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suaoki solar generator
#1
Hey guys Smile .  Thinking about going to the RTR this year, leaving hubby home since he is not into this type of thing and hates camping- even in a trailer  Sad .  So I will be SUV camping as a single female with my poodle Roscoe.

So this is an electrical forum and this is my question.  I started gathering supplies today and thinking what I will need.  I ordered the Suaoki solar generator on Amazon on a lightning sale.  It is the 200 watt model, 20 amp hours lithium ion battery, and has the charge controller built in as well as a pure sign wave inverter.  It charges off of a wall outlet, a car plug, or a solar panel.  All for the grand total of $160 and from what I have read is a decent deal.  I realize it is not a ton of stored power, but should meet my needs for 3 weeks or so for cell phone, tablet, laptop (if I bring it) and e-reader, lights, 12 volt fan, etc.  Maybe even a 12 volt electric blanket for night time.  I also have several small usb power banks for single charges to my electronics, a 10,000 + a 5000 mAmp battery that would need to be charged off of the Suaoki.  This has good reviews on amazon and I have been wanting it for over a year.  The only drawback is you can't use the usb or 110 plugs when it is charging  Sad Just the way it was designed .
   
I have gone thru Hurricane Sandy a few years ago,  and lost power for 3 days then.  We have a big generator to run the fridge and lights, but this little Suaoki would have come in handy.  Also we have some property in SC on the coast and have dealt with Hurricanes Mathew and Irma, so again, this little Suaoki would have come in handy there as well.  

Now the BIG question.  I am looking at solar panels.  I don't want to make a huge investment, but want quality for my money.  I can use a 50 watt or a 100 watt panel with the adaptor pigtail for the mc4 connections.  They will run about the same, the 100 watt a little more, but I want to future proof the usability of them.  Keep in mind not sure how I will mount- the SUV has roof rails, but no cross members.  Also may want to just set out as portable so the 50 watt might be good for that,  except for possibly being stolen.  

Even if hubby gives me a hard time about going to the RTR alone, I know the solar set up will be useful, so I will get the panel anyway.  

A question just popped into my head.  Will I have to keep my usage down to no more than 50% of available power to protect battery life???

Any suggestions or helpful hints will be appreciated.
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#2
(10-27-2017, 05:11 AM)RossCoe Wrote: I realize it is not a ton of stored power, but should meet my needs for 3 weeks or so for cell phone, tablet, laptop (if I bring it) and e-reader, lights, 12 volt fan, etc.  Maybe even a 12 volt electric blanket for night time. 

If recharged, probably everything but the blanket. Even small 12v heating pads consume 3-4A so a blanket would consume the entire capacity in less than one night.


(10-27-2017, 05:11 AM)RossCoe Wrote: I can use a 50 watt or a 100 watt panel with the adaptor pigtail for the mc4 connections.  They will run about the same, the 100 watt a little more, but I want to future proof the usability of them.  Keep in mind not sure how I will mount- the SUV has roof rails, but no cross members. 

A 100W panel of common availability (like a renogy poly or mono) would lend itself to recombination with other panels if you expand in the future.

If you post a pic of the roof rails we might be able to suggest mounting options.

(10-27-2017, 05:11 AM)RossCoe Wrote: A question just popped into my head.  Will I have to keep my usage down to no more than 50% of available power to protect battery life???

Lithium doesn't have that restriction. You can probably run them down until the generator shuts them off to protect the cells. That info might be in the manual.
frater/jason @ Quartzsite
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RossCoe (10-27-2017)
#3
(10-27-2017, 06:38 AM)frater secessus Wrote: If recharged, probably everything but the blanket.  Even small 12v heating pads consume 3-4A so a blanket would consume the entire capacity in less than one night.



A 100W panel of common availability (like a renogy poly or mono) would lend itself to recombination with other panels if you expand in the future.

If you post a pic of the roof rails we might be able to suggest mounting options.  


Lithium doesn't have that restriction.  You can probably run them down until the generator shuts them off to protect the cells.  That info might be in the manual.

When I have time I will post a pic.  Thank you for your suggestions Smile I'll be sure to read that manual cover to cover when I get it!
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#4
I guess this is it...
https://www.amazon.com/Suaoki-Portable-G...ator&psc=1

Looks like everyone is getting into the battery/inverter in a box "generator" business these days.

Guy
"We're all bozos on the bus, so might as well sit back and enjoy the ride."

Wavy Gravy

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#5
Here is the product page.
https://www.suaoki.com/s601.html
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#6
I agree with fw, it will probably work for the normal stuff like recharging a phone and laptop or LED lights, but asking it to operate a heated blanket will probably deplete the battery in one night, and the pack wont be able to recover the next day. 

Anything that converts electricity into heat, (blanket, toaster, hair dryer, microwave, skillet, etc,) will kill that thing pretty quick.

As for mounting, you will get much more power produced per day by using them as movable panels, tracking the sun with the panels. Looking over the prices for their panels, it looks like you can get the two 50w panels for less than one 100w panel. (or any aftermarket panels with MC4 connectors)

If you figure in the price of 2 Y-adapters, (parallel)  it comes to about the same amount of money.

Two 50 watt panels would be easier to carry one at a time, could be stored in your SUV much easier when traveling, and can be packed up face-to-face (with a protective pad or sheet) which makes them less susceptible to damage.

Add to this the redundancy that two panels provide, because if that one 100w panel got damaged or failed, you get no solar at all...but with two panels, you at least have some solar input if one panel goes bad.

Just something to consider....
Never trust a camp cook with lots of shiny new pans...
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This world isn't home (10-27-2017), frater secessus (10-27-2017), RossCoe (10-27-2017)
#7
Photo 
OK.  Here are pics of the roof rails of my 2014 Honda Pilot.

I could go with the thin flexible panels and use industrial velcro to mount, but they are twice as much as the aluminum framed ones.


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#8
EXPECT TO COMPROMISE on your expectations, think minimalist. Example: i could run a blanket on my current setup but choose down and wool saving the power for more immediate needs. Good luck.
2015 RTR  adrian.schafgans@gmail.com
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This world isn't home (10-27-2017), andi (10-27-2017), RossCoe (10-27-2017)
#9
(10-27-2017, 08:22 AM)tx2sturgis Wrote: As for mounting, you will get much more power produced per day by using them as movable panels, tracking the sun with the panels. Looking over the prices for their panels, it looks like you can get the two 50w panels for less than one 100w panels.

Which site were you pricing?  I am seeing the 50 watt and 100 watt almost the same price- maybe 20% more for the 100 watt.
Unless you were looking at the suaoki panels on amazon. I can use any panels as long as they have the mc4 connections.
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#10
The Amazon link posted above is where I did that comparison.

If you have other sources with other prices, then just modify the pricing comparisons to suit those prices.

Consumer grade solar panels are just a commodity these days so the prices will fluctuate.
Never trust a camp cook with lots of shiny new pans...
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RossCoe (10-27-2017)


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