Author Topic: How to power Powerex AA/AAA charger with solar?  (Read 2223 times)

Offline zeek

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How to power Powerex AA/AAA charger with solar?
« on: January 24, 2017, 06:41:21 AM »
So my wife says to me: "you want to buy rechargeable batteries and a charger to have a long steady supply of batteries in a power outage, how do you plan to charge them with no electricity?"  My response was that I would use my inverter... but then I got to thinking, why would I go from DC (car battery) to AV(inverter) back to DC (battery charger)? 

My questions:

1.  Can this charger be run on DC?

2.  How would I set up a solar/battery bank to run the charger?

I am talking about this charger: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000LQMKDS/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2G8QT8TIP6R6W&coliid=I1PSOUNH9KFSZ9&psc=1

These batteries: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JHKSN6C/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2G8QT8TIP6R6W&coliid=I1XXT0LLDW16A6&psc=1

Thanks
Zeek

Offline Carl

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Re: How to power Powerex AA/AAA charger with solar?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 07:33:05 AM »
  Sorry,but the DIN plug from your power supply to your charger unit reall would require more effort that the return.
Look for a charger that uses a two conductor barrel connector and a 12 volt wall wart type power block so 120 or 12 volts
can be used with a proper cable.

See some examples at links below.

  You are wise to avoid the solar chargers with built in solar panels as they suffer from typically poor performance and often the sun
is not cooperative during weather emergencies so you need a solar system that includes a battery storage.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GODG3X0/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/BT-C700-Battery-Analyzer-rechargeable-batteries/dp/B00SF7XKVG/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1485268211&sr=1-1&keywords=aa+battery+charger+for+rechargeable+batteries+with+12+volt+adapter

https://www.amazon.com/Titanium-Battery-100-240V-Adapters-MD-1600L/dp/B005UNPM3M/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1485268211&sr=1-2&keywords=aa+battery+charger+for+rechargeable+batteries+with+12+volt+adapter

Offline zeek

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Re: How to power Powerex AA/AAA charger with solar?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 09:09:49 AM »
Great stuff thank you.  You are suggesting these chargers because they can run on 12 VDC correct?  So the the next issue would be setting up a battery and solar panel to charge the battery. I am sure that this is very to get set up and would be fairly cheap to do.  Any suggestions?
Thanks
Zeek

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: How to power Powerex AA/AAA charger with solar?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 09:21:55 AM »
I have a couple of the Nitecores - as recommended by Carl.

Consider the case I'm on a long camping trip.  Have vehicle, but no grid power.

Using the cigarette lighter adapter:



Or in my case I have a system more like this, but same concept.

+


Rather than running off a vehicle battery, you could easily adapt something like this to any 12vdc power source.

Offline zeek

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Re: How to power Powerex AA/AAA charger with solar?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 09:29:51 AM »
Looks like a good set up, I will look into that more.  I am going doom and gloom here, no power for months, out of gas so no car batteries.....any idea what a solar setup would look like for charging those AA/AAA batteries? 
Thanks
Zeek

Offline Carl

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Re: How to power Powerex AA/AAA charger with solar?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 11:18:33 AM »
  Are you looking to just chage flashlight batteries or to have a larger system for lighting,radio,TV ,small items and cell phone charging.
You could charge flashlight batteries from your auto for DAYS without needing to start the car and your reply indicates you have plans
to use an inverter in your auto (maybe for fridge,etc?)

  If the auto has a planned use the I would use an 18 amp hour to 50 amp hour (typical auto battery size) and use it in HOUSE
for lighting and small devices and charge it ,with inverter and standard 12 v charger, while the auto charges the fridge...

You don't really need solar for a small house battery to charge small batteries and do simple small devices. In fact most places only
have 5 hours of good sun and way less when weather is the root of your power outage. Solar is good,but not the ONLY answer.

I would start with a 50 to 100 amp hour battery with a battery box fitted with cigarette sockets and USB outlets ,plus maybe a small inverter
to run LED lighting,TV,FAN etc. and add a 120 volt charger (up to 6 amps is good) to charge the battery and then an auto inverter to power
the larger items (1200 to 1600 watts is better than too small) and while running for the fridge (1 to 2 hours out of every six) it can also
charge the house battery...no solar needed..

OK,your turn..What is you vision?

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: How to power Powerex AA/AAA charger with solar?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 11:59:25 AM »
Carl has mentored me and others on this subject, so I don't have too much else to say.

I believe the practical way to sort this out, is to start with the battery.  Once you have a large (50ah+) battery, you can develop multiple options to charge it.

While not currently an economic-win, having solar as an emergency option for charging your battery bank might be a wise idea.  Though I'm of the opinion it's foolish to not use grid-power while it's available. So charge up that battery bank using the cheapest possible electricity today :)

Offline idelphic

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Re: How to power Powerex AA/AAA charger with solar?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 01:17:05 PM »
Your best bet as mentioned by Carl and SmurfHunter is to put your solar on a larger capacity battery or batteries.  You can then leave that arrangement set up to a solar panel and allow it to always charger.

From there you can use it to charge or power what you need.  You want to avoid at any 'cost' of going from DC to AC back to DC - huge losses there.

If your Powerex MH-C800S 8-Cell Smart Charger has both AC AND DC jacks then you should be good to go.  As shown  on the NiteCore charger - some do have the 120v AC plug as well as a 12v coaxial jack.  This can be connected to any 12v DC source such as a car, Lawn mower, boat, etc (with proper cable). 

I have several SLA 12v 7aHr and 9Hr batteries.  I have a 60watt solar panel in the garage that doesn't move - It's not the ideal location for it as it doesn't get good exposure - something I play to fix this spring. That panel and a 7aHr Solar Charge controller has sat on my Vector ElectroMate power station for months keeping it float charged.  The Electromate uses a Type 27 battery.  I use this to power or charge from as needed.  While it does have an attached 1000w inverter, I don't use it.  Nearly 95% of what I want to run is 12v, so pointless and wasteful to go to AC mode.

I have four 12v 9aHr SLA batteries from a APC UPS which I will tie together in pairs for 12v 18aHr for use as well.  Again, Solar charged (mostly) or AC charged (when required) or by Auto / mower as well.