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Thread: Solar Battery Charger

  1. #1
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    Bill Caulfeild-Browne's Avatar
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    Solar Battery Charger

    Next year I'm going on a 14 day wilderness rafting trip. Although I have 6 batteries for my a7r (and soon a7 II), there's no way they'll last that long.

    Anyone had experience with one of the several solar charging kits I've found on the Net? The folding ones look particularly portable.

    Bill

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    Senior Member Stefan Steib's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Battery Charger

    Hi Bill

    If your backpack has a flat an large enough front pocket you could use one of these:

    20W Solarmodule Kits: Solarpanel W/ 30A battery clips & 3A controller for Camper | eBay

    Regards
    Stefan
    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
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    Re: Solar Battery Charger

    Bill, check out Crappy Tire.

    Not sure this one will work for you, but worth a look...

    Coleman 7.5 Watt Folding Solar Charger | Canadian Tire

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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Battery Charger

    Bill,

    I've been out of the solar business for years, but FWIW, here's my thoughts:

    NPFW50 charger itself: Either choose something that can take 12~18V DC straight off the solar panel, or a USB-type charger which will likely be slower but also more universal.

    Here's a NPFW50 charger which apparently can take highish DC voltages:

    Sony NPFW50 Charger

    And here's one designed to plug into a USB port:
    Amazon.com : PowerSmart® USB Battery Charger for SONY NP-FW50, BC-VW1, Sony NEX-5, NEX-5A, NEX-5C, NEX-5D, NEX-5DB, NEX-5HB, NEX-5K, NEX-5KS, NEX-5N, NEX-5NB, NEX-5ND, NEX-5NDW, NEX-5NHB, NEX-5NK, NEX-5NKB, NEX-5NKS, NEX-5NY, NEX-5NYB, NEX-5R, NEX-5R
    What's really neat about this one is that it must incorporate some sort of fairly efficient DC-DC converter.

    Happily, photovoltaic panels featuring USB charge ports seem to be a popular category these days, so there's lots to choose from and matters of voltage regulation are already taken care of for you. This panel looks interesting:

    Amazon.com: X-DRAGON High Efficency 20W Solar Panel Charger with PowersIQ™ Fast Charging Technology Dual-Port Portable Foldable Outdoor Backup for iPhone 6 plus 5S 5C 5 4S 4, iPods, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4, S3, S2, Note 3, Note 2, Most Kinds of Android

    If it were me, I'd probably lean in the direction of the PowerSmart charger and X-Dragon panel (or similar) simply because USB is kind of a universal standard and I don't need to worry whether the voltages are safe for my device.

    Jeff
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    Re: Solar Battery Charger

    Thanks Jeff - very useful info. I like the Voltaic system. If I get one, I'll report back.
    Bill

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