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What are my options for charging two cellphones and one blender?  RSS feed

 
Minka Bug
Posts: 18
Location: gweiloville, North Carolina
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Hello! My husband and I have access to roughly 5 acres of land and we would like to move there soon. We have a van which we will be living out of, no problem there.

We have a (thus far) solid plan for meeting all our needs with the sole exceptions of a method for charging two cellphones and (occasionally) a "nutribullet" blender. My husband doesn't want to use the vans battery to charge the cellphones because it is apparently very bad for some part of the van .__. (I know nothing about anything to do with the function of vehicles).

I am wondering what our options are in the way of charging those electronics. The land that we would like to move to did have power hook-ups but that was in the house that burned down many years ago and I really don't want to use city-power to charge the cell-phones and nutribullet. Do you have any ideas on refrigeration? ...only "needed" through the summer because we live in NC and winters are cold enough for us to go with out it. My husband would love to use solar panels to meet those needs until we throw out the phones but he and I don't know where to begin with any of that. Our monetary allowance toward a "reliable" power-source is 300.00-ish/mo but is somewhat flexible.

As you can see, my knowledge with all of this sort of stuff is very limited so I am eager to hear any suggestions/tips/tricks of the trade.
 
oliver moss
Posts: 20
Location: Southern UK
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Charging cellphones is a very small problem, as there are plenty of solar options. The small cheap stand-alone solar chargers are not very good though so I would not recommend those. I live off-grid in the UK and for the last 2 years have been charging 2 cellphones from an old car battery that is permanently hooked to a 4 watt solar charger. You can buy a clip-on cigarette lighter socket to attach to the battery, and car chargers for phones etc for very little money from Ebay or elsewhere. (this charging set -up of mine lives in the corner of a polythene tunnel(hoop) greenhouse to keep it dry.

To charge larger items like your blender, You'll probably need a more powerful solar panel, and probably an inverter to give you mains power from your battery(you may also need more batteries, but I'm not familiar with your blender so cannot advise about that) Once again, inverters can be bought online for a minimal amount of cash.
Whatever, you should be able to do those things easily within your budget.

Refrigeration is a more difficult problem so I'll leave someone else to hopefully contribute there.
Good luck, and I'm sure you'll enjoy your land.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Location: Portugal
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I wonder if you could adapt the blender so it could be powered by a bicycle?

 
R Scott
Posts: 3363
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Oliver's setup would work, if you upsize the panel a little (You can get a 10 watt panel for the price as a 4 if you shop well) and add a small inverter. You should be able to do it for about 300, but I would spend a little more to get 2 golf cart batteries instead of just a single deep cycle marine battery. They are just better.

Fridge--you can get a portable ice machine: http://www.amazon.com/NewAir-AI-100R-28-Pound-Portable-Icemaker/dp/B0017Y3GGI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401195891&sr=8-1&keywords=ice+machine

Run it during the day when you are making plenty of power. You would need more solar panels for this, but not too bad money wise. Put the ice in a high grade cooler and you are good for a fridge.



 
Topher Belknap
Posts: 205
Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
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As has been said cellphone are an easy problem. To give another possibility, I own a small emergency radio/flashilght/USB charger which runs on solar or hand cranking.

For a blender, I love my Vortex hand cranked blender. GSI Vortex Blender

Thank You Kindly,

Topher

p.s. Charging a cellphone in the van (especially if you do it when it is being driven) should not adversely affect any part of the system in any way.
 
Markus Loeffler
Posts: 30
Location: Altadena, CA, USA
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Hi Minka,

I am a big fan of solar energy so I would suggest you invest in 2-3 solar panels, a battery and an inverter. These items will cost about $500 - $600 in total. I am running my fridge for more than a year on just 2 solar panels and I also own a nutribullet
Since cellphones consume very little energy and I assume you are running the blender less than 5 minutes a day this is an easy off-grid solution.

Cheers
Markus
 
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