are QC3.0 compatible, with a voltage between 5-9 volts and a current of 2 amps.
In addition to USBs, there is also a DC output, which has a voltage between 9-12,5 volts and a maximum current of 15 amperes.
What is also very interesting for us is that there is also an AC output. This is practically a standard outlet where we get the 220 volt voltage. A maximum of 100 watts (150 watts peak) devices can be connected to this connector.
It is important to add here that if you want to operate an induction, i.e. brushless, motor, say a fan, from the battery, then check (read later) whether a normal sinusoidal alternating current is coming out of the AC output, because the motor will not rotate with a square wave.
The testing didn't last long, as I was mostly curious about what kind of consumer I could connect to the battery and how long it would take to charge the discharged battery with the 100 watt solar cell.
In the case of the USB, the factory data are correct according to my own measurements, so there are not many tasks with this. I was able to charge my phone from it just like a regular external battery. We can move on!
The DC output also worked well, I could use it for one thing, I connected it to a car battery. I also found a connector for this between the cables of the solar panel. Of course, thanks to the converters, we can charge a million and one things, but we must pay attention to the voltage values and the polarity of the connectors, so as not to damage the gadget to be charged!
The AC output, that is, the output producing alternating current, was much more exciting. Before you think that 100 watts is not enough, let me tell you that it is not that much! To say the least, I watched my 10-year-old LG flat-screen TV for 50 minutes, during which time the battery only drained to 38 percent.
Of course, we can count on the fact that the immersion is not completely uniform depending on the charge, but I think 1 hour of use and 40 percent immersion is acceptable, especially from such a small package.
Charging from the solar panel is a bit more difficult, which means it takes more time. I started charging at 12:25 noon, from 67 percent, after about four hours the counter was at 4 percent, that is, in 10 hours (in sunny, slightly cloudy weather), it was charging a little more than XNUMX percent every hour.
As a matter of fact, by the time the sun went down, at around 8:100, the battery display showed XNUMX%!
This means that in the summer, especially when the sun is shining, the solar cell must be able to charge the battery pack to 100 percent, and in the winter the situation will be messy if we start charging with the pack drained to zero.
As I wrote above, in the factory data, it is also possible to charge from a socket. Charging from 15 percent to 100 percent took almost 7 hours, so the 7-8 hours specified in the specification was correct.
What can we use the battery for?
Well, I bought it primarily for what I wrote in the introduction, i.e. as an emergency solution in case of a power outage. But until that happens, I will take advantage of the opportunity and use it to charge my electric vehicles. I also have a scooter and a bicycle, I use both regularly. Of course, the capacity of the battery pack is not enough for a full charge, but I don't tend to drain any of them in a day.
Moreover, with normal use, I usually make 3-4 trips with both of them on one charge, and even then they are not drained to zero. In other words, the small battery pack will be enough to recharge the electricity that I have used after daily use, and thus reduce the amount of "fuel" used for transportation to zero.
If someone wants to explain that I'm only saving a few tens of forints on each charge, please don't do it. Of course, saving is important, even saving those few 10 forints, but for me the point is not this, but that I can connect the gas boiler to it, for example, in the event of a power cut!
I know it's not standard, and I wouldn't ask anyone to follow my example, because the boiler must be fixed, grounded and switchable. But there are situations where I would definitely not deal with this, for example in the event of a longer power outage. In that case, even though there is gas in the system, the circulation pump does not start, the flame does not ignite, so there is no heating.
I checked, the maximum power consumption of our boiler is below 100 watts, even if the pump is not running. Assuming that the pump does not have to work continuously, this small battery pack can solve the operation of the boiler for quite a few hours.
According to the factory data, my package has 155 Wh, which means that even with continuous pump operation, the gas boiler can be operated for more than an hour and a half. If the pump only works 50 percent of the time, the battery pack can operate the heating for 3 hours, if the pump only works 25 percent of the time, the operating time can reach 6 hours. So we won't freeze in any case.
Of course, this package was not originally invented for this, but to take it with us on camping trips. During the day, put the solar panel on top of the tent or the car, and in the evening, charge our devices, light up, or even watch TV if we feel like it and for some inexplicable reason we brought a flat-screen TV to the campsite.
Of course, the heat radiator with several thousand watts will not work on it, as there is a good chance that it will bleed under a serious hair dryer. On the other hand, you can carry a smaller cooler on your back, as, for example, the simultaneous use of a flat-screen TV, notebook, or several LED lights is no obstacle. In addition to charging our phone with it, of course.
Let's sum it up
We can think about whether such a package is worth the price or not. The answer is the usual, if you don't need it, or if you don't have anything to use it, it's not worth it, but for example, in case of trouble, we would give you multiples, just to get one. So you have to decide for yourself whether it's worth it or not.
I have already decided on this issue, I bought it. I bought it for the reason that I also pay for insurance. It might be mostly a waste of money, but if it turns out, it will be very useful and I'll be glad to have a gadget that has a working outlet.
I have already found a sheltered place for the solar panel, where it gets direct sunlight all day long (of course, if there are no clouds and at night), and I can also connect it to the battery. So, if the end of the world doesn't strike, I'll simply charge my bike and scooter with this, plug my phone into it in the morning, sometimes the tablet and the batteries of my cameras, and thus reduce the electricity consumption to a minimum.
If the end of the world didn't come yet, I would still take it out a few times a year when we travel. If we take the world on our shoulders, then I can take it with me, and the two-twenty will always be there at the campsite if needed. And, of course, from now on I will always have a working socket even if there is a power outage, and if this power outage lasts a long time, we won't freeze in the winter either.
At the beginning of the article, I wrote that the package I used is no longer available. This is not a problem, since these battery packs are essentially the same, the maximum performance and battery capacity differ.
You can also buy a solar panel separately, of which there are several types, and you can buy different battery packs, even ones that can deliver power of around 1000 watts, and it can be measured not in a few hours, but even in days, until the gas boiler ticks off them.
Of course, with such a larger package, the performance of the solar panel is also crucial, since it really makes sense (at least in my opinion) if in a day approx. you can fully charge the battery.
Let's say this will be interesting when the Mad Max era arrives, because all such batteries can also be charged from a socket, so if there is electricity in the socket, you charge it up and put it away, sometimes you can charge it up, and there will always be enough electricity to prevent it from freezing and the family.
If you are thinking about a capacity similar to mine, I recommend XMUND's package, in which the battery pack is already 222 Ah. The package includes both the solar panel and the battery pack, buying both together means significant savings, much cheaper than buying them separately. In addition, I received a coupon, so with the coupon code BGHU2442 you can buy the battery pack + solar panel package from the Czech warehouse for HUF 102 here:
If you want a larger system, perhaps a separate solar panel or battery, then join our Facebook group at the link below, ask for a link and a coupon that will help you buy it cheaper. If you don't know which package would be right for you, I will try to help you with this in the Facebook group.