Power Banks

A place to discuss all things involving power and technology (including cameras). Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self, sound systems and more.
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Power Banks

Postby LeonardPotato » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:52 pm

So I need some power for the Burn.
I am on a solo mission, but I have sleep apnia and uses a breathing machine thing that requires juice.

Here are the options I am considering...

Power bank with a solar charger: Challenge here is that I don't know if the solar charger will create the power that I need, especially if there is bad weather. I also don't know how long a power bank will last. Some of them say they can jump start a car 20 times... but that means fuck all to me when I am just using it for power. Advantage is, it is easy to travel with. I can also tell how much power is in the bank with the push of a button.

Battery and generator: Challenger here is that is a lot bigger assembly and possibly more costly depending on the quality of equipment I get. This would also take up extra space and weight. If I bought a genny it would be a cheap one that I could run for a few hours and top the battery up. It would not be whisper quiet, although approved for national parks, and I don't want to piss my neighbors off. I would have no way of knowing the power level of the batter, that I am aware of. I would also have to figure out how to take a battery and put a plug on it so I can hook it to the trailer I plan on brining (I am sure there is a simple solution to this). Advantage here is I would have multiple outlets and wouldn't have the noise of a power bank cooling fan when I am trying to sleep.

2 (or more) batteries: I would be relying on the fact that the number of batteries I brought would provide the power I need for the full burn, The batteries range in price and I am not sure of the performance of a cheap battery. Batteries are heavy but don't take up too much room.

Right now I would just be hooking up the machine to it, but if I had the power I could bring more plug in lights, maybe even a fan.

This being my Birgin year, I want to make sure it is something I would do again before the more high level investing begins. At this point I don't even know if I will get a ticket....

I know there are some other threads on similar issues, but if someone has a perspective on this they don't mind sharing I would appreciate it.
To days of inspiration, playing hooky, making something out of nothing. The need to express, to communicate. To going against the grain, going insane, going mad. To love and tension, no pension. To more than one dimension

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Re: Power Banks

Postby maladroit » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:00 pm

I've brought out a CPAP machine every year. Rule of thumb: you do everything possible to ensure quality sleep, you won't get much and you will need it. That includes comfortable bedding and warm blankets, sleep mask if you need it, ear plugs, white noise generator, whatever you use now.

CPAP is not hugely power-hungry but it's also not super efficient. There is a pump inside that has generate a bit of pressure and keep up with airflow.

Some CPAP machines have battery options. They're the size of your small car-emergency battery banks, and usually only good for one night without humidifier. Let's say the CPAP averages 15 watts while you're using it without a humidifier, and 60 watts if you use it with a humidifier.

I bought a deep-cycle battery for about 100 bucks (can be found a little cheaper). It's rated for 90 amp-hours but you shouldn't plan to drain more than 50 or 60 on a full charge. That's about 650 watt-hours...so you get 43 hours (5 nights) without humidifier, 11 hours (1 or 2 nights) with humidifier. I use an inverter connected to the battery with large short cables, it needs to draw many amps to keep up sometimes...my first trip out, I started with too-long of too-thin cables and the CPAP started up fine but would shut down if I took a breath (inverter would trip out and beep).

I also use a 30-watt solar panel and small charge controller to keep the battery topped off. I leave it connected at all times so it grabs as much energy as possible. This has always worked perfectly, the battery stays nearly full and I use it for CPAP, small amount of LED lighting, and charging other small batteries through cigarette lighter USB chargers.

You can also take one battery and try to get it recharged occasionally, but it's a pain to lug around.

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Re: Power Banks

Postby Joeln » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:08 pm

Maladroit is spot on.
Don't worry about clouds there is plenty of sun power out there.
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some seeing eye
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Re: Power Banks

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:34 pm


Your machine should have a Watt rating. If it has modes, you can borrow a Kill-a-Watt and measure the instantaneous or even the overnight total.

Then you can go down Maladroit's instructions on panel and battery charging.

There are two schools of thought on ePlaya: 1. Meet your regional and consider collaborating, even camping together. 2. Every man for himself, fuck mooching off a camp, the event is not a hotel.

How are you transporting yourself and stuff to the event? Do you have any friends (yet) who are going this year?

There has been a solar charging camp in past years. Then you would have to transport your battery to and from them, which may mean having a toy wagon and even bike to tow it. Power banks often perform below expectations.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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