Small, Person-Portable Power Solutions

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Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Small, Person-Portable Power Solutions

I'd like to start up a Forum Topic where we can discuss power or battery recharge solutions that we may come across and want to bring to attention. If you come across something you like, please share.

The emphasis here is on:

Backup or Recharge Power (solar or otherwise, or as a larger battery device)
Easily Portable (just because you can carry it in a backpack, doesn't mean you should walk ten miles with it)

Examples would be portable solar panels or portable batteries that can be used to recharge other devices. Exra points for ease of use, adaptive uses and options, and good value for the money.

Additional Rule: Don't post here if you have fewer than 5 genuine (non-spam) posts under your belt. This is not the place to advertise, but to offer reviews of what you've found.

Poet

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
GoalZero Nomad 7 Kit

GoalZero happens to sell some back-pack-mountable solar panels and recharging solutions.

One particular unit I saw was the GoalZero Nomad 7, a mono-crystalline set of solar panels that comes in a cloth folding case, designed to charge 12v DC devices. I ended up purchasing one such kit, and I'll explain the research I did before I purchased it in person at Costco.

Why Did I Get The GoalZero Kit?

If there is no electricity available, this kit will become very useful. I'm not sure I've seen anything like it for the price.

The rugged, water-resistant GoalZero Nomad 7 folding solar panel is supposed to be able to charge the included 4 AA NiMH batteries in the Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack within about 2 to 4 hours in full sun. The Nomad 7 can also trickle charge a device on it's own, either via the car adapter or USB port. They prefer you use the battery pack to charge devices with, however, since the power supply is more stable than the sun.

With the Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack, you can take out the 4 batteries to use directly in any device that takes AA batteries. Or, keep them in the battery pack to charge a cell phone or iPod or other portable electronic device. (You can charge other AA or AAA NiMH batteries as well, but they have to be charged as a set of 4 - you can't just stick 1 or 3 in, but they don't all have to be at the same level of energy.) You can also charge the batteries in the battery pack from a USB port (such as in a laptop) - the battery pack doesn't require a solar panel.

Altogether, everything weighs about a pound and takes up as roughly as much volume and shape as a hardcover copy of Chris Martenson's The Crash Course. You could store it all in a 1-gallon plastic freezer bag. 

 

YouTube video on the Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit

Link to above YouTube video:

All information presented below is current as of April 9, 2012:

Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit (from www.GoalZero.com)
On the GoalZero web site, I noticed the Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit selling for $159.95 (not including shipping or tax). The link below lists not only the product, but shows technical details for what is included.
http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/79/Guide-10-Adventure-Kit/

It included the following items:

  • 1 x Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack (with an led flashlight built-in)
  • 1 x Nomad 7 Solar Panel
  • 1 x Ultra Charge Solar Cord (connects the panel to the pack)
  • 1 x 12V cigarette adapter (for items that would charge using a car)
  • 1 x AA rechargeable batteries (4 pack, NiMH)
  • (I'm not sure if it includes an AAA adapter)

Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit (from www.PrepareDirect.com)
I saw the same kit on sale for $109.95 (free shipping, not including tax):
http://www.preparedirect.com/product_p/1602102.htm

It included the following items (additional items in bold italics):

  • 1 x Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack (with an led flashlight built-in)
  • 1 x Nomad 7 Solar Panel
  • 1 x Ultra Charge Solar Cord (connects the panel to the pack)
  • 1 x 12V cigarette adapter (for items that would charge using a car)
  • 1 x AA rechargeable batteries (4 pack, NiMH)
  • 1 x AAA battery insert (adapter to recharge AAA batteries)

Portable Solar Power Essentials Kit (www.Costco.com)
On the Costco web site, I saw essentially the same kit, but for $109.99 (free shipping, not including tax)
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11678541

It included the following items  (additional items in bold italics):

  • 1 x Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack (with an led flashlight built-in)
  • 1 x Nomad 7 Solar Panel
  • 1 x Ultra Charge Solar Cord (connects the panel to the pack)
  • 1 x 12V cigarette adapter (for items that would charge using a car)
  • 1 x AA rechargeable batteries (4 pack, NiMH)
  • 1 x AAA battery insert (adapter to recharge AAA batteries)
  • 1 x AAA rechargeable batteries (4 pack, NiMH)
  • 1 x Luna USB light (a 1-watt light you can plug into a USB port)

I also checked on Amazon.com and a few other places, but it appears from my searches that Costco.com has the best deal, as you get the 4 AAA batteries, adapter, and Luna USB light and the price is cheaper.

But then at my local Costco, I saw the same kit just like the one on Costco.com, selling for $99.99 (not including sales tax, which I had to pay). So yes, I bought the kit. I'm considering a second kit.

Poet

 

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
portable solar kit

Sounds good, Poet. Thanks for the resaerch and the tip.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
cell phone solar recharger

We nearly bought one of these at the Suburban Prepper Conference for $15 but they were sold out.

Espow has them for $39.99. I have a home consultation with the guy from Practical Preppers coming up and will ask him to bring one at the $15 price.

 

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