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Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator
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Merian
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:52 pm    Post subject: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

I'm curious what people like.

I saw this one on another form recently:

https://www.jackery.com/products/explorer-240-portable-power-station?variant=19479246864471
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices Reply with quote

We recently bought a Bluetti, but haven't really used it yet.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices Reply with quote

Merian wrote:
I'm curious what people like.

I saw this one on another form recently:

https://www.jackery.com/products/explorer-240-portable-power-station?variant=19479246864471


Itís approximately 1/4 of a Group 24 battery at 4x the price

A bit of a hefty price for portability
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices Reply with quote

Add an 110V inverter and a battery charger and you can build one yourself!
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 4:32 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices Reply with quote

Wow!

This thread got shut down fast by a few strong negative comments!

I think the nay sayers need to view this topic differently.
There are many of us, myself included, who haven't the electronic know how to gather bits and assemble a unit such as these that are commercially offered.
However...... If someone wants to put one together for me.......

Plus

We don't want a permanent in vehicle mount situation. Portability between vehicles is a huge selling point for me.

Plus

Having it all in a neat little case is a selling factor too.

I am in the market for a unit to run my Truck Fridge TF-41 chest refrigerator (so yesterday, so discontinued! Replaced by ref/freezer combo units ) all night and maybe for a day or so while parked.
It will recharge while driving Via the lighter port.
Or plug it in to Shore Power if available.

I will need the ability to power the refrigerator while charging the generator.

I will be wanting to move the power pack between vehicles at times too.

So, One of these portable "solar generators" has a huge appeal.

I've been looking at a few of them.
The Jackery
Bluetti (the AC30 only charges via 110 shore power or solar panels.)
YETI Goal Zero
River EC Overflow
Plus a lot of unheard of brands

I'm not looking to run 110v appliances or other items, really just the refrigerator. ..... maybe an LED light.

Dave
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 4:57 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

This one is currently high on my shopping list.

River EF Ecoflow

https://ecoflow.com/products/ecoflow-river-portable-power-station

https://www.amazon.com/EF-ECOFLOW-Flashlight-Gener...B082TMBYR6

288 wH
I like that I can double its storage by adding a batter to the base unit.

It does support use while charging

It has multiple charging options.

Fast charge time

The price point is palatable for me.
I won't be dropping a grand for a battery!

My biggest need for power right now is to run my Dometic center console refrigerator.
I'm using this in the work Van to keep lunch and beverages cool.
I also use this fridge in our Daily Driver to keep my Wife's refrigerated drugs fresh.

Dave
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Last edited by djkeev on Sat May 29, 2021 6:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 6:12 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

REI has the ecoflow for $299 until Memorial day 2021.
A good price!

https://www.rei.com/product/197221/ecoflow-river-portable-power-station

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

A Goal Zero Yeti came with the Van; I keep it topped off with a Renogy 100W Solar Suitcase unit. The Yeti powers the Engel MR040 to keep the oatmeal stout cold.

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 8:58 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

Ya know what?

The moreI look at the various units, the more I like the Ecoflow unit.
It has features that intrigue me.
The biggest minus is the fan running while charging, but I'm guessing this noisy fan also explains the fast recharge time...... Keeping the heat at bay.
In an already noisy Van...... what's a little fan noise?

At $300 I'm not going to do much better on price, I pulled the trigger.
I can always return it if it ends up not living up to the hype.

Dave
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

24AH??? Seems a bit pricey for so little storage capacity.

https://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?name=sportsm...p;id=51512

4+ times the storage for half the price. Under the back seat, forgotten and out of the way. Guessing that at least this will be needed to keep his fridge cold overnight.

Can't some of you knowledgeable people help Dave chose the bits and pieces he needs along with a wiring diagram? Considering all the help he has provided over the years it is a small task to help a fellow T3 guy.
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

Thanks, but the portability of the power pack is a big plus.
I don't want built in storage.
I had fixed storage in my 86, many times I wished it were portable.

Dave
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Ya know what?

The moreI look at the various units, the more I like the Ecoflow unit.
It has features that intrigue me.
The biggest minus is the fan running while charging, but I'm guessing this noisy fan also explains the fast recharge time...... Keeping the heat at bay.
In an already noisy Van...... what's a little fan noise?

At $300 I'm not going to do much better on price, I pulled the trigger.
I can always return it if it ends up not living up to the hype.

