Portable Power

April 17, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

I had my first solar panels, back in 1986, which were used to heat the water for our home. Move on to 2010 and we installed one of the largest domestic solar arrays in the UK to produce electric for our home and export to the grid. The current issue was prompted by a forthcoming  trip, for several days to Skomer. One power socket is available to guests. Strictly no extension leads and they prefer you not to charge batteries. 

Wildlife trips seem to guzzle more energy than they did a few decades ago. Batteries for Cannon 1DXII 30W, batteries for Canon 5d IV 20W, partners bridge camera c 10W (and up to five a day), Laptop 42W, Phones, flashlights  etc etc etc. . We estimate we need approx 100-150Wh per day.  On holidays we carry an extension lead and swiftly set up a charging table - at Skomer this simply isn't possible.

After several hours looking through the internet and reading reviews we opted for a Polaroid system. Rechargeable power batteries with dedicated foldable and portable solar panels. The power units are chargeable from the mains, the car 12V system or solar power.

The PS300 holds a monster 289Wh, possibly enough to see us through two days. It weights 2.35Kg, has a cigarette lighter / 13amp plug socket, 4 USB sockets and a type c outlet. To accompany it a SP50 - weighing 2.57Kg, a 50W folding, portable solar array, which simply plugs into the PS300 to recharge it. Neither the PS300 nor the PS100 are able to charge the 1DX II batteries, however both will charge the 5d IV batteries LP-E6N. the PS100 has an internal fan -which is quite noisy when in use. Both the Ps100 and PS300 can be used for charging form the USB points whilst being charged themselves, however neither will allow the use of the 3pin plug when being charged.

 

Unfortunately the PS300 is not allowed on planes. The limit is 100Wh or upto 160Wh with the airlines permission. The solution a PS100. An 86Wh power pack weighing 700g. You can take upto 20 in your hand luggage. Featuring a 13AMp 3 pin plug socket, USB carger , QC3 charger and a type C charger. Annoyingly this requires a different solar array. Rather than the power7 - Polaroids option giving 7Wh , we opted for a Suaoki portable solar panel, 28 W, wit hone QC3 and two  USB ports - which means three devices can be charged at the same time  -we also figured that in overcast /winter conditions we may still be able to charge at least one power source. The Suaoki also has the advantage of having stands with directional sites to line it up with the sun.

Fo some photos of our recent visits see Skomer Island

 

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