DIY Solar Newbie

Rbryanp

Cigar Enthusionado
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Somewhere East of Washington, DC
Greetings Newbie and Guru, and Other Forum Members somewhere in between.

I'm not quite a newb, but more like an adolescent. I've been watching YouTube videos from Will Prowse, Jehu Garcia, David Poz and the good professor Hobotech among others for almost 2 years. I understand the rudimentary basics of electricity, and I've been doing a lot of research on DIY 12 volt solar/power systems and the batteries, panels and other components that make them work. I've built a few batteries from lithium pouch cells, but nothing very complicated.

I recently purchased a box of 10 GSP 3.2v 50ah prismatic Lifepo4 cells from BatteryHookup. I began assembling the hardware I'll need to build my first 100Ah battery this afternoon with 8 of the cells. But before I hooked up any of the cells to a variable DC power supply to begin charging the cells, I consulted some posts on this forum to get a few answers, found what I was looking for, and my first cell of 2 is now charging.

I am an assistant scout master that will be heading to summer camp with my troop in July. It can be hot and stifling at night, and difficult to sleep with those higher temperatures. I bought a 5v USB powered fan for use in my tent in the evenings, and the 2 cells combined with a dual USB 5V 2.4A mobile power bank module should allow me to power my fan, an LED light or 2, and charge my cell phone and tablet for the week I'll be at camp.

I have been on boards and forums such as this before and know how they work for the most part. I hope to check in periodically, and I'm not a wall flower. If a Newbie has a question that I can answer, I'll jump right in and provide an answer.

Take Care Everyone, and Stay Safe!
 

Samsonite801

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
1,536
Hello friend, I was in Boy Scouts many many many a moons ago (like 80's)... I respect people who donate time to help kids learn precious skills (plus you get to go have fun too playing with camping, hiking, and all that)... I hope you're teaching them how to build portable battery banks too.

The biggest mistake I ever made, was when our troop went on a 50-mile hike up over 5 mountain passes (coming out right by Ross Dam in Washington), I didn't follow the packing guidelines and brought way too much stuff, even candy and crap like that, my pack was way too heavy and it didn't have the lower back pad on it, so of course it wore the skin off my back above the waist by Day 3, and had to put corns stickers on my back and it was miserable. And not to mention had multiple blisters on both feet.

So just tell those kids not to make their portable lithium battery packs have too many AH or they might regret it, only bring enough electrons that you can carry hehe... Maybe can make large straw hats for shade that have lightweight solar panel on them so they can charge a smaller pack during the day while hiking (enough to make it through one night)... hehe

Welcome!
 

Rbryanp

Cigar Enthusionado
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Somewhere East of Washington, DC
Hello friend, I was in Boy Scouts many many many a moons ago (like 80's)... I respect people who donate time to help kids learn precious skills (plus you get to go have fun too playing with camping, hiking, and all that)... I hope you're teaching them how to build portable battery banks too.

The biggest mistake I ever made, was when our troop went on a 50-mile hike up over 5 mountain passes (coming out right by Ross Dam in Washington), I didn't follow the packing guidelines and brought way too much stuff, even candy and crap like that, my pack was way too heavy and it didn't have the lower back pad on it, so of course it wore the skin off my back above the waist by Day 3, and had to put corns stickers on my back and it was miserable. And not to mention had multiple blisters on both feet.

So just tell those kids not to make their portable lithium battery packs have too many AH or they might regret it, only bring enough electrons that you can carry hehe... Maybe can make large straw hats for shade that have lightweight solar panel on them so they can charge a smaller pack during the day while hiking (enough to make it through one night)... hehe

Welcome!
Thank You! Yes, I am a big kid too which is one of the reasons I still love the scouting stuff. But I'm no 'Toys R Us' kid. My toys are based on LiFePO cells and solar panels, cigar lighters, cigar cutters and the best and most versatile beverage koozie money can buy.

I've backpacked several hundred miles. I went with my troop to Philmont in 2012. It was an amazing experience. Several of those miles backpacked were preparing for the Philmont trip. I feel your backpacking pain, but never experienced pain to the degree that you mentioned. I've had minor blisters, but that's about it.

Although I plan to introduce what I've learned about portable power, lithium-based batteries I built myself, and solar power to our scouts, we won't be bringing anything like mega-amp hours of capacity on any backpacking trips. I'll settle for the small, cargo pocket sized battery banks. But on my summer camp trip in July, I will be hauling a few small so-gens to run my USB fan. You gotta stay comfortable when you can! :cool:
 

12VoltInstalls

…myself everything do I…
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
3,490
Location
Vermont
Does anybody make a decent mono 15 to 30 Watt panel? Something like 10”x16” that would ride on top of a pack is nearly useless “in real life” but would be scads of power backpacking imho.
You got my imagination flying.
 

tomdav

New Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Cyprus
Thank You! Yes, I am a big kid too which is one of the reasons I still love the scouting stuff. But I'm no 'Toys R Us' kid. My toys are based on LiFePO cells and solar panels, cigar lighters, cigar cutters and the best and most versatile beverage koozie money can buy.
What you too have the Koozies, Bro the koozies i are so amazing that it beer cool i have one i show it to you this one. isn't it cute and cool too
download.jpg
 
Top