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I have a 30 day documentary film project in Dolpa, a remote part of Nepal, which I’m going to be away from power for almost 30 days.  This is the first time since I converted to digital capture that I’ll be off the grid for so long.  I emailed some colleagues who shoot for NorthFace and had been given some pre-packaged products (by Goal Zero and Brunton) that they claimed did not work for their needs.

In researching the subject here is what I’ve learned:

1. To power my 15” Macbook pro, camera batteries (Canon Mark II & III 5D’s] and  various AA’s I need a 60 watt solar panel.  The lightest and most compact I have found is the P3-62 Foldable Sunling panel.  It weighs 3 lbs and folds up to 15”x 8” x 1.5”

62 W Sunling panel kit  $849  http://www.impactbattery.com/p3-62w-black-solar-panel-kit.html

2. From the panel I will be charging a 12 VOLT 10 Amp Hour  LITHIUM IRON PHOSPHATE BATTERY (LFP).   LFP batteries are half the weight of lead acid batteries and are cheaper and more environmentally friendly than Lithium cobalt batteries.  This one weighs 2.5 lbs. and is 6” x 2.5” x  3.8”.

10 Amp Hour LFP battery  $150  http://www.wholesalebatteriesdirect.com/66438-12-volt-10-ah-lifepo4-lfp12v10-lithium-iron-phosphate-battery.html

*note–It is necessary to have a controller between the solar panel and the LFP battery to avoid over-charging.  The Sunling Panel kit listed above comes with a controller.

3. I plan to have the solar panel charging the battery outside my tent during the day then charging my various devices off the LFP battery at night.  Here are some adaptors needed to charge my various devices from the LFP battery:

Battery to cigarette socket connector  $5

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00065L2D8/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_3?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0018NB3OK&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=14YYH1GE3F4RSPD4TWG0

3 way Cigarette Socket splitter  and USB port  $3

http://www.amazon.com/Three-Way-Cigarette-Lighter-Socket-Splitter/dp/B0018NB3OK/ref=pd_cp_e_1

Canon 5D adaptor $20 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=peadccnlpe6&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

Macbook adaptor $28

http://www.amazon.com/Charger-Macbook-Mb283ll-Mb940ll-Notebook/dp/B004SBYHNI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331446268&sr=8-1

Total cost–$1055

Canon 5D adaptor $20

4 Responses to “Charging Equipment in Remote Areas with Solar”

  1. Jamie Williams

    Thanks for posting this info Phil. I’ve been thinking about getting myself a solar setup so this is really useful. Look forward to seeing the film.

    Reply
  2. Rob

    Good to see a list of your whole setup.. Can you provide a description of how well it worked in the field? Is there anything you would change to the setup? Thanks.

    Reply

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