Solar Panels and Battery Packs
Whilst the price of Solar energy isn't yet cheap enough to make it more attractive than pulling power from the grid, it's certainly now useful enough for situations where grid power isn't an option. My usage so far has been when camping and also when sailing - times when connecting to the grid isn't possible and having your own supply becomes more essential.
There's three main downsides to solar in my opinion; 1) You can only get it during the day. 2) The panels need to be carefully aimed at the sun to make the most of the power. 3) The current the panel produces isn't always enough to maintain the device in charge mode (especially true of iPhones/iPads etc)
Kind of obvious, but for my purposes this means that the panels must be used with a battery pack for maximum convenience and so this page contains links to some useful/related battery packs.
- http://wiki.siftah.com/GoalZero_Nomad_13 - The GoalZero Nomad 13 is the solar panel I've been using for camping and sailing, they're durable and rugged and come with lots of connection options.
- http://wiki.siftah.com/GoalZero_Guide10_Plus - Charges four AA or AAA batteries and can be charged whilst charging.
- http://wiki.siftah.com/DX_Dual_USB_Solar_Powered_Battery_Charger_232365 - A cheap 10,000mAh battery pack with a built-in solar panel of it's own.
- http://wiki.siftah.com/eBay_18650_USB_Power_Bank - 18650 cell based power bank from eBay with a handy built-in light.