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Looks Like I have Taken Rechargeable Batteries Up To A New Level :thumbup:
Posted by: John-Edmonton
Date: February 05, 2012 11:56PM

I had always wanted to get off the grid and run my life with solar energy. That has not happened, however, after some research and a peak into Garrett's website "COUNTERMINE / ERW DIVISIONR ECON-PRO AML-1000" section, I can use solar power for a small part. I purchased a solar panel and a battery charger, put them together and wanted to see how well these worked. I originally set it up in my backyard in the sunlight, hooked up a voltmeter and got a reading of 14.9 volts.

I attached my battery charger and added 4 x dead "AA" Ni-MH 2700 mAh for a trial run.

I had some disadvantages working against me. The angle of the sun up north where I live is such that there is some energy loss at this time of year. Also, the cold temperature of below zero might limit the potential of charge and the forecast was for it to cloud over at noon, which unfortunately it did. To compensate, I raised the solar cells on a couple boards and angled them towards the sun. I also wrapped the charger with a dark garbage bag, hoping to get some radiant heat on those batteries, which should allow them to get a better charge.

I headed out for the afternoon for a relic hunt close to home, and when I returned, the solar panel had been on for about 5 hours. Unfortunately, it clouded over for most of that time, and the batteries felt quite cold when I brought them into the house.

On the plus side.....they did take on a charge, and that was validated by 3 out of 4 bars on the battery indicator. Success!!!! :)

The 12 watt solar panel I used folds up nicely into a map sized piece. Some of it's features include:

-Durable and weatherproof, yet only 200g
-Complete with cable set for wide ranging connectivity
-Works well even under poor light conditions.
-Can be mounted to curved surfaces; built-in Corner grommets allow it to be strapped to anything ie backpacks, tents
-Built-in discharge protection
-Voltage limited at 15.6 to help protect your appliances; max operating current 433mA.
-UV resistant

The battery charger will charge up to 8 "AA"s or 8 "AAA"s

Both can be purchased from the "COUNTERMINE" Division

I am looking forward to some nice trips away from home, in Gods country this summer. Battery issues should definitely not be an issue this year. ;)

Re: Looks Like I have Taken Rechargeable Batteries Up To A New Level :thumbup:
Posted by: parrott
Date: February 06, 2012 03:34PM
John... very impressive.:clapping:

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