PowerFilm Solar Inc

LightSaver Max Portable Solar Charger FAQ's

Don’t crease the panel. This will reduce the performance.Keep the solar panel dry. If it gets wet dry it off and let it air out in a cool, dry place.

Ensure that the LightSaver Max is not deployed while on your bike or other fast moving vehicles. If it starts to flap in the wind it can create creases and breaks in cells that will damage the solar cells, dramatically affecting performance and the lifespan of your product. 

Roll the thin film panel solar side out. If you roll it the other direction it can damage the performance of your LightSaver Max. 

A small amount of water on the LightSaver Max is not a problem, but allowing significant water inside the unit may corrode components. Saltwater is particularly corrosive and should be kept out of the device.

Single press - state of charge display will turn on for 5 seconds. The 12V and USB outputs will also be enabled. Outputs will stay enabled until the system is shut off with the button or 90 minutes have passed with no load on the outputs (this is to allow the Max to remain on for long periods of time while charging lower draw electronics completely).

 

Double press - Changes the state of the flashlight. With the flashlight turned off, the first double press will turn the flashlight on to the high setting, the second double press will change the flashlight to the low setting, and the third double press will shut it off.

 

Press and hold - turns off the unit. After a press and hold all LEDs on the outputs will be shut off indicating the unit has been turned off.

 

*Note there is a slight delay after the button press before the function is completed.

Unroll the LightSaver Max and place in a sunny location. Roll the tube under the solar panel to prevent potential overheating of the circuitry.

* While the yellow portion of the LightSaver Max’s charging gauge only takes up 4 led lights, it holds nearly 65% of the battery.

Based on the all inclusive design, you could take a PowerFilm foldable or rollable panel and using the right accessory (RA-2) plug that into the 12 volt input for additional solar charging/power (maximum input 24V).

When charging the unit and not using solar, make sure the panel is completely rolled up. If any solar is exposed the USB and 12V inputs are disabled, with one exception. The exception is if you are using an auxiliary solar panel as input on the 12V. In that case the battery will charge from both the built in solar and the auxiliary solar panels.

One full day of good sun using solar, 3-4 hours from 12-volt input (car charger or wall charger), or 4-12 hours if using USB depending on the specific USB charger you are using.

The time to charge using USB depends strongly on the USB source. Typical, older generation USB charging blocks will put out 1A and take about 12 hours to charge the LightSaver Max. Many put out less than 1A and will take longer. New higher quality USB charging blocks will put out over 2A and charge the LightSaver Max in 6 to 8 hours.

USB charging from wall cuts off at ~5.2V so some high voltage chargers (USB-C rapid chargers) will not fully charge the Max. Be sure to check the specs on the charger you are using to ensure best performance with the LightSaver Max.

The USB power limit is not based on the current handling capability of the batteries or the battery charger circuit.  The Max does not operate a USB-C power delivery protocol, so it will only ever draw 5V from a type C power supply. The standard usb-c cable current carry capability is 3A, so the max is set up to draw the maximum amount of power from a given usb adapter, but no greater than the 3A that a standard USB-C cable is capable of handling.  

For the 12V input, during the design process a choice was made to limit the current into the batteries to no more than 4A. That means that depending on the state of the battery (6 - 8.4V) the current draw when charging the batteries from a 12V power supply is limited to 2 - 2.75A.

This will happen if the unit is not within its operating temperature range (35-115 F) and has shut down for battery safety, there is an issue with the input connection, or the battery has been drained below functional level. To determine if this is a low battery issue charge the LightSaver Max for several minutes (from solar, USB-C or 12V inputs) in a cool location.

The display is an approximation of the battery voltage and the amount current flowing. With different charging sources the amount of current going into the battery changes as well as many other factors (sunlight, heat etc.). This leads to different readings.

Absolutely! We have looked into various options and determined that this charger is the best choice for use with the Max.

​* While the yellow portion of the LightSaver Max's charging gauge only takes up 4 led lights, it holds nearly 70% of the battery.

USB devices including cameras, flashlights, cell phones, tablets, bluetooth speakers and fans.

Cell phones and similar devices reduce the charging rate near the end of charge. The LightSaver Max may have interpreted this as fully being charged and shut off its output to conserve battery. Just push the button and it will turn on the output and finish charging your phone.

Yes. The LightSaver Max can charge its internal battery via the solar panel while charging devices if the internal battery above 10%.

Small laptops and some larger laptops (depending on power draw) may be charged from the 12-volt output. Devices above 60 watts can be charged using the PowerChain accessory cable and two LightSaver Max units.

You will want to ensure that both Max units are as close to full battery capacity as possible to deliver a consistent and constant charge into your higher draw electronics.

The measured output voltage of the Max will be dependent of a few factors.  First the output is generated by a DC-DC boost converter that takes the voltage of the lithium ion battery pack and increases it to nominally 12V. The converter then regulated the voltage to hold it at 12V.  The point at which it regulates is just before the 12V output connector. 

 

With no load on the output the voltage should be nominally 12V. When powering a device off the 12V output the voltage at your device will depend on how much current is being drawn and how much voltage loss is in the cable assembly connecting the Max to your device.  A lighter gauge cable will have more resistance and therefore more voltage and power loss. 

12V input barrel size: 1.30 mm ID x 3.50 mm OD

12V output barrel size : 2.1 mm ID x 5.5 mm OD

Anything with either an instantaneous or continuous draw of over 60 watts. Certain power adapters have extremely noisy draws (electrical noise) that can produce brief draws over 60 watts even if they are rated under 60 watts. Devices like these can still charge, but they will cycle on and off intermittently due to current spikes.

 

Outputs will stay enabled until the system is shut off with the button or 90 minutes have passed with no load on the outputs (this is to allow the Max to remain on for long periods of time while charging lower draw electronics completely).

No, the power requirements are too high for the LightSaver Max output.

Do not leave the LightSaver Max on your car’s dashboard whether charging by solar or from the 12V adapter. This could cause the unit to overheat. Remember that the power plugs in most cars turn off when the ignition is turned off.

To preserve battery capacity, do not store the LightSaver Max under constant charge. For long term storage the LightSaver Max should be stored with over 50% charge in the battery. This is about the middle of the orange LED section of the charging gauge. Charge till at least 50% state of charge is shown on the LED gauge. Force the unit to sleep by pushing and holding the button until the indicator turns off. This will put the unit into a deep sleep state for long term storage. We recommend that the LightSaver Max be brought back to over 50% state of charge every 6 months.

No. The LightSaver Max is a contained system not designed to have replaceable batteries. Attempting to change the batteries will void the warranty.

Please keep your LightSaver Max label as it has your serial number, which will be required f you have any problems during the warranty period (two years).

PowerFilm, Inc. warrants that this PowerFilm® Solar product is free from defects in materials and workmanship that impact performance for a period of two (2) years. The duration of the Limited Warranty is from the date of initial purchase. To obtain warranty from purchases made from our dealer/distributor network a purchase receipt must be provided with the product. The foregoing warranty does not apply to any defect, failure or damage caused by improper use, unauthorized modifications, neglect, improper testing, attempt to repair, inadequate maintenance, or damage from accident, re, abuse or other hazard. PowerFilm’s sole obligation and liability for a product failing to comply with this warranty shall be, at PowerFilm’s choice, either to repair the product or replace the defective product with a new or re-manufactured equivalent at no charge provided that the warranty procedures have been followed.

To obtain service under this warranty, customers must return a failed unit to PowerFilm with the return authorization number, original proof of purchase, description of the failure, contact information, and a return shipping address. PowerFilm will return a repaired or replacement product at PowerFilm’s cost.

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