Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Clean energy whilst camping...

Back at the start of the month, the M family did our first camping trip as a family. We weren't sure what to expect, but went for an electric hook up so we could still have our luxuries, (yes this including a kettle, but also phone chargers) this put a few camp sites off the market for us booking so late, so when we had the opportunity to try out a solar panel product, for the possibility in the future to go powerless, I jumped at the chance.
I was given the Ventura Portable Power SPV140 14W Solar Panel from for the purpose of an honest review. I was super excited when it arrived, but didn't try it out until we got to the campsite.

As you can see from the picture it is compact, which is perfect as the car is full to the brim when camping..

And when we were all unpacked, the solar panel came out too, we hooked ours up to the front door and it easily hooked up. Daddy M was trying to get it angled with  guy rope, but it didn't stay put, so we left it dangling...
...and doing its work, (charging my mobile) whilst the girlies did some colouring, whilst us adults had a well deserved brew...

The solar panel pack comes with different attachments, so it can attach to many handheld devices and cameras, and offers various voltages.
It all just unfolds to expose the panels, and you plug the device inside the Velcro envelope. My phone even managed to fit into this envelope as handy storage.  

So... how did it work? I am not going to lie, and say it worked brilliantly, nor am I going to say it doesn't work. We were unfortunate that the weather wasn't on our side. We pitched up around 3pm, and had left the campsite by 4.30 on the hunt for an evening exploring, where we spent it at the beach. I had un-clipped the panels so they were locked away, so they were hidden from view, and also from the sun, and I hadn't thought to take it with me. In the 20-30 minutes it was all hooked up, it charged about 5%.... now I'm not sure how effective that is, as my phone, is seriously poo with the battery span, and I mean s***, so much so, I'm going to be taking it back, as it doesn't even last half a day...  but getting back to it... if you had nothing to charge the device, an extra 5% in 20-30 minutes is fantastic. The next day we were greeted with the rain, so it didn't come out.
On returning, I tried it in the garden on a sunny/cloudy day and I managed 50 minutes without touching my phone.... I'm addicted, I know.... I had it on airplane mode so speed up charging and it did 15%
So... if your camping, on the beach, or walking, and want something to give you that extra little charge, and lucky enough to have the sunshine, this is your new toy! I have yet to try it with my garmin, but I reckon it could easily be hooked up to the backpack, to charge whilst still walking. :-)
Would I give up my electric hook up?? - Not just yet.... ...but watch this space, I will be taking it out again to see what it can do, when we are greeted by a glorious summers day....
Family Fever

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