Test results from solar powering N1 (with pics!)

This is a discussion on Test results from solar powering N1 (with pics!) within the Nexus One forums, part of the Google Phones category; Hi guys, I just performed a few simple tests using my new Powerfilm 14 watt rollable panel. In the wimpy Seattle morning sun I measured ...

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Thread: Test results from solar powering N1 (with pics!)

  1. #1
    Junior Member KTP's Avatar
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    Test results from solar powering N1 (with pics!)

    Hi guys,

    I just performed a few simple tests using my new Powerfilm 14 watt rollable panel. In the wimpy Seattle morning sun I measured over 10.6 watts into a 25 ohm load and I charged up about 8% of my N1 battery in around 10 minutes using a Belkin 12-24V input 5V 700mA max usb output car cig. lighter dc-dc converter. I am extremely impressed with this panel, both in the output and the quality (even the electrical connectors have marine grade rubber seals to keep out moisture). I also really like the Nexus One that arrived yesterday

    I may add a circuit on the front end of the dc-dc converter to cut off input power if the panel voltage droops below a certain amount. This would probably be just a simple comparator with zener diode reference driving a low Rds_on N channel mosfet. I noticed in my tests with a dummy load that if you are drawing 500mA from the car adapter usb port and the input voltage from the solar panel falls below about 8.5V then the output voltage starts to drop below 5V. I don't know what this would do to the N1...it may just ignore low voltage charging power or it may drain the battery of the N1 or even damage it. If I use this circuit to cut power to the charger if the panel is shaded and producing low output then things might be safest.

    Anyway, here are the pics of the panel powering a 25ohm load (the Fluke 189 is measuring 16.3 volts across the 25 ohm load, which is about 10.6 watts).
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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  3. #2
    Member GazzaK's Avatar
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    I like that solar panel, are they expensive and can I buy in the UK :-)

    good idea about the low cut off, not sure if it'd be a problem, but i'd not want to find out either...

  4. #3
    Junior Member KTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GazzaK View Post
    I like that solar panel, are they expensive and can I buy in the UK :-)

    good idea about the low cut off, not sure if it'd be a problem, but i'd not want to find out either...
    They are not exactly cheap but you can't beat the quality and durability. They can even survive multiple punctures (I bet the N1 can't though).

    The cheapest place I found (and where I got mine) was www.defender.com, a marine discounter. The 7 watt panel is $109 (and is probably enough to charge 1 or even 2 Nexus one devices at the same time in full sun and the 14 watt panel is $180 and could easily charge four Nexus ones at the same time in full sun (if you had $2000 of course). I went for the higher output panel because I have some other gear and headlamp batteries I would like to keep charged.

    7 watt version:
    Rollable Solar Battery Charger

    14 watt version:
    Rollable Solar Battery Charger

  5. #4
    Member okcoolthnx's Avatar
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    Interesting. Does anyone know if there's some sort of dock that can charge JUST the N1 battery? I'de like to have a spare battery being charged in the car or something so at the end of the day I can just swap em!

  6. #5
    Senior Member E-man's Avatar
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    Way to think android green.

  7. #6
    Junior Member KTP's Avatar
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    Took out the 14 watt Powerfilm panel today and hiked Iron Goat trail off of Hwy 2 in Washington. I had the panel draped across my pack and the day was sunny but the trail is mostly shaded by trees and cliffs. I started with my Nexus One at 79% battery capacity and finished hiking 5 hours later with the Nexus One at 99%. During this time I had the screen and gps on constantly! I am quite pleased.

    The app. I am really impressed with is Oruxmap. It allows you to create any map from your own image or from google or terraserver files and import it into your N1. I put in a USGS map of the whole trail with 5 levels of zoom and it tracked flawlessly....way cool..beats the hell out of Garmin.

    Here is a pic of an old abandoned tunnel on Iron Goat trail...very spooky and goes for a mile through the mountain. It was built in 1914 and abandoned in 1928.
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