12V 2W Solar Briefcase charger less than half price £9.99 @ Maplin - HotUKDeals
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* Designed to charge 12V lead-acid batteries with no additional running costs
* Portable solar generator built into a protective briefcase making it ideal for camping, caravanning or marine use
* This charger requires only daylight to work, charges even if the weather is overcast or dull
* Ideal for cars that will be left standing for long periods of time, as well as for maintaining batteries in caravans and boats
* Built-in blocking diode prevents reverse charging from the battery to solar panel
* Flashing charge indicator
* Interchangeable connectors: cigarette lighter plug and crocodile clips
* Durable ABS outer casing
* Integrated adjustable angle support
* Easy storage

Designed to trickle charge 12V lead acid batteries with no additional running costs. Ideal for cars that will be left standing for long periods, as well as for maintaining batteries in caravans and boats. The built-in blocking diode prevents reverse charging from the battery to the solar panel at night. The briefcase comes complete with an adjustable angle support that allows you to position the solar panels in prime sunlight. The solar panel is an amorphous receptor and is ideally suited to the northern European climate to enable the optimum use of daylight hours. It can even operate behind glass.
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sheffgrow259 Avatar
5y, 10m agoFound 5 years, 10 months ago
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#1
Whilst a tenner is very little to pay this is still rubbish.
it's dubious plastic casing, combined with the fact that it ought to be outside in direct sunlight (not under glass in a vehicle, make it less viable as an efficient charge maintainer on a vehicle or whatever.
spend another £15 or so on a 10w solar panel made for outdoors (& more compact typically)

Not voting either way as it still has it's uses v price.
#2
the added bonus this has is you can plug it into the cigarette lighter and leave it in the windscreen and it keeps your battery topped up while you are not using your vehicle for a period of time, [thats what i use it for in the motorhome]
#3
Sheff, how much is the efficiency (overall draw) affected by being inside the vehicle under another set of glass? (designed to cut out solar)
#4
MR GUS
Whilst a tenner is very little to pay this is still rubbish.
You said it!
From what I can see, there's practically no prospect of this thing having any effect whatsoever on the state of you car's battery, Just about the only benefit it would have would be to act as a sunsheild - though not a very good one as it's not reflective.
2 Watts will be the absolute maximum power you could possibly get out of this under ideal conditions. Say in the Sahara at midday. In british weather I am lucky to get an average of 1% of the "Maplin rated" power out of the smaller 12V "charger" I have from them.
Plus, never forget that apart from the fact that our weather is almost always cloudy, in the few days of summer when we do get significant amounts of sunlight (when the weather forecasters warn us of high UV levels), the efficiency of these solar cells inside a car will be vastly diminished as their don't work very well when they get hot.
Even if you didn't leave you car parked in the shade, which would be a much wiser thing to do if it's left unused for long periods.

Edited By: pete_l on Jan 30, 2011 15:34
#5
admittedly it will be but leaving it plugged it the battery will be getting some juice as opposed to if this wasnt in at all, incidentally you can also have this outside and connect to the battery via crocadile clips, for under a tenner it is cheap
#6
HOT!!!!!
I was happy to pay £12 for this a few months ago.
Maybe mine was made by a sprog who didn't know his job as it keeps my caravan battery charged up, through tinted windows and with a PIR light putting a drain on the battery.
Mind you..
Who am I to contradict the odd knopf who disses them off without even trying it out?
:p:p:p

Edited By: Pluun on Jan 30, 2011 16:19
#7
Pluun, thanks for the name calling, where are you & what is the seasonal solar insolation
Because I really know eff all as an owner & user of proper panels!
2 watts MAX is hardly anything in UK conditions so the point is clearly made, even to a low use leisure cycle battery , let alone a higher cap battery.
For instance I only paid £25 for a proper panel of 10 watts power output peak performance in summer, less than a third in winter, therefore less than a third of 2 watts in yours is 0.6 watts if you are lucky & yours is probably around 3 times the size (therefore storage problems possibly), with heat prone plastic compared to a panel designed to stick outdoors permanently..
If you wish to charge something then with solar panels you need to overbuild it to allow for all those rubbish days & seasons, which are also affected by your initial uk location before you even take into consideration shadowing angle (winter / summer adjustment & orientation)
What is the measured insolation from October through January for you with this item at your location?
who says I haven't tried one out? .. might have merely learnt through experience & application.
Solar cells in the main have to be grown in labs, various grades for various applications, these won't be great cells, all cells start out higher output & "burn in" over time giving a settled but lower output
Overspec your panel in relation to requirements..

for example lets take a typical 20 watt panel based in London using figures based on the past 20+ years..

Daily energy generation ability for december.
0.60 x 20w = 12watt hours

July figures below..
4.80 x 20w =96 Wh (watt hours)

8 x the amount generated height of summer to trough of winter.
This isn't one upmanship, this is to simply show realistically what one can expect compared to the printed rating on a unit.

This all ties into whether a unit is up to providing enough oomph for the job!

