15 day hiking trip with CF-19Mk6 +(?) Solar Panel

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by SJLPHI, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Consultant

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    Hello,

    I am planning a long 11~15 days(depending on how long it takes me to walk 400km) hiking trip in the months to come. During this time, I want to take my CF-19Mk6 with its GPS to guide me. Obviously the problem is that the battery will not last for 15 days.

    I have used solar panels, weatherproof ones, and I am quite familiar with them. I also know that without a DC regulator, it's a perfect way to kill a battery.

    Any recommendations as an economic option for solar panel that will supply the CF-19 for the journey? Lighter & cheaper & more durable the better.
     
  2. Karl Klammer

    Karl Klammer Notebook Consultant

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    Hi sjlphi,
    I took my cf19 with me on a 2month bicycle tour back in 2015.
    I've used two PowerGorillas and two foldable Sunload solar panels (30wp,62wp). (~2k usd total)
    never touched them since...

    My recommendation is to just pack some additional batteries
    - either a couple of 16vdc-out powerbanks or panasonic quad-charger - (~500-700usd total?)
    and sleep/recharge in a hotel/hostel once or twice per week...

    Increase comfort, reduce mass, reduce volume, save money, have some spare batteries.
    win-win-win-win-win situation


    even lighter would be one powergorilla and a tiny 6-15wp solar panel to power a smartphone with osmand software.
    just make sure it has a real gps/glonass device, not just cell-assisted gps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
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  3. CWB32

    CWB32 Need parts for my flying saucer.

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    the solar panels would work well with one of the 12VDC/100-220VAC input supplies/chargers .
    as one cannot outrun the laws of physics (at least for very long) ... crunching the numbers will show how many WH the panels will have to be able to produce .
    solar panels are notorious for fluctuations in output , a good rule of thumb is to figure out what is needed and then double it .
    figuring out how much you are going to use the '19 away from (ahem) *commercial power* and the number of mAH or WH needed to run the machine are first needed .
    as i see it , the size of a solar panel needed to run a '19 directly would be prohibitive .
    the best one can hope for is to charge the battery while the machine is turned off or just to augment the battery when using the machine .
    a rough idea of about 3A @ 16 volts gives (ideally) 48W ... by the time that the inefficiencies are taken into account , figure that .666 or .5 of this is actually going into charging the battery .
    the reason for planning on a 16V (or higher) solar panel is to compensate for the variables in light levels .

    as you will be most likely hoofing it (aka : riding the infantry cadillac) during the daylight hours , this means that the exposure of the solar panels is going to fluctuate quite a bit ...
    unless you plan on walking sideways or backwards and constantly adjusting the position of the panels .
    charging while taking a two hour break might accomplish more than 8 hours of hiking .

    the possibilities of charging a lithium battery to feed the dc to dc supply might be considered ...
    the energy density vs weight is considerably higher than lead/acid or NiMH chemistries .
    this might be considered a bit redundant and lossy as opposed to charging the '19 battery directly ...
    it will however provide a source for running other devices .
     
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  4. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Make sure the 19 has a SSD.
     
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  5. Karl Klammer

    Karl Klammer Notebook Consultant

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    btw, highly recommend looking into hennessy hammocks for ultra light tent/chair/chill equipment
    (depending on temperature level)
    also get the snakeskins addon
     
  6. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Consultant

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    These are some good ideas. My CF19 already has a 500gb SSD, which I hope I never have to upgrade from again.

    I'll give it some more thoughts. For the most part, if I carry a 12V car battery and custom make some connectors, it'll be sufficient, but also adds quite a bit of weight, but will it outweigh the solar panels literally?

    Anyways, this is all up in the air, if anyone has more input please feel free to throw at me.
     
  7. CWB32

    CWB32 Need parts for my flying saucer.

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    tie a couple of ropes on a car battery and pack it around a while .
    they are heavy .
    lead/acid batteries do come in small sizes but taking the one in my lawnmower (electric start) as an example ... it weighs around 12 pounds .
    they are about the cheapest per WH of storage but not weight wise .
    a lithium battery is about the best for weight versus energy (WH) storage .
     
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  8. Karl Klammer

    Karl Klammer Notebook Consultant

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    dont do that car battery thingy ... 5x heavier than li-ion
    also possibility of spilling/leaking acid ... not the fun kind of acid

    (specific engery Wh/kg for different batteries)

    • 243 lithium-ion (toughbook battery)
    • 139 alkaline (AAA non-rechargeable)
    • 80 nickel-metal-hydride (AAA rechargeable)
    • 47 lead acid (car battery)

    (solar gear)
    a 62wp foldable CIGS solar panel (sunload,me2solar) is IMHO the smallest reasonable size for guaranteed full charge on a cloudy afternoon
    designed for 150-400 brutto watts gain per 24hrs...won't get much more than 40w real-world output in central europe during summer
    weights about 1.5kg and costs about 900usd
    size folded: 380x215x39mm, size unfolded: 1325x750x12mm
    you will also need a battery pack/buffer with dc-dc transformer and - ideally - mpp solar tracker ... another 1kg and 200usd

    (example calculations for march-september in central europe)
    2.5kg and 1100usd for 150wh (2charges) with daily 3-4h charge session with 62wp CIGS panel+powergorilla
    2.0kg and 800usd for 70wh (1charge ) with daily 3-4h charge session with 30wp CIGS panel+powergorilla
    0.3kg and 40 usd for 55wh with cf19 li-ion battery
    => break-even point for weight is reached after 6 days for 30wp, after 8 days for 62wp
    => break-even point for money is reached after 20 days for 30wp, after 27 days for 62wp

    most economic solution would be the panasonic quad charger and hanging around 3-4h at a cafe/bar every couple of days ... or sleeping in a hostel once or twice during the hike


    (more rambling)

    check your actual power NEEDS ...
    i assumed 230wh/day ... ended up needing 1x laptop 2x phone(navi) and 1x bikelights ... about 90wh/day ...
    factor 2.5 off ... aka factor 2.5 money down the crapper and weight to carry around
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  9. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Easiest solution. Buy 4-6 extra CF 19 batteries on Ebay.. Spend one night a week in a hotel to charge batteries and wash away the "funk"

    Disable GPS in bios when you don't need it. This will save considerable battery.
     
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  10. Karl Klammer

    Karl Klammer Notebook Consultant

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    amen

    nah, not really. waiting-for-a-fix wastes more power than the gps chip would drain on always-on
    My Leadtek LR95484S gps chip is very power-efficient at only 165mW continious drain.
    It will take 7 hours to eat up two percent of my 60Wh battery.

    wireless switch makes some reasonable difference.
     
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