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    • Very likely... also, most current electronic AC connection cables have a transformer/switching DC converter attached in-line. Those are also affected by poor AC supply, as their job is to down-convert the AC into a lower voltage DC for the device. The "quality" of electronic components in those wall-worts is never as high as what's in the actual device.

    • I had no idea generators dedicated to producing AC power do it that poorly.

      Years ago, I found this blog post so interesting. It dissects why the Apple iPhone Charger is so expensive. It comes down to the same reasons the Goal Zero might be more costly. It can filter dirty power into a steady output with voltage protection. You pay extra money for the longevity of the batteries you're charging.

      Oddly though, their Yeti 400 is Pure Sine Wave

      Yeti 150 - $200 / 150Wh = 1.3 $/Wh
      Yeti 400 - $600 / 400Wh = 1.5 $/Wh

      I wonder if that's why cost per Wh is more on the Yeti 400. For more than twice the Wh, I'd assume you'd get a price break per Wh not a hike.

    • The Yeti 150 is first gen 12 lb Sealed Lead Acid for $200.
      The Yeti 400 comes in first gen ( 29 lb ) SLA flavor for $450 or 2nd gen (16 lb) Li-Ion for $600. You were comparing the 150 SLA to the 400 Li-Ion. There's a big uptick in the cost of Li-Ion versus SLA energy storage. But the upsides are huge too. Half the weight, for one. Handles full drawdown without killing the battery. No top end limitations, so it handles surge power draws (like refrigerators...power tools...jump starters) way better.

    • Thanks for the correction. Despite being an extra $150, the Li-Ion seems like the deal.

      Might be a crazy question, but I'll ask anyway: can any of these batteries jump start a car? Currently, I drive with a jump start battery. One less thing to bring if I don't need one.

    • Keep in mind that, currently, there is no sustainable method to recycle/recoup the materials in Li-Ion batteries. The chemistries of these battery types varies wildly and they can be manufactured for very specific applications, based on ambient temperature ranges, capacity, tolerance to discharges, cell structure, etc... nearly 180 degrees from industry-standard battery composition and chemistry. Even when I attend BattCon, there is not as much interest in the Li-Ion applications for industrial sites vs. VLA, AGM, etc...

      They're fine for UPS applications where fast switch-over sites are critical, but far too unpredictable and fault-prone to act as standby power for substations, etc...

    • See, a substation has the luxury of cheap real estate. Weight of the system is immaterial. It's stationary. Lead is cheap. And you've got the space to store it. Real estate even solves the deep draw issues... Just keep throwing capacity at the problem and pair it with a big enough generator and you won't have deep draw issues. The only downside to lead acid when you've a stationary application is it's longevity.

      When I looked into what it would take to replicate a Tesla power wall I found that I could probably come out ahead with a bank of 24 lead acid 2v cells. Hooked up to a 48v smart controller

    • If I recall correctly the answer is no... Not so much because the battery can't do it, but because a high draw DC output is not one of the supported output ports. You have a cigarette lighter, a couple of USB ports, and the 120v ac inverter Port. Neither the USB not cig port support high draw. To jump a car, you'd need to add a high draw dc circuit, likely an Anderson power pole connector to clamps on 12 gauge. Personally I keep a dedicated battery onboard for jumpstart duty and wouldn't replace it with a multi tasker like this. Its role is to be always charged, always in the car. For the purpose of high readiness posture, that means dedicated equipment, and a maintenance routine you stick to.

    • This, and the fact that portable battery banks with jump-start cables are fairly inexpensive. Just a bonus that they double as a backup power source for electronics. I wouldn't want to carry one into the backcountry though.

    • Just posting this as an example to the varying chemistry types of Li-Ion batteries and how they can be manipulated for specific applications. This is an exhibit from one of the papers published for the last BattCon I attended in 2016.

    • So, I dug around a little, trying to find out more deets on the Anker Powerhouse hardware. A few points to call out. Out of the box, I think it'll need a little tweak to play nicely with solar kits.

