Solar for Backpacker
I know it sound great to have 40-60 Watts of
Electricity or enough electricty to power a TV, and many items. However, not
need, all I need is the solar power to charge a small lead motorcycle battery
that could supply my computer electricity for 2-4 hours. I am guess, I think it
will take less than four hours per day, as in reality, I can connect to the 220
and charge easier, I almost always can find 220 on the grid.
The reality is here in Togo:
Lights - A candle or kerosene lantern is cheap,
easy and convenient, I can carry anywhere and do not need special
FAN - I can always go outside and sleep, it is
just luxury to have a 12 Volt Van
CELL PHONE - I have two batteries, I think I can
buy about 10 and carry easily, the bigger problem is charging them, I must
charge in the phone, this is very inconvenient.
COMPUTER - This needs a 12 Volt Battery and the
adapter. This is my only question mark. How much electricity 12 Volt Battery
power do I need to run a backpack for 4 hours per day? How many of these small
motorcycle batteries is necessary. I have about 10 hours of hot sun here, and
almost always every day, do not listen to this monsoon crap, rainy season is not
rainy, it rains at night, and one hour per day, I have been very few places
where it rains a lot all day and that was in London or clouds.
TV - I do not have and even if I did, it would be
in French, unless I want to also carry a satellite dish
COOKING - The alcohol Tangia cookers is perfect,
or I can just go and borrow a stove, charcoal, cooking is easy, the morning cup
of coffee quick is why I want to cook, I may like to use a 12 volt coffee makers
to cook water, and if a big problem, I drink cold coffee.
WATER PURIFICATION - I would use a camp fire to
boil water or burn anything
SATELLITE UPLINK - I have never seen anyone use
solar for a satellite uplink, I have seen weather stations with nice solar
operations. - When I buy a satellite connection, I may need more solar
energy, but so far, they are sort of a joke and expensive. I think the GPRS is
going to become the standard, then after there is GPRS internet everywhere, the
satellite business will start to fail, and they will lower their prices and
compete, this is about five years away I think.
WEIGHT - Most travelers could carry the solar
panel, but they would not carry the heavy equipment that would need all the
electricity. The earth has electricity, almost everywhere, and when the do not,
they have a generator.
CARS If I had a car, I still would not need big
solar energy, I would just use the alternator of the car to charge my 12Volt
I truly think going 12 Volts is a possible
Andy in Togo Africa May 2007
Thank you, Andy HoboTraveler.com https://www.hobotraveler.com/blogger.html