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C.Crane 11-in-1 Solar Battery Charger
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- Solar battery charger. Recharge batteries with the sun!
- Charges 11 different NiCd and NiMH battery sizes (AAA, AA, C, D, and 7 GUM sizes) Never be without power again!
- Charges 2 pcs of NIMH or NiCad "D"/"C"/"AA"/"AAA" size rechargeable batteries
- Adjustable top lid and bottom stand for optimal sunlight exposure
- Blocking diode to prevent discharge
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|Item Dimensions||2.5 x 5 x 7 inches|
|Item Weight||0.87 pounds|
|Shipping Weight||0.9 pounds|
C.Crane Universal Solar 11-in-One Battery Charger with Meter - This high powered solar charger charges two Rechargeable Batteries of the same type and size (D, C, AA, AAA). It puts out about 150mah and about 5 volts. All of the other solar battery chargers we tested were unsuitable because their voltage was too low. Weight: 11.8 oz. Size: 6.8" W x 4.5" H x 2.3" D. This is the most versatile battery charger available on the market today. The solar panel is incorporated into the hinged cover which can be angled for maximum sun exposure. It goes beyond ordinarily employing the sunlight strength to charge your Ni-Cad batteries. Its in-built meter shows you the following conditions: -The strength of the sun -The strength of the current out-put from the solar panel -The time required to fully charge the different types of batteries This battery charger incorporates a built-in blocking diode to prevent reverse flow of electricity from charged batteries during storage. It is environmentally safe, cost efficient and trouble free. The polycarbonate transparent cover makes the charger weather resistant. This charger is an ideal gadget for camping, fishing, boating, and picnics. It is equally suitable for home use. "D," "C," "AA," and "AAA" size batteries. Batteries D-Size (UM-1) 1500mA 5.6x16.4x66.2mm 600mA C-Size (UM-2) 1000mA 5.6x16.4x66.2mm 720mA AA-Size (UM-3) 500mA 6.1x17x67mm 650mA AAA-Size(UM4) 180mA 7.8x16.4xx66.5mm 850mA 8.3x17x67mm 900mA 10.5x17x67mm 1200mA 10.7x17x67mm 1750mA Specs Voltage (VOC): 5V (maximum in full sunlight) Current (Isc): 140 mA (maximum in full sunlight)
Seller Warranty Description1 Year Limited Parts & Labor
Top customer reviews
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However, it will not recharge 9-volt batteries. The voltage from the solar panel isn't high enough. If you want to charge a 9V battery, the product you need is
AA and 9 volt battery charger with 3, 6, 9, and 12 volt power supply
The only thing the Crane charger's dial really indicates is current. The time shown on the dial is an estimate based on the assumption that the battery was drained until its pole potential difference was about one volt. It isn't the amount of time remaining. You still have to check the batteries from time to time with a voltmeter, until they're just over 1.4 volts each when you measure them with a voltmeter 30 minutes after taking them out of the charger. (The battery voltage usually falls off by 0.01V to 0.03V during the first half hour after removal.)
Not all of these chargers are equals. Some of them generate a higher charging voltage than others do. I tested mine with a voltmeter and found that one of them has a maximum voltage (full sun on perpendicular panel) of 5.4 volts, while the other shows 4.8 volts. As the result, the charger that creates the higher voltage charges pairs of batteries faster than the other one does. But both of them do charge pairs of NiMH batteries.
Added 21 April 2011. I bought a third charger. The voltage in full sun with panel normal is 5.2 volts.
Will a solar battery charger pay for itself? It depends on how you look at it. Versus buying lots of single-use alkaline or lithium batteries, definitely it will. Versus recharging batteries with a cheaper house-current powered charger, probably not. In 1500 rechargings of a pair of Eneloop batteries, you'll be lucky to get a dollar's worth of electricity out of them, at the present price of utility supplied electricity.
E = total energy
B = number of batteries = 2
R = number of rechargings = 1500
P = electric power
T = time
V = average battery voltage = 1.25V
E = BRPT = BR(IV)T = BR(IT)V
IT = 2000 mAh = 7200 amp-sec
E = (2 batteries)(1500 rechargings)(7200 amp-seconds)(1.25 volts)
E = 2.7e7 Joules = 7.5 kWh
Cost = 7.5 kWh ($0.1/kWh) = 75 cents.
Consider a solar battery charger to be a way to hedge your battery investment against the possibility that you might not have house current someday.
Added 21 April 2011. The maximum charging voltage for my best Crane charger is 5.42V. Once it has enough light intensity to reach this maximum voltage, further increases in light intensity no longer raise the voltage, but will raise the current flow. In full sun, with panel normal, the highest current flow I noticed was 0.180 amps. So the power being put into the batteries, at most, by the Crane charger is about 0.976 watts. This energy transfer rate will slow to about 0.457 watts as the two batteries, upon being charged, oppose their own voltage to that from the solar panel, assuming that the sunlight remains at a constant intensity and that the panel remains normal to the sun's direction during that time. If I approximate the average energy transfer rate by averaging the extremes of net voltage, it would take about 7 hours to fully recharge a pair of 2000 mAh AA batteries that had been completely discharged before recharging. In actual practice, you don't really fully discharge the batteries; you recharge them when their voltage has dropped so low (but not to zero) that they can't make anything work anymore, so it doesn't take as long as seven hours to top them off again.
Added 21 April 2011. Contrary to some of the reviews here, this charger will charge a pair of AAA, AA, C, or D size NiMH batteries on a cloudy day. The voltage from the solar panel on a cloudy day remains high enough to do the job. However, because the current can be under 30mA under heavily overcast skies, the charging rate would be very, very slow.
Added 24 April 2011.
Assuming 1 volt potential difference across the poles of the battery.
Full sun: (5.4V-1.0V) x 180 mA = 0.79 W
Sunny w/ hazy sky: (5.0V-1.0V) x 150 mA = 0.60 W
Overcast by small cloud: (4.8V-1.0V) x 80 mA = 0.30 W
Strong overcast: (4.3V-1.0V) x 20 mA = 0.07 W
The charger works about 11 times faster on a clear day than it does on a strongly overcast day.
There's no need to weep and gnash your teeth in the outer darkness. With rechargeable low-self-discharge batteries and these solar battery chargers, you'll have power for your flashlights and digital cameras far into the die-off period of the Apocalypse. So stock up!
AAA batteries and AA batteries charge rapidly (1-3 hours at full sun) so you can run a few sets through in a day. Which is good when the kids are running those games and Wiimotes all day long.
Overall, I love the results I get with this product. Hope it lasts a long time. I've been using it for almost 3 years now. Love it.