For Caravan type applications I'd suggest the "possibility" of utilising a semi flexible stick down solar panel such as a solarflex unit (from 10 watts) you use Sikaflex adhesive, these are a brand used on yachts so may be walked on too.
Or like myself get hold of some Yingli or similar (whatevers cheap but recognised quality within the industry framed panels that can take a lifetime of moving around if required. (recent prce drop on £ per W is pretty good right now.

heres a bit more on a spectra 10w (marketing blurb)
ratio of a 10W solar panel to a 100Ah battery, daily this would generate up to 3Ah. In summertime this increases up to a potential of 21Ah daily, typically enough for a summer weekend’s cruising needs for basic lighting .hopefully this gives a better idea in terms of similarity between a motorhome / & a small cruiser.

Spectra 10
Peak Output 10W
Max. Current @ 15V 640mA
Open Circuit Voltage 19.6V
Dimensions
510 x 357 x 3mm
13mm incl. junction
Gross Weight 1.30 kg
Net. Weight 1.06 kg

This model is around £88 all in from a typical boat chandlery,

Edited By: MR GUS on Jan 30, 2011 17:36: additional info in context.
#8
There isn't a single lamp bulb in a car that uses as little at 2 watts. Just open the door and you are probably burning 10 (2*5). This isn't going to keep up with the normal internal leakage current of a car battery, given that 2 watts is the maximum and will hardly ever be achieved. I don't think it would charge your phone.
#9
so both myself and pluun who actually have these and can vouch for them are less reliable than people who have never used them, work that one out
1 Like #10
Aye.
You've found me out.
I'm just sat here PRETENDING that it keeps my caravan battery topped up to save face. (_;)
In fact, I'm only a Geordie and therefore so mind numbingly STUPID I didn't even think of taking it back for a refund when your formula contradicted the FACTS that it has kept the caravan battery topped up since it was last used in August 2010.
I'm off to my caravan now, to gaze in jaw dropping awe at the make believe light that will be emmited from the lights, powered by a totally flat battery. oO
#11
well you are throwing the insults around so it's good to see you calling yourself stupid not others, NOT that I called you stupid.
formula based on Nasa readings.

If it works for you fine, however have you measured the state of your battery to see gauge what state its in maybe? oversizing p.v. makes sure there is enough there when you need it.
No point in me putting up insolation figures for say Darlington or Newcastle (as an example) if you don't believe scientific figures based on a 20+ year monitored trend, who knows you might have got what I was trying to get across, it might work, but recovery times when used would be slow & costly on your battery's overall cycle life, matching components in proportion to physically measured requirements.


lots of love
a Scotsman who used to Live in Darlington
1 Like #12
Northerners... insult themselves and pretend you said it.

There is a well known phenomenon whereby those who believe in an effect will observe or experience it even when it does not occur. That's why serious medical research always has a control group that are given a placebo instead of the real drug on trial, and why even those administering the drug and placebo don't know who is getting which.

Your experience, which you think is so definitive, is what researchers dismiss as "anecdotal".
#13
LongPockets
Northerners... insult themselves and pretend you said it.

There is a well known phenomenon whereby those who believe in an effect will observe or experience it even when it does not occur. That's why serious medical research always has a control group that are given a placebo instead of the real drug on trial, and why even those administering the drug and placebo don't know who is getting which.

Your experience, which you think is so definitive, is what researchers dismiss as "anecdotal".


what a lump!!!
#14
Well I'm technically Way,way Northern & I don't give a rats ass.. but I do see where LP is coming from, such an attitude from the outset (Plunn) makes me wonder if a visit to the grocers is need for a few months of bananas to up the seratonin such was the level of unnecessary attitude, ..seriously
Ok, lets look at this another way Amorphous panels typically have 6% efficiency ..
if in winter solar levels drop by a factor of 8 based on the previous example that combined with the panels lack of power results in a massive drop.

In summer on the other hand unless there is a cooling air flow / space around the panel efficiency can drop off again. (which is in part why cooler days can / may actually be more productive than hot)
eg, if it's in a boiling hot car / caravan behind windows then you have a multiple problem technically.
plus phantom loads, plus inefficiencies of the battery
for every degree over "x" you may lose 0.5% efficiency (& remember they're dark so can heat up quickly)
Also take into consideration sun angle summer v winter where for London it's around 62 degrees v 15 in winter all play factors in overall power delivery as positioning obviously is important over the seasons.
#15
"it's good to see you calling yourself stupid not others"

Well now.
You claim to be a Scot but your inability to detect sarcasm points toward you really being American.
So, NASA is it?
Didn't they send some men to the Moon, in a rocket, containing thousands of tonnes of high explosive fuel, built by the lowest bidder?
All your formulae only prove one thing, "Education is no replacement for intelligence".
So, you and your boffin m8's keep on producing your dubious scribblings, sounding more like Stanley Unwin every day, in an effort to convince me that my solar powered battery charger which is keeping the battery charged and the meter in the green, does not really work.
I will gladlly read them, in the obviously total darkness of my caravan and rue the fact that Care in the Community does not seem to be working.
ps. There must be a Greek word somewhere for someone who produces figures to disprove facts.
Anyone know it?
The nearest I can think of is "imbecile" but I'm obviously not as "educated" as some and have to rely solely on my intelligence. (_;)

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