Solar charging the new iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by fosking, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. fosking macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #1
    I'm looking into charging my iPad using solar energy.
    Is the best option the Joos Orange or can anyone recommend an alternative charger?
    I like the idea of letting the sun charge a battery and then using this battery to charge my iPad. This way I could leave the charger in the sun for a couple of days and then charge my iPad which needs charging about every four days.

    To be honest, I don't know where to start. So if anyone has any pointers, that would be great.
    Price and size isn't important, I just want something that works.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #2
    I've been looking for a solar charger as well. The Joos likes great but it would be nice to hear from someone who has actually used one in the wild.
     
  3. poloponies, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012

    poloponies macrumors 68030

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    May 3, 2010
    #3
    I have a Joos and it works pretty well (it has a 5,400mAh battery in addition to the solar panel) with the previous versions of the iPad - battery will charge the iPad to about 60% and you need lots of sun to keep the battery charged. With the new iPad's battery I doubt you'll do better than 30%, if that. It takes about 2 days of solid sun to get the battery back up to capacity.

    It's great for the iPhone, less so for the iPad and probably will work with the new iPad to get some increased life.

    Costco has been selling the Goal Zero system in their stores, it has more capacity but it's also huge.

    And while I haven't tried shooting the Joos, the darn thing is built like a tank, so A+ for durability.
     
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #4
    Thanks for the input. I just looked at the goal zero and it's considerably lighter at .4 pounds including batteries as opposed to the 1.5 pounds for the joos. The reviews at Costco.com are also very positive . The only negative sems to be the fragility of the set up.
     
  5. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #5
    There are several different Goal Zero models and the low-end one ($110) is meant for very light duty devices (phones) and has no internal battery - which is why it's lighter. The $250 model is for higher-load devices (and it is huge).
     
  6. fosking thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2010
    #6
    After looking at the JOOS website they claim that it will charge an iPad (presumably iPad 1) to 60% and 70%.

    They also say that they are working on a charger that will power a laptop which an iPad 3 will probably have to wait for. I'll send them an email to try and get some information.
     
  7. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #7
    Good luck. With the amount of power that thing takes, it's not going to work well. If you're that far off the grid, bringing a couple of battery packs is going to work better.
     
  8. fosking thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2010
    #8
    Got a reply saying they are working on a the product and will be releasing it sometime early next year. So I think I will have to wait until then to switch over to solar. :(
     
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #9
    It still amazes me how many people think that solar charging is a good idea, or that they'll actually use it. When does 2 hours on a charger trump 2 days using a solar panel?
     
  10. fosking thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2010
    #10
    Well, to start with it doesn't take 2 hours to charge the new iPad.
    In regards to actually using it, of course it will be used.
    2 days of charging time is absolutely fine for me as I only charge my iPad every 4/5 days.
     
  11. MacUser09 macrumors regular

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    Sep 26, 2009
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    UK
  12. fosking thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2010
    #12
  13. Dkorda macrumors 6502

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    Mar 7, 2012
    #13
    Same here, may have to get one those.
     
  14. fosking thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2010
    #14
    Yes and under the arriving soon section the solargorilla-eXtreme with the silverback-gorilla could be a winner.
     
  15. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

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    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #15
    Most people probably charge their iPad overnight since it takes a while, and being tethered to a charger when you are using it during the day is a pain. Any such product is likely to be very low volume and therefore expensive.
     
  16. fosking thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2010
    #16
    This is the reason for charging up a battery using solar and then using this battery over night to charge the ipad.
     
  17. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

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    Newbury, UK
    #17
    Right, that makes sense. iPad 3 would need a hefty battery though.
     
  18. fosking thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2010
    #18
    Yeah. It looks as if I'm going to have to wait for a couple of these new products to get released.
    I may start looking if I'm able to build my own, but the time and knowledge I have is limited without looking into it.
     
  19. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #19
    Price and size do not matter, do you work for the government?

    Unless you are expecting to be out in the wild for long periods of time, a device like this is no better than hugging a tree!:eek:
     
  20. Mrg02d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    #20
    You'll never break even using a solar panel over your utility's power. The ONLY reason to ever consider solar is if you have NO ACCESS to the utility's power.

    That goes for everything else as well. 10cents or so per killiowatt hour from your utility is a tiny fraction of what a solar panel costs. I seriously don't understand people these days.

    Matt
     
  21. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #21
    @ Matt.

    EXACTLY. I bought a $56 solar charger for my Android back in the day (before going iPhone) and it had an onboard battery that would get my Android up to about 40-60% after being in the sun all day. I ended up throwing it away after a week cuz it took all night to charge and was just a pain.

    Then I did the math... Here in California I pay $.13 kWh. The iPhone uses what? LOOK IT UP. It's like less than $1/year in electricity costs. Sure the iPad will use a little more but an $80 solar charger which won't last long or charge up the iPad 3 all the way --- will take 5-10 years to return the costs. Assuming it doesn't get rained on, stolen, fried from sitting in the sun, whatever.


    That said, I'm a huge proponent of Solar/Wind power. But for smartphones it just isn't cost effective. Turn off your computer every night and you'll save $20 in electricity PER MONTH vs $1/year. Most of my friends (and myself included) have thrown our cheap China made solar panels away = more waste.

    ----------

    Thanks for the link! Very interesting.
     
  22. Mrg02d macrumors 65816

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    Jan 27, 2012
    #22
    Whoever voted me down is an idiot. Solar panels cost about 4$ per kWh and rarely last the lifetime they are advertised at. I work, in engineering, for a utility. We did a lot of research and found solar technology to be a complete waste. Until the cost of solar comes down, dramatically, or the cost of electricity from a utility goes up dramatically, it's a waste.

    In most cases, your break even point is 30 years. Most panels will never come close to this, nor will their electronic converters! So, you wind up never breaking even.

    Matt
     
  23. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    Location:
    Connecticut
    #23
    House installed, grid-tied solar systems are great, but it doesn't scale to charging a smartphone or tablet.
     
  24. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #24
    Solar cells need sunlight & surface area to work.
    They need to be aimed at the sun, off axis means lower efficiency.
    They never reach their rated wattage unless you live on the equator at noon.
    A backpack sized on might charge your iPhone on a sunny day but getting 10W out of one for hours at a time on a portable unit isn't practical.

    If you're in the woods for an extended period of time consider a portable battery pack instead. Trent makes a 11,000mAh (40,700 Wh), Energizer had a 18,000 mAh pack and Hyperjuice make a series of very large power packs.

    PS the iPad "new" needs much more juice to charge up as its battery is almost twice the size of an original iPad 1 or 2.
     
  25. LiloThePleo macrumors 6502

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    Aug 8, 2010
    #25
    You also need to consider the carbon footprint of even making the solar panel.
     

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