Creating a Renewable System: Solar + Battery
Posted on 11/16/2018 at 10:14 AM by Seth Hansen
Renewable and reliable off-grid power.
This is something that has been dreamt about and sought after for many years but up until recently wasn’t achievable for the majority of consumers.
Not too long ago you either had to fire up your expensive gas guzzling generator, lug around a heavy lead-acid car battery or simply go without.
These solutions each came with their own set of challenges.
1. Gas generators are expensive, heavy and difficult to haul. Not only are they heavy, but they are loud and emit harmful fumes that hurt the environment.
2. Lead acid batteries are theoretically more convenient than gas generators, but require additional components to work properly and are still far from portable.
3. You can simply not bring anything and let your devices run out of power, but this is not really a solution at all.
Luckily the cross section of two complementary technologies makes this renewable pipedream a burgeoning reality.
Rather than hauling a large and heavy gas generator you can opt for a lightweight, compact battery.
With the advent of newer and lighter chemistries, batteries are getting much lighter and pack more energy for you to use.
Much like before, the new batteries of the 21st century possess their own pitfalls.
1. Unfortunately, there are seemingly thousands of choices on the market and deciding which is best for yourself is nearly impossible. The sheer quantity of batteries to choose from can be dizzying.
2. All batteries are not created equal. The hoverboard fiasco and Galaxy Note debacle of a few years ago proved that batteries need to be selected, arranged and handled with care.
3. Integrated charge controllers in these consumer level batteries are not all the same and quality can vary quite dramatically.
It’s time to make the decision and select the solution that is best for you. Scour the internet, compare the positives and negatives of available solutions and determine any additional components you will need to make everything work.
Sound like a lot of work? Well, you are in luck because we did the work for you! We tested the tons of mid-sized batteries and determined which would perform best in the field.
After extensive testing conducted by VP of Engineering Brad Scandrett, PowerFilm places their stamp of approval on EcoFlow’s RIVER Mobile Power Station.
RIVER is thoughtfully designed, compact, lightweight and easy to use.
Solar charging the RIVER Mobile Power Station with PowerFilm solar panels is simple and works great. Just connect your panel to the battery using the 15 ft. Charging Cable For EcoFlow RIVER (RA-16-EFR).
It features a slew of connections including: (1) Universal DC Input (2) USB-C Ports (2) AC Outputs 300W Total (2) DC Outputs (4) Fast-Charge Outputs (2 Type-C QC 3.0 & 2 USB QC 2.0) and (1) 12V Car port.
With all of these ports, RIVER can charge nearly anything you throw at it. Cell phone? Absolutely. Tablet? You betcha. Laptop? Yep. Drone? You got it.
You may be thinking, “Okay, so maybe these newer batteries are better, but what about when I drain my battery?”
That’s where we come in.
At their most basic level, solar panels absorb light generated by the sun, convert that light into electrical energy and deliver it into an end device.
Solar technology has been around for over 50 years and has seen many advancements and refinements.
When you think solar you most likely are thinking rigid crystalline panels maybe even panels that you see on the roofs of residential homes.
In the last several years thinner rigid panels hit the market backed on fabric that fold up and are easier to stow. These panels are an improvement over the thick and heavy panels of the past but are still bulky, fragile and of varying quality.
PowerFilm has been around for 30 years and has provided renewable solutions to businesses and the United States military.
In the last several years our foldable solar panels have been released to the consumers all over the world.
PowerFilm foldable solar panels are ultra-light, super thin and insanely tough. How tough you might ask? Watch this video where we took one of our panels to a local shooting range and shot it.
Utilizing our ultra-thin film amorphous silicon solar panels, and the RIVER you can create a truly portable, renewable and reliable mobile power station.
Justin and Ariele Champion of Wild We Wander have used a RIVER Mobile Power Station Bundle for the last few months as they travel across the United States:
“Imagine trying to haul a 100+ pound battery from the back seat of your truck to inside someone’s house to charge. Or hauling it into your camper to charge your laptop.
This was our life before the EcoFlow RIVER portable battery and PowerFilm foldable solar panel. This bundle has given us the flexibility and portability to charge and carry it anywhere we travel.
Because it is so portable, we can now charge our RIVER battery any way that makes sense for us at the time: from the desert sun with our foldable PowerFilm solar panel, to driving down the road plugged into our adhesive PowerFilm solar panel on the roof of our truck. to a coffee shop using traditional AC power when it’s a cloudy day.
We’ve charged both our laptops for hours and still had battery left to power a fan all night before having to recharge.
We use it for our blender, tv, curling iron, heater, and device charging of all types. Being digital nomads, we can say without a doubt the RIVER and foldable PowerFilm solar panel have been the most important tools we’ve brought with us on the road, allowing us to go deeper into the wild than we could have hoped. We’ve never loved 11 pounds more.”
See their setup in action below:
Creating a portable power system was once incredibly difficult but gone are the days of hauling around a heavy gas-powered generator or lugging a rigid crystalline solar panel.
With advancements in technology, things have changed.
Now, you can create a truly portable and reliable mobile power system that weighs less than 15 pounds and can provide limitless power to an endless number of electronic devices.
Want to learn more about the RIVER Mobile Power Station Bundle?
Have additional questions? Contact us and let's start a conversation.
Categories: Solar Education