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Marica

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi! Brand new here but I hope this is finally the place to have a question answered.

Generally, I would love someone to explain to me how one goes about figuring out if a portable solar panel of a given wattage is compatible with a power bank of a given capacity.

More specifically, would this: Ravpower 16W Dual USB Solar Panel charge this: USB C Portable Charger 20100mAh PD 3.0 45W Power Bank?

Customer service (via email) seems not to understand my question and I been on the quest for an answer for so long that I now have a burning desire to understand how to arrive at the answer on my own!

Thanks! 

jjackstone

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Posts: 80
Reply with quote  #2 
Don't know if you're serious or if you're just trying to generate sales of these items. However since they are made by the same manufacturer I find it difficult to believe that they can't give you the correct answer. The charger says that it can charge at 18 watts in six hours so assuming you have a compatible charging cable I would guess that the panel would charge the pack but at a slightly slower rate.
JJ

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JJ
sundug

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Posts: 128
Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marica
Hi! Brand new here but I hope this is finally the place to have a question answered.

Generally, I would love someone to explain to me how one goes about figuring out if a portable solar panel of a given wattage is compatible with a power bank of a given capacity.

More specifically, would this: Ravpower 16W Dual USB Solar Panel charge this: USB C Portable Charger 20100mAh PD 3.0 45W Power Bank?

Customer service (via email) seems not to understand my question and I been on the quest for an answer for so long that I now have a burning desire to understand how to arrive at the answer on my own!

Thanks! 


Short answer is yes, but....Any size panel can charge any size battery given enuf time and sun. There are many variables-amount of sunlight, (intensity, angle, time), efficiency of panel, charge controller and battery, load(wattage and duration)

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Marica

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjackstone
Don't know if you're serious or if you're just trying to generate sales of these items. However since they are made by the same manufacturer I find it difficult to believe that they can't give you the correct answer. The charger says that it can charge at 18 watts in six hours so assuming you have a compatible charging cable I would guess that the panel would charge the pack but at a slightly slower rate.
JJ


I am both serious *and* a real life person trying to understand how things work! I also find it difficult to believe Co. A's customer service doesn't understand my question but they do not. They are more concerned with what sort of phone the bank will be charging. I do not think I represent their target market, and I do not think customer service at Co. A has much technical knowledge. 

Thanks for the reply.
Marica

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundug


Short answer is yes, but....Any size panel can charge any size battery given enuf time and sun. There are many variables-amount of sunlight, (intensity, angle, time), efficiency of panel, charge controller and battery, load(wattage and duration)


See. This is where I get confused and was hoping for some help understanding. It's not true that any size can charge any size. I have a 24W panel w/ three USB output cables (each 5V/2.4A max) from Co. A and it cannot charge a 12V-30V input (42W max) power station from Co. B. Co. B's web page clearly tells me that I need a 50W (16.2V/3.15A) solar panel to charge the station. 

(And yes. I've calculated the angles for summer, winter, spring/fall for my latitude.)

Thanks for your reply. 
jjackstone

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Posts: 80
Reply with quote  #6 
Marica,
My apologies. I really thought this was a spam post. So you said you tried to contact them by email. Have you tried by phone yet? 

Quote:
Generally, I would love someone to explain to me how one goes about figuring out if a portable solar panel of a given wattage is compatible with a power bank of a given capacity.


I see it is even difficult to get actual electrical specifications from their ads. But from charging specs shown in their ad,
  • Ultra-fast recharge: get a full recharge in just 3.5 hours with the 30W USB C port, Micro-USB QC charges at 18W in just 6 hours, standard 2.4a charges in just 9.5 hours
This implies that hi power usb ports can be used to charge the device. So far as I know, all USB devices are 5 volts. That would mean their charger for the power pack is charging at just above 5 volts at 6 amps. As stated, the pack can be charged at a slower rate also.

As for the solar panel the best info I have seen for its output is 

"Even 3.2A Current: Smart IC frequency technology automatically detects connected devices' input and distributes a current output up to 3.2A; includes two 5V/2A USB charging cables".

I'm not totally sure what "even 3.2A" means but I would guess that is the maximum output from the panels at a given time. 3.2 amps times 5 volts gives you 16 watts. The specs say that a max of 2.4 amps can be pulled from one port. And according to the power pack specs it can be charged at 2.4 amps in about 9.5 hours. So assuming you have a USB to USB-c cable then I would guess that yes you should be able to charge the pack from the panels. But it will take all day from empty. However if you are hiking or biking you can obviously be charging while you are doing those activities. The other part though is that the 16 watt output is the specification in full sun. You won't normally get that unless you are sitting still and pointing the panels directly at the sun. Good luck. Let us know what happens.

