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Small Solar Chargers

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Posted by Antipodean Bucket Farmer on August 2, 2005, 12:49 am
Hi Everybody,

Being on a low budget, I am interested in starting

Does anyone ave experience/comments on those little
solar chargers that take NiCad AA batteries?  And
example is...


ICP Global Technologies
"Power rating : 0.5 Watt (140mAmps @ 3.75 Volts)"
4 Battery Slots
About NZ$0

The idea here is to charge up torch batteries for small
lights, radio, etc, especially in an extended power

Also, DSE has:


Solio Solar iPod Charger
"Compatible with current and future portable electronic
products including mobile phones, PDAs, music players,
iPods, digital cameras, GPS systems and game consoles.
With the Solio intelligent internal circuitry and
patented interchangeable tip system, mobile devices can
be charged at the same rate as their specified wall

"The world's smallest solar charger with a fully
integrated Lithiumion battery; it achieves maximum
solar array at a minimum size, thanks to its patented
technology and proprietary design."

About NZ$00

I don't have an iPod, but I was thinking in terms of
keeping up a cell phone battery.

Does anyone in Wellington, NZ, know where I could get a
version of Item #1 that accommodates larger (C, D, 9v)
batteries?  Dick Smith discontinued their old model
that did so.

Any comments or other ideas, sources/prices, etc?


Posted by Landline on August 2, 2005, 4:53 am
The first URL ICP Solar Powered charger "Charges up to 4 x AA size NiCad
batteries in as little as 12 hours of direct sunlight"  Well in New Zealand
12 hours of direct sunlight in winter could be 5 days to charge 4 x AA -
Actually, if you check out the power rating of the unit, and you were
charging 4 x 2300mAh NiMh it would take substantially longer than 5 days.

The second URL the Solio do not even give you any specifications of the
solar panel wattage or the battery capacity.  An overpriced yuppie device of
dubious usefulness and damned expensive.

The reason why they discontinued the old model, was a quality and
performance issue.

What I use for portable use that is truly useful is a 12w crystalline solar
panel $AU100.00, regulator $AU25.00 and 12v 18AH SLA lead acid battery
$AU45.00 Total $70.00.  From that I power a 12v fluoro for fishing, power
Casio LCD TV and radio, charge my mobile phone and NiMH AA batteries etc.
etc.  That is truly useable power, with a solar panel that is going to last
a minimum of twenty five years plus.

If you are concerned about power outage, you could run a 11w U tube fluoro
off the above battery for ten hours safely without charging.

Posted by Landline on August 2, 2005, 5:26 am
 On the URL for the ICP it states - Online Store: Out of stock, no further
stock is due.
I would say the product was unsuccessful due to the miserable charging
current and time taken to charge 4 x AA batteries.

Posted by Richard on August 2, 2005, 5:29 am
 Landline wrote:

I have a warehouse solar light outside here, has a single 600ma AA cell in it.

I fully charged it in my proper battery charger and got 5 and a bit days use out
of the light (was charging during the day) - now its flattened out, the light
runs for about 2-3 hours each night before it goes so dim its even more useless
and then starts flashing.

So useless charge times doesnt mean something wont be sold ;)

Posted by no on September 16, 2005, 2:18 pm


I got one of the warehouse jobbies as they where so cheap.  I am
looking at putting in into the loo, but putting the led on a long

I think the best deal I was a sola powered car charger, with
overcharge protection.  With 12V I could wire up some nice led
clusters around the house.


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