How to rig a solar panel to power a 16v 2a barrel dc input? Unusual power station

LostEar

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Jan 26, 2021
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Hello, I’ve picked this item up specifically because I wanted a huge battery bank for my regular electronics. It was not my intention to end up with a portable power station so to speak. It’s a Tzumi Vault with 50,400 MaH. There is an AC inverter, 2 12v outputs, and 3 USB ports which are exactly what I needed. I’m also suspecting that I only need this much capacity to easily several days at a minimum (unless I play my PS4 off the inverter quite a bit). I grabbed it for only $65. I was originally going to get one of the better Anker 20k MaH simple battery battery that cost like $70. So purely as a battery bank, The vault is already perfect for me. So far I’ve only spent $90 total on this (picked up some 12v adapters for this) so I’m looking forward to seeing if maybe I can rig up some solar panels to top it off when I’m finally fully nomadic (living in a camper fulltime). I do intend to build a proper DIY solar power system down the road but I’m currently tight budget wise and this is helping me out a good bit. Once I’m at that point much later this year, I can reuse the solar panels on the new system and relegate this tzumi vault into purely as a backup battery. (Hoping to have a proper solar power system and diesel heater fully installed before winter this year)

Anyway, it only have one DC input that’s based off an AC adapter that came with it. There are NO traditional solar panel inputs. That’s a first for me Regarding power stations like this. I’m hoping to see whether or not it’s possible to rig up a small solar controller or something to convert the regular solar panels inputs into 16v 2a output so I can charge the power station with it. I’m not entirely sure if that is all the information one would need to be able to charge the station?

Thanks for any info!
 

chadfog

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I have the same power station. I'm looking for a similar response. I read somewhere that the wattage has to be compatible, or too much solar energy could burn up the device. Mine is 300W. I'm still looking for info on the DC in.
 

Bud Martin

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What does the user manual say about Solar charging? What is the exact model number? Need to ifnd out if it has Solar Charger Controller or not. More than likly that it has built-in SCC.
What is the DC input rating?
It's not shown on th website either.
 
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chadfog

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What does the user manual say about Solar charging? What is the exact model number? Need to ifnd out if it has Solar Charger Controller or not. More than likly that it has built-in SCC.
What is the DC input rating?
It's not shown on th website either.
The user manual does not mention solar charging. The max wattage is 300 w. The rated power is 150 w though. On closer inspection, a 100 or 150 w solar panel might work with an adaptor. It's the Tzumi Vault Power Station all-in-one Portable Charger. I think it's the only one they made. It may be discontinued.
 

Bud Martin

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OP sais "16v 2a" that is only 32W input power, so you need SCC that can set the output 16VDC and can deleiver 2A of current, 16V is not typical Battery charging output for SCC.
The 150W is likely to be the Inverter output power, not solar.
 

chadfog

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On Amazon, there is a product brand called Longdex that makes a mini solar panel. If you search, it comes up with a 6v cheap looking panel. Would that work? It looks like it has the right connector. It looks like it would take forever to charge.
 

Bud Martin

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On Amazon, there is a product brand called Longdex that makes a mini solar panel. If you search, it comes up with a 6v cheap looking panel. Would that work? It looks like it has the right connector. It looks like it would take forever to charge.
You need to feed the unit with regulated 16V. Look at the label of the charger power supply to see what is printed on it. Any pictures of the AC adapter? The unit need steady DC input so you cannot just connect the solar output directly to the unit.
 

LostEar

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My thinking was to NOT directly charge via solar panel but have something small in between to control the power so it doesn’t burn out the power station. Basically a panel plus controller situation which seems easier to set up than hunting for compatible panels imo. Just aren’t sure how to rig such a setup for this. The station itself have no solar controller whatsoever.

The 16v 2a figure I shared was the output values from the AC plug for the power station. What other information should I find and share here?
 

Bud Martin

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My thinking was to NOT directly charge via solar panel but have something small in between to control the power so it doesn’t burn out the power station. Basically a panel plus controller situation which seems easier to set up than hunting for compatible panels imo. Just aren’t sure how to rig such a setup for this. The station itself have no solar controller whatsoever.