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sundug

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marica


See. This is where I get confused and was hoping for some help understanding. It's not true that any size can charge any size. I have a 24W panel w/ three USB output cables (each 5V/2.4A max) from Co. A and it cannot charge a 12V-30V input (42W max) power station from Co. B. Co. B's web page clearly tells me that I need a 50W (16.2V/3.15A) solar panel to charge the station. 

(And yes. I've calculated the angles for summer, winter, spring/fall for my latitude.)

Thanks for your reply. 


"Given enuf time and sun"
 I have a 1 watt pv panel that keeps a truck battery charged all winter. Within reasonable limits, a small panel can charge a big battery Given the time and sunlite!  Of course voltages must be the same.

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Marica

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #8 
JJ-- apology accepted. 

Also, I have discovered Ohm's Law, so thing are starting to make a bit more sense.


Marica

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #9 
Well, I've got to say this is the first time I've been accused of being a troll! :-) And now that you've looked at the info "Co. A" provides, you understand my confusion. 

Since I posted initially I have discovered Ohm's Law &c. and things are beginning to make more sense. And JJ your walking through the info Co. A does provide & your reasoning with it was very helpful. Thanks!

I didn't mention it initially b/c I was trying to get a more theoretical understanding of how this stuff works, but my aim is to get a panel-bank for one of my daughters (in eastern NC) as part of her hurricane preparedness set up. She's even less tech-savvy than I, so I want to be sure I get something she can just plug and charge. The idea is that the bank would be fully charged (using AC adapter) in advance of bad weather. 20,000+mAh is a fair amount & would keep her going (so she could call me or whomever she needs to call!) a good while if all she's charging are her phone and a lantern. Once a hurricane passes, skies are bright and sunny. So the solar panel just keeps the bank topped off. 

Now. Sundug. Are you telling me that my puny 24W panel would *eventually* charge my power station? More confusion. The output of the panel (from Co. A) is 5V. The input to the power station (from Co. B) is 12V-30V (42W max). As part of my own when the lights go out preparations, I'm draining down each of my power banks, and recharging them with my little panel, and recording the amount of time to full. (Too much time on my hands.) The power station has a nice display indicating watts of input & output. When I plugged it into the panel, input read 0. ?? The amount of sun is not an issue. I live in Mississippi. It's not Arizona, but it is sunny. 

Thanks for your time & patience. 
jjackstone

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Posts: 80
Reply with quote  #10 
I was able to get through to Ravpower by email. Here is what they have to say.

Me:

 

Quote:

Title: Product compatibility

I have been looking at two of your products and want to know if they will work with each other. Will your 16 watt solar charger(Ravpower 16W Dual USB Solar Panel) properly charge your 
20100 maH powerbank(USB C Portable Charger RAVPower 20100mAh PD 3.0 45W Power Delivery Power Bank)? 

Thanks for your help. 
John 


Their reply:
 
Quote:
Dear John,

 

Thanks for your email.

 

Yes, it will charge, however, the charging speed may be slow. 

 

If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us again.
 
Best Regards, 
Kaye 
RAVPower Customer Care 
Register your products online for an additional 12 months warranty extension
RAVPower International Inc. TEL: 888-456-8468
Visit us at: RAVPower site


So, much as we discussed, it will work but it would likely take all day to charge. However, if you have started out with a full charge the panels would probably work to keep the battery pack topped off in an emergency situation.

Quote:
Now. Sundug. Are you telling me that my puny 24W panel would *eventually* charge my power station? More confusion. The output of the panel (from Co. A) is 5V. The input to the power station (from Co. B) is 12V-30V (42W max). As part of my own when the lights go out preparations, I'm draining down each of my power banks, and recharging them with my little panel, and recording the amount of time to full. 


As far as a 5 volt system charging a 12 volt system, I would find that highly unlikely. You normally need a higher voltage level than what you are charging. Under normal circumstances one would need 13 to 15 volts to charge a 12 volt battery pack. I suppose that some of these newer gadgets could take a 5 volt input and step it up internally to 12 volts but now you're back to what Sundug said. "Given enuf time and sun"
 
 

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