Portable solar generators

Davidhzy

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Hello all! Hope everyone had an amazing holiday season with family and friends. I am just wondering if any members have used or looked into the new portable solar generators that seem to be all over the internet. In particular the Ecoflow, Bluetti or Jackery to name a few of the brands. They range in sizes, can be joined together to increase capacity, numerous ways to charge them, including solar. They have the battery and inverter all in one. On the surface they seem like a good product and would be very convenient. I'm just wondering if anyone has real life experience with a system and their thoughts.

Thanks in advance!
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Woodrick

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First, I absolutely abhor the name Solar Generators. They are basically batteries and solar cells.

They can work great dependent on your needs. Figure out how much energy you will need and then get an appropriately sized battery and, if needed solar cells.

Don't even think about charging the truck with it though. The battery in the Cybertruck is 122 kWh.

Really big portable batteries are around 6 kWh. Just a few miles of charging.
A high-capacity solar panel at about 2x4 ft generates about 500 W. On a goof day, you may get about 6 hours of full sunlight, or 3 kWh. Sure, you can have many cells, but you have to carry and find space to set them up.

For running lights and light loads, batteries and solar cells are awesome, but expensive solutions.
 

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First, I absolutely abhor the name Solar Generators. They are basically batteries and solar cells.

They can work great dependent on your needs. Figure out how much energy you will need and then get an appropriately sized battery and, if needed solar cells.

Don't even think about charging the truck with it though. The battery in the Cybertruck is 122 kWh.

Really big portable batteries are around 6 kWh. Just a few miles of charging.
A high-capacity solar panel at about 2x4 ft generates about 500 W. On a goof day, you may get about 6 hours of full sunlight, or 3 kWh. Sure, you can have many cells, but you have to carry and find space to set them up.

For running lights and light loads, batteries and solar cells are awesome, but expensive solutions.
Very good explanation. Thanks!
 

SolarWizard

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First, I absolutely abhor the name Solar Generators. They are basically batteries and solar cells.

They can work great dependent on your needs. Figure out how much energy you will need and then get an appropriately sized battery and, if needed solar cells.

Don't even think about charging the truck with it though. The battery in the Cybertruck is 122 kWh.

Really big portable batteries are around 6 kWh. Just a few miles of charging.
A high-capacity solar panel at about 2x4 ft generates about 500 W. On a goof day, you may get about 6 hours of full sunlight, or 3 kWh. Sure, you can have many cells, but you have to carry and find space to set them up.

For running lights and light loads, batteries and solar cells are awesome, but expensive solutions.

you definitely not getting 500w out of a 2x4 panel. The best 6 x 3.5 foot panels make about 480w in a laboratory and about 400w in the real world
 

SolarWizard

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Solar generators in their current form and underperforming, delicate crap. Ive taken apart all those listed and several you havent.
Good tech that does what these are expected to do reliability and for enough years to make the price quasi reasonable are 3-4 years out
 


Woodrick

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Solar generators in their current form and underperforming, delicate crap. Ive taken apart all those listed and several you havent.
Good tech that does what these are expected to do reliability and for enough years to make the price quasi reasonable are 3-4 years out
3-4 years? Last I check, home installations were closer to 15-20 years around here.
 

SolarWizard

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3-4 years? Last I check, home installations were closer to 15-20 years around here.
Thats true however a portable generator needs to survive being moved, direct sun, terrible environmental conditions and being dropped a lot better than a fixed in place battery is asked to.
 

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The advantage of a solar set up isn't the battery it has: It's that it can bring in that solar energy to keep vampire drain of devices away.

So find a set that folds tightly (to pack away when not being used), that has a high power output (so you can shove power into the truck), decent solar input so you're not depending upon the battery, and lastely, lets you skimp on the battery size in the unit.

My Ecoflow Delta Pro is pretty well balanced, with 3kWh battery, 3kW output, and allows multiple panels in series... It needs pure sunlight, tho, nothing dappled because of the way it's set up.

To get the power into the truck, you'll need to use the Mobile Connector and leave the truck charging while the 'generator' does the work.
(which isn't really optimal, since that's multiple steps of power conversions - from DC to DC, then DC to AC, and then from AC to DC yet again - but we can't do anything about that at this point.)

This will pretty much only work if you're leaving the truck at a campsite or something, where you don't expect things to walk off.

-Crissa
 

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Woodrick is correct, along with some others.

Solar and the CT is not an option, would take way to many panels. CT currently eats 5-8 full panels in full sun just sitting there, so don't go to far from a charger, wait for the bigger CT battery pack, or use a generator. Solar not a mobile option.
 

Crissa

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Solar and the CT is not an option, would take way to many panels. CT currently eats 5-8 full panels in full sun just sitting there, so don't go to far from a charger, wait for the bigger CT battery pack, or use a generator. Solar not a mobile option.
This is just ridiculous.

Losing 10% in a week is still only 12kWh. That's just 400-600W of panels. Which is one or two Ecoflow fold-out sets.

-Crissa
 
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FutureTruck

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This is just ridiculous.

Losing 10% in a week is still only 12kWh. That's just 400-600W of panels. Which is one or two Ecoflow fold-out sets.

-Crissa
CT loses 12kwh a day, not a week.
If you want to bust out 20 panels and spread them across a field sure.
 

Woodrick

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This is just ridiculous.

Losing 10% in a week is still only 12kWh. That's just 400-600W of panels. Which is one or two Ecoflow fold-out sets.

-Crissa
I'm pretty sure that the Cybertruck will get to well lower than 10% loss in a week.
And don't forget that you can't hook the solar cells directly to the truck, for a variety of reasons.
So you need some batteries and inverter.
And then you have to remember to plug in every evening, once the sun goes down and unplug the truck before the sun comes up.
 

agordon117

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So you think that the Cybertruck, working as intended, drains 12kWh a day, equal to sitting on the mobile charger for eight and a half hours?

-Crissa
actually, yes. People have been reporting 10kWh loss per day with sentry on. "working as intended" qualifier isn't relevant because software updates to reduce sentry drain to the 3kWh per day that happens on 3/y/s/x can happen any time between now and the end of time. Nobody knows when it will be. Whatever they "intend", that's how it is now.
 

Crissa

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I'm pretty sure that the Cybertruck will get to well lower than 10% loss in a week.
And don't forget that you can't hook the solar cells directly to the truck, for a variety of reasons.
So you need some batteries and inverter.
And then you have to remember to plug in every evening, once the sun goes down and unplug the truck before the sun comes up.
Right, which is why I referenced a system capable of 14-21kWh of generation over a week.

And my Ecoflow will happily charge from panels while running its output - so you don't have to plug and unplug if it's just sitting there at camp.

actually, yes. People have been reporting 10kWh loss per day with sentry on.
...Did no one freaking read my post?

I did qualify with 'where you don't expect things to walk off'.

I write things I mean to say. If I make a mistake, I own up to it.

But I only see trolling here.

-Crissa
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