The 16v 2a figure I shared was the output values from the AC plug for the power station. What other information should I find and share here?
Does it come with an AC adapter to allow you to charge the unit from AC outlet? That is what you need to find out. Show us the pictures of what comes with the unit, right now I cannot even find the user manual on its website.
 

LostEar

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Yeah, I have the physical manual with me. If the info on the plug is not enough, I can try snapping pics of the manual and upload it here for reference.

90B8007A-B4CD-4E08-A22C-C030CF17D6F5.jpeg
 

Bud Martin

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That is switching power supply.
So you need to come up to some how convert solar power so it will generate steady 16V and can at least supply 2A of current to feed your power station.
You may be able to use the output of the solar panel to feed Buck-Boost converter that has adjustable output Voltage and current so you can set it to 16V and max output of 2A.
For example:
 
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12VoltInstalls

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A $135 100W solar kit- plus a pure sine inverter and $65 deep cycle from walmartha would let you do that plus a few other things. That’s like $300 of stuff. 300Watt Pure Sine Wave, Dual USB 120V outlets https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H32N3ZD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_FH98CKAY5YQXTFMED3BD

That $300 is not a ton of money but it’s a lot in some cases. Short-term solution though. Because for $1000-$1200 you can power the whole RV and have the ability to grow.

Even with that setable $5 power converter you need other stuff to charge solar. A human does not require gaming to live. I’d set the gaming aside for a while, use the now available free time to get a second job, and save money enough for a few months to get a decent solar>120V setup. That way you can power the RV and have a fridge, etc.

You mentioned ‘hoping’ to have a heater etc. ‘much later this year’.
Hope is an internal belief with an external positive outlook.
Wishing is wanting without a plan.
My suggestion is to make a plan, put it to paper, and get the things you need before you need them. A definite goal will obtain tangible goods. Having hope is good. Hoping as an adverb is indefinite and is sortof the same thing as wishing.

A 200W kit with pwm is still only $240ish, and a couple batteries $140. The inverter I posted is a short-term solution and will power your backup box. Then down the road you can properly expand.
 

thomasnc

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Mar 6, 2022
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Hello, I’ve picked this item up specifically because I wanted a huge battery bank for my regular electronics. It was not my intention to end up with a portable power station so to speak. It’s a Tzumi Vault with 50,400 MaH. There is an AC inverter, 2 12v outputs, and 3 USB ports which are exactly what I needed. I’m also suspecting that I only need this much capacity to easily several days at a minimum (unless I play my PS4 off the inverter quite a bit). I grabbed it for only $65. I was originally going to get one of the better Anker 20k MaH simple battery battery that cost like $70. So purely as a battery bank, The vault is already perfect for me. So far I’ve only spent $90 total on this (picked up some 12v adapters for this) so I’m looking forward to seeing if maybe I can rig up some solar panels to top it off when I’m finally fully nomadic (living in a camper fulltime). I do intend to build a proper DIY solar power system down the road but I’m currently tight budget wise and this is helping me out a good bit. Once I’m at that point much later this year, I can reuse the solar panels on the new system and relegate this tzumi vault into purely as a backup battery. (Hoping to have a proper solar power system and diesel heater fully installed before winter this year)

Anyway, it only have one DC input that’s based off an AC adapter that came with it. There are NO traditional solar panel inputs. That’s a first for me Regarding power stations like this. I’m hoping to see whether or not it’s possible to rig up a small solar controller or something to convert the regular solar panels inputs into 16v 2a output so I can charge the power station with it. I’m not entirely sure if that is all the information one would need to be able to charge the station?

Thanks for any info!


I bought this up from Wal*Mart during 2021 Christmas and wanted to update this question for this "particular" model -- as for solar charging.

When I bought this from Wal*Mart, something had me under the impression you just plugged in a panel and recharged. Or plugged them into a car and recharged. The Tzumi folks however seem to not include any accessories and even state somewhere (Wal*Mart question section) -- that these are not valid charging options for this model.

