Solar Battery Chargers...Which is the best?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread
I want to purchase a solar battery charger, but don't know of anyone personally who has actually used any of the ones on the market. If you've actually charged NiMH batteries with one, would you buy that charger again? Also, could you give me an idea of how long it took to recharge the batteries. Lastly, are all NiMH batteries created equal?
-- beej (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 04, 1999
I got the one from ccrane.com because it charges several different types, not just AAs. Around 15 bucks. I also got one from realgoods.com, which can power a walkman or even a laptop as well as charge AAs. Comes with a universal jack thingie and can also be plugged into a car cigarette lighter. That one runs about 25, I think.
-- Old Git (email@example.com), October 04, 1999.
What's the rating on that? How long does it take to recharge 1.5 V AA?
-- Serio (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 04, 1999.
For NiMH batteries, the surprisingly best source is Radio Shack. Some of the major brands use AA batteries in larger packages for their C and D batteries. RS sells "genuine" C and D size NiMH batteries. The size difference directly relates to how long the charge will last under load.
For everyday pre-Y2K usage, when you can plug your charger in without worrying about having power to charge with, the "big name brands" are ok. But when you really have to be concerned about having power for your charger and want the longest possible use from a charged battery, the Radio Shack "bigger is better" design is the way to go.
As far as a solar charger, there have been some good articles in recent issues of Monitoring Times and Popular Communications magazines about adapting a "standard" NiMH battery charger to solar power.
-- Wildweasel (email@example.com), October 04, 1999.
WW, absolutely right about the AA batteries disguised as Ds. I bought some Evereadies and later some house-brands from ccrane.com--the latter are MUCH heavier than the former! Very pleased with cc's house brand rechargeables, have got $200 worth stashed (must keep my scanners and TV running during power outages!) and will be ordering more. Re RS rechargeables, I've got a couple of AAs still going from initial purchase about 5 years ago--heavy use too.
Tiem to recharge batteries via solar is approx. 7 hours. My scanners run 9 hours on batteries, so I have three solar chargers for coverage. Will add another before end of year. (Hint: they're made in CHINA!)
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 05, 1999.
Thanks to all of you for the input. Question: Do the solar battery chargers have to be in absolute direct sunlight all the time in order to recharge the batteries or is diffused sunlight enough? I'm picturing running out in the snow every 15 min. and adjusting the position of the chargers...grin
-- beej (email@example.com), October 05, 1999.
Beej, if any part of the solar panel is shaded, it will produce very little current.
-- Puddintame (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 07, 1999.