Jackeroo Solar briefcase from K-Mart

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Jackeroo Solar briefcase from K-Mart

Postby markcrook » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:26 pm

Jackeroo Solar briefcase from K-Mart for $99

Had a look at these at the weekend in K-mart (I cant find them on line!), I thought what a bargain $99 for solar panels, but then looked at the output which is 13amps. Am I right in thinking that this is pretty low?

I think our Waeco cooler is 60 amps, I guess the Engel fridge would be even higher - I couldn't find it listed anywhere :? .

I think it said on the box that it would be for topping batteries etc - Can you run anything off 13amps?

Electric toothbrush maybe! :--?
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Re: Jackeroo Solar briefcase from K-Mart

Postby Komodo » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:23 pm

if your cooler is drawing 60amps your in big trouble.

Most waeco fridges draw a maximum of 4.7 amps from memory

13 amps isnt a massive amount but its enough for many (most) people. I'd actually be supprised if the jackaroo would be 13amps.

I think you really really need to do a bit more research into these things before commiting to buying one.

I'll write more when i have some time - but have a search I've written stuff on solar on here before and I know derek and teabag both have small solar setups
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Re: Jackeroo Solar briefcase from K-Mart

Postby markcrook » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:36 pm

Komodo wrote:if your cooler is drawing 60amps your in big trouble.

Most waeco fridges draw a maximum of 4.7 amps from memory


I must have read the thing in the instructions wrong :? - I will have another look when I get home, so it sound like 13 amps is reasonable then?
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Re: Jackeroo Solar briefcase from K-Mart

Postby Derek Bullock » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:13 pm

I would have another really good look at the K Mart one. I doubt it will be putting out 13 amps. More like 1.3 amps. My $1200 pair of solar panels put out just under 6 amps.
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Re: Jackeroo Solar briefcase from K-Mart

Postby markcrook » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:35 am

Tried doing a search on it (the K-mart site is useless!) and this is all I could find -

Specifications and my observations:

$100
panel folds up into a briefcase form factor
includes car cigarette lighter plug socket adapters, battery clamps, and regulator with 3 LED indicators for charging, high voltage and low voltage
battery not included
included spec sheet sez: Peak output power 13W / 17.5V

charges a 12V battery, like a car battery, with which you can do as you may
Results in full sun:

regulator load output: 14.6V with no battery attached

regulator load output: 14.5V with battery attached
regulator battery current: .2A to .3A it varies counter intuitively to the higher number when panel is partly occluded by shadow

as above but with half the panel occluded: .38A
regulator load output: 14.0V with battery attached and half the panel occluded.
voltage from panel with no load: 21.9V
voltage from panel with no load: 21.3V with half the panel occluded


This came from this guy - http://robotsaregodless.blogspot.com/20 ... chive.html
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Re: Jackeroo Solar briefcase from K-Mart

Postby Komodo » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:12 pm

Ok I think you might be getting Power (WATTS) confused with Current (AMPS)

power (watts) is Voltage (Volts) x current (AMPS)
ie a that panel setup is more like 13.4V x 1 amp to give the 13 watts rated power.

Problem with solar is that its never (well hardly ever) going to give full power output. your best betting on 80% output - less with shadding / cloud cover.

You need to sit down work out your power requirements. ie Power x hours (and part there of) use.

List it like this
Fridge 12watts per hour x 24 hours = 288watts (my fridge is actually far more than this)
Light 11watts per hour (x 2 off) x 5 hours = 110watts
plue any other accessories you run off the battery
my example gives us 398watts of power used per day lets round that to 400watts
400 watts /12V = 34amps so we need a minimum of 68amps of battery charge so as not to distroy batteries (do NOT discharge batteries more than 50% you will kill them!) - though about 120amps would be better again!

Now we need to replenish these batteries of the 34amps we've robbed of them and we have say 8 hours of good sunlight a day (any more than this is a bonus) so 400/8 = 50 so we need a 50 watt solar setup as a minimum. This is the minimum! I would suggest multiplying this by 1.2 to allow for inefficiencies. This will give us a panel size roughly 60watts or 5amps @ 12V.

Now to throw a spanner in the works batteries arent 12V they are more like 13.2-14.4 despending on battery type and composition.

You also need to factor in a good solar regulator as well. Something that does PWM (pulse width modulation) type charging is the best IMO.

Solar last time i checked was about $10 per watt so its not a cheap excercise - though neither is replacing dead deep cycle batteries. Plus solar is a lot more environmentally freindly to boot.
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Re: Jackeroo Solar briefcase from K-Mart

Postby markcrook » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:25 pm

As you said before i need to do a bit more research into my power usage etc.

I saw solar panels and $99 and thought excellent :idea: , but I guess I am probably better off saving for something bigger/better that will suit my needs, and will have some spare capacity.

Thanks for the advice

Mark
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