Dave


Roger that Dave! Iím trying to dyi my own and canít get b grade batteries for that price let alone charger and BIS and MPPT.

Nice work.
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

Hereís my TF-41 RB-41A sticker.

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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

For a lot people, these things will work well. A lot of van folk use them for all power needs. Being able to take them outside, or in the house during an outage. Sure, you can DIY, but once youíre done, the cost wonít be that far off, and the form factor will probably be more awkward. Iím still waiting for mine to experiment with while I try to kludge my way through a mess of parts for permanent van system. Keep an eye on the InterWebz, lotsa sales.
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 8:44 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

I have the Yeti Goalzero 500x and used the 6mm 12v plug (10amps max) to anderson to bluesea fuse block. It fits on it's back behind driver seat. It can even fit in the house battery box on it's back. Since the fans are in the sides, it can sit in this orientation.

The tf65 and sink draw 6amps so I can even draw more against it if I want. Charging it I would have to plug in my solar briefcase and 30' extension cord.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:27 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

It is interesting that the YETI fits in the battery box behind the drivers seat.

With some creative wiring you could leave it there and use it / charge it in place?

My EcoFlow River is scheduled to arrive Thursday, anxious to get it and see how it does.
I hope I don't regret getting the smaller battery size though it is an easy plug and play upgrade.

Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

You absolutely could. You can have solar plugged in or the car charger if you still have a cigarette lighter port to do so. The lid of the driver battery housing wouldn't close and tou wouldn't want it to a) ports are facing up and b) fans on side will want fresher air.

The thing with most of these solar generators are they have lower power consumption capabilities. The 120ac outlets tend to pop after 300w...however, I can run my Traeger scout off it without a problem...other than draining my battery after about 8 hours. :p

Enjoy your EcoFlow! Purchased my 120ah batteries to build my own LiFePo4 pack...so then the GZ will become a random need.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:02 am    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

Hello Dave - I too went this route wrt a portable all in one battery backup (though I did go with the Dometic PLB40 - 40ah capacity). I run a Engle fridge with it and have 100w solar panels. I also have a standard flooded aux starting battery under the drivers seat for additional capacity if needed.

My experience with this setup is it works great! I have not found myself wanting for more capacity. I did some initial testing with my fridge and battery and found I could easily achieve 2 to 3 day's operation with the fridge set to approx 36 to 40F. Ambient or outside temps play a big role in the cycling of the compressor in the fridge and resultant draw on the battery. Plugging the solar panels directly into the battery gets it back up to 100% during the day if you have good sun. Driving a few hours will also bring the charge back up to 100%.

Basically, if you are traveling every day or two and camping in the evenings, don't bother hooking up the solar. If are camping and staying put for a 2 or more days, definitely put the solar panels out and chase the sun.

One note to pay attention to - the EcoFlow power packs use LithiumIon batteries and not LithiumIon"Phosphate" batteries. The difference between the two is primarily the longevity and recovery capacity of the battery. The LithiumIon is rated for approx 500 cycles. Depending on how much you travel / camp, this should last many years ( example being 25 weekends per year = approx 50 cycles per year = 10 years of service).

I really think you will enjoy the simplicity and portability of this approach. Keep us posted on how it works and how you like it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

Well, I came home to my Ecoflow River sitting on my porch.

Very excited!

It came at 28% charged so I have it plugged in to my house power right now.

The display says it will be fully charged in one hour.

One of the user complaints is fan noise while charging. It is a bit noisy but not objectionable.
There is an eco charge mode I can select...... once I figure out where that switch is!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Portable Power Devices aka Solar Generator Reply with quote

I have my Dometic CF11 center console refrigerator in the Van right now.

https://www.dometic.com/en-au/au/products/food-and...1-_-190935

This is my "go to" everyday work refrigerator.
I find it curious that this small 1.1 cf unit sucks 2.2 amps 30 watts at 12v
And
My big Truck Fridge TP41a sucks but 1.9 amps 45 watts at 12v
I guess the Wattage factors in?.......

I charged the Ecoflow River quickly to 85% and took it to the Va and plugged it into the CF11.

Ambient is about 71į but the unit has been in the Van all day unpowered. It is probably close to 80į.

I plugged the Dometic into the Ecoflow, it has been about 45 minutes gone by.
The refer is down to 33į but set at 40į ??
Anyway, the Ecoflow is down to 81% now.

We will see what morning brings. I'm not charging the Ecoflow right now..... an endurance test of sorts.

Dave
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