The Powermonkey Experiment Ends… Sort of!

Well, sort of.  About midnight last night the phone battery gave up, so I basically just proved that the weather here was too terrible for the last few days to get any decent power saved up into the powermonkey, and there was definitely not enough solar energy to stay away from the mains indefinitely.  This would make sense, as the solar panel has a max. output (in perfect conditions) of 200mA, my phone has a 1200mAh-ish battery, and that battery generally only lasts about a day with moderate use.  By my calculations then I would need to be storing 6 hours of full blast sunlight to sustain the phone for that length of time.  And well, considering the weather in NI, the time I have to spend in class, and the fact that the solar panel wasn’t ideally placed a lot of the time, the powermonkey did quite well!

So by the end of the experiment I had managed to keep my phone away from the mains for about 59 hours, which is actually pretty good going for that phone, as I said above, I normally only get about a day out of a full charge..

I’m doing the experiment again, although this time I’ve made a couple of changes.  I fully charged both my phone and the powermonkey from the mains last night, to give the thing a fighting chance, it is winter after-all…  I know the solar panel is up to the job, as I fully charged my nexus battery pack the other afternoon by leaving it in the car for a shift, but with the clouds/snow/fog we’re having at the minute we’re getting very low levels of UV at the ground, making the amount of electricity available very low…

Anyway just a wee bit of info on the powermonkey – they’re getting a free plug!  The powermonkey explorer (the version I’m using) is a combination of a Li-Ion battery pack, and a solar panel, along with the ‘monkey nuts’ which are the connectors that you use to connect your phone/iPod/mp3 player/some cameras to the battery.  The solar panel has a maximum output of 200mA, and the battery pack has a capacity of 2200mAh.  You can charge the battery using the solar panel, which will take about 18 hours of sunlight for a full charge, a mains plug, which takes about 3-4 hours for a full charge, and using a usb lead (supplied with the monkey) connected to a computer, or anything with a powered USB port, which will take about 6 hours for a charge.  You can then go out into the wilderness, strap the solar panel to your rucksack, and be partially self sufficient for electricity.

They also do a thing called the solargorilla, which is suitable for charging your laptop, and can also charge your devices in the same way as the powermonkey…

The battery is great for devices which chew their own batteries, like smart-phones, which don’t normally get a great battery life, it’s not too bulky – it’ll fit in your pocket, and it can power a multitude of different devices, as long as they make a monkey-nut for it…  You also get a neat carry case, a Velcro sealed bag to keep your bits and bobs in, and a velcro strap for the solar panel to make it easier to strap it to a bag/rucksack/window/coat/whatever tickles your fancy really…

Anyway, plug over!  For more info on the powertraveller products just go to https://powertraveller.com/.

I’ll keep you all updated on the progress of the experiment this time round too…

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