Now that I have sat down long enough -- I have found ahem "exact" models on Amazon -- bearing different name brands. They have some fancy mock-ups of the guts of these products -- that some people may be interested in looking at.

NECESPOW Portable Power Station,161Wh/50400mAh Solar Generator,Lifepo4

When I run across this item, several weeks ago, the seller was in between updating models to include PD charging capabilities.

It now shows a GREEN colored model as of 03/06/2022, however if you read the reviews, you will find reviews for the ORANGE model. So I am not sure what literature I read -- that was true or not -- but there was mention of a built in MPPT charge controller in the sellers statements and some buyer comments/questions about which solar setups to buy (foldable panels). This seller is aware of the product capabilities -- apparently -- and recommends up to 100 watt panels to charge.

There I seen a review that left me speechless. I seen someone picture an ORANGE model with a panel plugged into the DC port used for AC adaptor charging.

Since I felt robbed of paying $99 for a 12ah battery and/or overgrown phone charger OR BOTH -- lol -- I decided to cobble together a temporary pigtail -- while awaiting a simple gender changer needed -- for the solar wiring options I have. DC output size is 5.5*2.1mm,, DC input size is 3.5*1.35mm -- as listed by the seller of the similar model on Amazon -- NECESPOW-US.

Harbor Freight's kit come with a DC barrel/SAE cable -- to use to connect the charge controller to the 100 watt panel. So I was almost their with my panels, both coming with SAE connectors and having it converted to a stubby DC barrel -- I just needed the described barrel size to plug the panel into the Vault.

As stated -- the DC barrel provided with the HF kit is stubby -- but works with normal DC jacks -- so I ordered a
(5.5*2.1mm female) to (3.5*1.35mm male) converter (actually a 5 pack) -- to take care of the barrel size needed to plug into the Vault.

Those barrel size converters seem better than what I hacked together -- but by having a few spare cables and pigtails laying around -- I decided to hack them together with my Nature Power 110w Mono panel -- and can report -- it was a SUCCESS!

It was claiming at the time of testing to be 50% charged and was showing a full charge between 1 - 1.5 hours (I wasn't timing it, just keeping an eye on it). I will have to now run it down to zero and put it in full sun over the next few days and see if we get a 1.5 - 2.5 hour charge time or what -- from that panel. I am sure it will be half of the time of AC adaptor as least -- in full sun.

I am sure the extra 10 watts is not killing anything BUT only advise what is stated by others and use up to 100 watt panels . My HF panel is 100 watts, but not put together at the moment -- so I decided to give it a shot with my mono panel -- as with the whole attempt in general -- just do it!

Now the trickier part -- is do I believe this has an MPPT controller inside? Uhm, no, but maybe. Just like the fancy inverter board they crammed in there -- it is possible. I already figured it has to have some kind of charge controller anyway -- using an AC to DC 16v 2a adaptor to charge a 12 amp hour battery -- the "long charge" time that some complain about for this model -- adds up -- and is in line with Tzumi's up to 6.5 hour charging specs.

You may get lucky and find a pre-made pigtail -- but in my case I wanted to keep the cables/converters that are chained together -- as short as possible. That's why I chose to go ahead and order the inline DC barrel size/gender changer. I also see lately when browsing online -- where you can get some foldable panels that are claiming to come with several options to charge multiple things -- as well as some coming with tips for powering different sized DC barrels products.

Sad it seems it had the ability all along -- and Tzumi did not decide to pursue it by selling accessories??? Or mention it -- so we could take on pursuit. Fly-by-night or not -- this was not a zero star product -- and I would not expect them to be around in 3 - 5 or 10 years anyway to honor any longevity claims (LifePO4 or solar panels).

I would just hope they understood -- what they were selling. It was obvious they did not -- as listing the amp hours as -- 50400 mAh -- and a misleading for many. At least they did say it was 3.2v, so anyone could do the math -- to come up with the 12ah rating on the battery pack in the product.

Good luck and happy solar charging now!!! -- 12v 100watt max panel -- straight into the -- Vault. Just like it was the AC adaptor that come with it.


ret
 
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