What solar charger package you use ?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by interinfo, May 25, 2012.

  1. interinfo, May 25, 2012
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  2. interinfo thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2012
    Could you be so helpfull to give a fu..... link ?:apple:
  3. iPhysicist macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2009
    You just have to ask for his Adress. I think the array is mounted to his house, roof.
  4. Abarth1200 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    I'm also interested in solar charging for my iPad
  5. PrayForDeath macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2012
    Is this practical? Never heard of this before
  6. r-sparks macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2006
    All the solar chargers seem to include their own batteries, which is environmentally stupid. Batteries take a lot of energy and resources to make and are difficult to dispose of afterwards, when they reach their end of life after just a few years.

    So if you're doing this for environmental reasons, you're barking up the wrong tree. :(

    I doubt very much whether a small series of solar cells (as big as a ipad case) would be enough on their own to charge one of the new iPads. You'd literally need a roof-based set of panels for that kind of power, or at least if you wanted to charge quickly. Remember that you couldn't charge at night either. You'd have to charge during the day.
  7. arcite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2009
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    Solar panels have to store the power first, then you access the power. They use specialized batteries that can be refilled. These aren't just off the shelf batteries. And you surely don't need an entire roof array to charge your ipad, a small panel hooked up to a single battery would be enough. Such a set-up could cost around $600, or less.

    If you have an inverter system, with battery backup, once the battery array is charged up, the power can indeed be used at night. There are systems like this all over Africa where power outages are common. These systems start at around $1000.
  8. Mrg02d macrumors 65816

    Jan 27, 2012
    Lol. Don't you cuss at me! I was only trying to be ridiculous as solar charging an iPad is ridiculous.
  9. chiffchaff macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2012
    Western US
    Not ridiculous. I don't know what the OP's reason was for asking, but in my job I sometimes work in the backcountry (far from wired power sources) for several days at a time. My iPad is a useful tool for the work I do there. It would be great to be able to charge it up during the week, so I've been looking around for a portable solar charger that could do the job as well.
  10. Hyper-X, May 27, 2012
    Last edited: May 27, 2012

    Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2011
    I'm a minimalist so I believe that if you're going to go with a solar iPad charger, then it should be without a built-in battery, to keep it as light as possible and no battery to worry about dying in the long run. I've found a 12 watt unit rated at 2 amps using very good quality panels (monocrystalline) at 17-18% efficiency which is very high. If you want to charge your iPad via solar take a look at the following link. To me at that price, it's a very good deal.


    I've tried a lot of these solar charger devices and most of them are quite disappointing but the one above would seem to be the only one I'd consider trying with an iPad.
  11. interinfo thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2012
    You have tried a lot of them and then you recommend one that you haven't tried out ?!
  12. larock macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Weight isn't an issue in my case so I use the Goal Zero Nomad 13.5 solar panel and Sherp 50 battery (it's being redesigned so it doesn't show up on their website right now) work great for my needs. I mainly use it when the Army drops me off in the middle of the desert for training, but it has been used while car camping too.

  13. Hyper-X, Jun 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012

    Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2011
    Are you saying you own both the ESPOW and Spark tablet case you linked?

    I'm not in the market for a solar charger for an iPad so no I don't have one, unless you're in a location where AC power is not accessible I feel that most of these solar things are a waste of money. I've tried a lot of products for my iPhone and have a good idea of what's more of a gimmick than anything.

    However "if" I was, the one I linked is the one that appears to makes the most sense (at least via specs and corresponding product videos). It doesn't appear to make outrageous claims and his results (based on raw sunlight, solar efficiency rating, amp rating/voltage and time) appear very realistic. However even then, the OEM AC adapter will still charge my iPad faster, weigh a lot less, take up less room in my bag and cheaper (comes with the iPad).

    I suggested a realistic solution if "solar" is of the main concern and interest. Both of your suggestions would be bad choices in my book. First off both of those units use both a small, very inefficient solar panel (often too small for an iPad, esp an iPad 3) and incorporate internal batteries. You will end up having to charge it mostly on AC power (because the sun takes too long) which defeats the purpose of buying a solar product in the first place. You'd be better off buying the battery portion and save a few bucks if that's the case. The thought of putting out a black leather iPad case out in the sunlight for the majority of the day trying to gather sunlight is appalling, where I am where sunlight is abundant, the sun will trash the Spark case in no time.

    If you don't believe me, why don't you buy those units, drain the battery down to zero, then put them in the sun to charge and report back with the times.
  14. Hayduke60 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2009
  15. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I can't imagine how long solar charging a 3 will take.
  16. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    Why pay $300 for 8 Watts of Voltaic when you can get 7 Watts of Goal Zero for $90 on Amazon?


    I use this and it charges my phone in 2-3 hours, while being highly portable. Pretty sure it provides enough wattage to also charge the iPad.


    Although I'm guessing this is not exactly what the OP is looking for, could you send more information on such systems? I am hoping to have a minimal system for our household. We're renting the place so installing many panels and a complex systems might not be worth it for us (in case we move in the near future), but I'd like to have something practical I can use to do something for the environment.
  17. TLewis macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2007
    left coast, US
    Uh, you need to read the specs.

    The iPhone has a tiny battery (5.3Wh for the 4S) compared to the iPad 2 (25Wh), and the iPad 3's battery (42.5Wh) is almost twice as big as the iPad 2 battery (capacity-wise, not size). Not only is the Goal Zero (10Wh) a 5W charger -- which is fine for an iPhone but sucky for an iPad, which likes 10W but still takes a long time to charge -- but you'll probably get less than half an iPad 2 charge out of it, and just a fraction of an iPad 3 charge (this also assumes that you're not using the iPad during charging).

    IIRC, the Voltaic Systems V39 battery should give you most of an iPad 3 charge (I'd guess maybe 80%+). Also, if you're skilled in electronics and do not need a case, Voltaic has a solution in the $190-$220 range (6W vs 8W charging).
  18. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    Hmm well I wasn't thinking of going via the battery but of plugging the iPad in directly to the panel. My point was that the Voltaic and GoalZero have similar wattage, but a very different price point.

    That said, I agree with you that given that with either the Voltaic or the GoalZero one would need more than a day of sunlight to charge the iPad's battery of 42.5+ Wh, it might make more sense to charge to battery first than leaving the iPad plugged in all the time. Depends on your use pattern though.
  19. interinfo thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2012
    I bought the ipad2 because it only has a 24 Whr battery, as someone stated , yes, you need a high power solar set-up otherwise it takes too long to charge..
  20. interinfo thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2012
  21. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    I have the Solar JOOS, works great :)

    Preordered it and got it for only $99.

    It can be fully submerged in water and is NEMA 6P rated, so it can take the abuse.
  22. SolarDude macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
  23. BFizzzle macrumors 68020


    May 31, 2010
    Austin TX
    personally i use wind power. I have a nice turbine mounted in my back yard. Its the greenest most organic energy a hipster can use.

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