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Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger
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- Portable solar charger for charging laptops (up to 40Watts) directly
- USB socket for charging electronic devices up to 5V (smartphones, iPods etc.)
- Fully water resistant
- Adaptors for most major laptop and mobile brands supplied
- Rugged and lightweight build for outdoor use
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Powertraveller Solargorilla Portable Charger:
Developed by an award-winning manufacturer, the solargorilla portable solar charger will charge laptops and netbooks up to 40 Watts and virtually any 5V electronic device directly from the sun.
5V and 20V output:
The solargorilla has two output ports – a 5V USB socket and a 20V DC socket. From the 5V USB socket you can charge your smaller devices such as smartphone, iPod, GPS, headlamp, etc., whilst the 20V DC socket can be used to charge laptops and netbooks.
To Work Out The Voltage Of Your Device:
If your device is charged via a USB socket – the maximum voltage of your device will be 5 Volts. For other products, the voltage your device requires can be found in either the user manual supplied with the device or on the AC mains charger. To work out the wattage of your laptop, please refer to the user guide supplied with your device.
The solargorilla will work with most major laptop and netbook brands including Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Lenovo and virtually any 5V electronic device such as smartphones, iPods, GPS, handheld action cameras, Sat Navs, headlamps, torches, e-readers and more. Please note, to charge Apple devices you will require either a MagSafe cable or your white sync/charge cable supplied with your Apple product.
Perfect for Outdoor use:
The solargorilla is made from a tough, rubberised water-resistant casing and comes with a protective neoprene storage case featuring mesh pockets to store cables and adaptor tips, plus a handy Velcro strap to attach it to backpacks or tents. The photovoltaic solar panels are non-reflective and generate electric current when exposed to the sun’s rays, providing power for your devices.
Stylish and Compact Design:
A compact clam-shell design means the solargorilla is lightweight and portable. Weighing just 700g and measuring just 264 x 200 x 19mm when folded, the solargorilla is perfect for even the most space-conscious traveller.
Recharging the powergorilla:
The solargorilla was primarily designed as a solar charging option for the powergorilla portable laptop charger. When used in conjunction with the powergorilla you have a totally portable power station - perfect for when you're off the beaten track.
Who’s It Suitable For?
The solargorilla is ideally suited for those that are away from AC mains power but have access to good sunlight and wish to charge their “can’t live without” devices. Negating the need to carry batteries and being subjected to extremely hot and very cold temperatures, the solargorilla can successfully charged laptops up to 40W and power-hungry 5V devices. Please note: The solargorilla relies on the UV intensity of the sun. Therefore, at certain times of the year it may not be suitable for use in the Northern Hemisphere unless combined with the powergorilla.
All stock is tested and the serial number and condition of item is recorded before shipping! In the event of a return the customer is responsible for the shipping costs of returning the item.See all Product description
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The Solar Gorilla was bought to charge several of my portable batteries. These batteries are then used to charge a multitude of low voltage devices (5V-12V) which, at the moment, seemed to be permanently plugged into the mains. This procedure may seem rather cumbersome, but many of these low voltage devices appear to be rather sensitive to the fluctuating output of a solar panel. Batteries, on the other hand, are not so fussy and can provide a stable charge to the low voltage devices without any problems. Clearly the cost effectiveness of this procedure does not enter into the equation. I just like the idea of running all those bits and pieces off "sunshine".
The first problem that had to be overcome was the issue of the different charge requirements for all the different batteries (5V-18V). Most of the portable size solar panels only have one output voltage. The Solar Gorilla, although quiet expensive, does seem to cover my requirements. It provides 5V and a 20V variable output.
To get the best out of the panel I strapped it to an old camera tripod and adjusted it to be at 90 degrees to the sun. I was pleasantly surprised to find that all the batteries were happy with the output. The 20V output seems to adjust itself to the best requirement of a battery. On a clear day the panel provided 300-500mA, depending on the voltage. On an average dull day it still provide a useful 100mA.
To continuously get the maximum out of the panel the tripod had to be readjusted every hour to face the sun. Clearly that is not a practical solution. To resolve the issue I built a clockwork solar tracker on which I could mount the Solar Gorilla. This is a device that would faithfully track the sun across the sky without consuming any of the carefully harvested energy. Now I just place the tracker outside in the morning and bring it back in evening. It's a much better solution. With this arrangement any one battery can be fully charged in two to three days, depending on the weather. Talking about the weather, the panel did get wet a few times and has not shown any detrimental effects. Probably because the output ports, which are not waterproof, are facing downwards.
Since I've had the Solar Gorilla none of my low voltage gadgets have been plugged into the mains and I find that very satisfying.
If I'm so pleased with the Solar Gorilla you may ask why I only gave it four stars. It has one cosmetic flaw. After two months of continued use I notice the part of the casing that is always pointing towards the sun started to become sticky accumulating a lot of dust. The sticky stuff wouldn't wipe off with either a wet or dry cloth. I emailed Powertraveller describing the problem. When I didn't get a reply after a week I tried to remove the sticky stuff with various chemicals and eventually found that methylated spirit did the trick. It removed the sticky stuff and revealed the shiny base layer underneath. It appears that the top layer (the cosmetic layer that gives it the matt look) is breaking down when continuously exposed to full face sunlight. Once all the sticky stuff around the front of the panel is removed the case looks well worn but it has not been affected in any other way. For something that is suppose to be exposed to the sun this should not happen. A few days later a received a reply from Powertraveller offering an exchange. I declined the offer as I was of the opinion that the problem was an inherent design fault and the exchange unit would probably exhibit the same fault within a few months. As it is only a cosmetic issue and the panel that I have is working well I decided to keep it.
It works by converting the suns energy to electricity. Therefor the strength of the sun directly affects how well it works, likewise the angle of the panel is very important, for best use it needs to be pointing directly at the sun so leaving the panel flat on a car dashboard impacts how well it works. Some people will leave the panel charging something all day and get almost no charge due to shadows, sun strength and the angle (sun moves 12.5 degrees per hour) . Additionally latitude and temperature are other factors, the closer you are to the equator the better it works and leaving the panel in a hot car is not a good idea as heat reduces efficiency.
I found out all of the above while trying to figure out why I was getting inconsistent results from this item, now I know why I can modify what I do accordingly. Is it a good item, yes it is although I am knocking off a star as they really should explain all of the above in the advert or on the packaging they are entirely valid limitations rather than product flaws.
My advice is consider what you want this do and the environment it will be used in (not waterproof bizarrely) the item is well made and sturdy so the question is will it meet your requirements and function in your environment.
It worked best when the typhoon had passed and blue skies returned (Its a solar panel, so a cloudless sky is what makes it work best) and I have used it to charge mobile phones as well as my laptop. It works but obviously slower that a mains supply.
My only criticisms are the cheap plastic tray affair that the selection of sockets come in as it is the opposite of robust and you can easily lose the sockets which would render the panel useless.
The other complaint is the cushioned attache type case it comes in. The panel can easily fall out and smash as soon as you unzip the bag as it sits loose inside.
I do not think much thought went into those aspects, but the panel itself works well for me and I recommend it.
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