      The DC input is spec'd at 16-17V/6A, coming in over a round plug. I hope it's not *that* tight in actuality, as solar output tends to vary a bit. They didn't specify the size of the round plug, but one reviewer noted 7.5mm That 16-17V/6A range is a little narrow, but should still play nicely with a Renogy solar panel, cranking out 17V usable, on a bright day. You may need to roll your own round plug adapter, to get the solar output into their round plug receptacle (FYI, goal zero's plugs are standardized around 8mm round plugs, or Anderson Power Poles for their higher amp inputs). The 6A input is a little skimpy, so don't expect to throw tons more solar panels at this thing, in hopes of recharging faster. One 100W panel is about what this will be happy with.

      Also, FYI, some dude who goes by the handle "SonarTech" did a teardown in the posted anker reviews of this thing. :D What caught my eye was that the battery is not user replaceable, and is basically integrated in such a way that this is basically a throw-away device, once one of the 32 internal batteries goes tits up. He did note outstandingly clean sine wave output from the inverter.

    • Ridge, what's the talk about Lithium battery disposal? I've worried for a long time that it's going to poison our water table but I asked Google and Google didn't seem to know much about it. However, the world seems to be taking a dim view of the environmental aspects of Nickel mining, which are essential to the batteries.

    • I cannot fully articulate the process of disposal as well as the authorities on the subject. I maintain a topical following of the stationary battery industry as it directly correlates and integrates with the DC power products of my company but I'm not a battery professional.

      That said; I'll quote another one of the exhibit papers from that conference that summarized the comparisons/contrasts between Li-Ion and LA batteries.

      If you want a full PDF of the presentation, I'd be happy to email a copy.


      Currently, lithium-ion batteries are generally recycled like consumer and cellular phone batteries. The major focus during the recycling process is the conductive electrode material (copper) and cell container (steel), as well as the active material (nickel and cobalt). Cobalt, like nickel and lead are mainly driven by the material prices for those metals when it comes to recycling. Lithium, however, drops mostly as a slag and is added at best case as a concrete additive hardener for cement or is processed in the glass industry. Realistically, a traditional recycling for the lithium-ion battery industry does not exist. Therefore, in the case of lithium recycling, it can’t be spoken about as a closed raw-material recirculation. The recycling process itself (metallurgical or electro-chemical) is not cost neutral and the cost cannot be fully covered by the recovered materials from the lithium-ion cells.

      Due to the ambitious plans of the automobile industry for electric mobility (BEV, PHEV), we should not lose sight of the fact that the lithium raw material is the most important raw material for future demand. In view of the chronicled uncertainty of lithium supply and the lack of optimized recycling procedures, energy storage cases above 1 kWh may remain a challenge for the future. What is needed is to develop new recycling procedures (e.g., wet-chemical procedures) in order to secure the future of lithium based energy storage.

      Further, it is very challenging to define one single basis for the recycling process due to the different cell chemistries of lithium-ion cells. In each case an individual solution has to be agreed upon between the customer and recycling partner (see Figure 10) to find a reasonable recycling process that focuses on the materials requirements while at the end reduces the price for the processing."

    • There more I learn about the efficacy and yield of our recycling programs the more disillusioned I get about them. I feel like the public has been sold a false narrative about how capable we are when in actuality the yield is quite low and our ability to handle single-stream processing is pretty pathetic.

    • I've believed that for a while.

      In the end, so much human activity is guided by cost benefit, with cost the dominant partner. Altruism generally takes a back seat to economics.

      So we won't recycle until materials become so rare (which means, mined into extinction) and their cost so high that recycling them makes financial sense.

      The environment takes a back seat in this equation. We don't respond until there's a crisis. It's in our DNA, as far as I can figure. Humans are built this way.

      For me, it explains our approach to climate change. Until the economics make sense there will be no sense of urgency, no matter how obvious the impending scenario is. We have difficulty planning for anything beyond immediate, urgent stimuli.

      Sorry for the hijack, oh men and women of batterycon.

    • The recharge time on this Midland model is kinda crappy, IMO. They call it like 17 hrs till full charge, coming off of a wall charger! Dang...that's some low 'n slow charging.

      And amusingly, now that I've got google searches, amazon searches and cookies all documenting my interest in power stations, this option keeps popping up in my directed advertisements.

      The "River" seems most like the power stations we've been chatting about. 412 Wh ... designed for light load gadgets.

    • good enough seems to be the path for major battery consumption in electronics, partial increase is better then the investment for significant next tech level chemistry. The purchase and squish of new tech in order to maintain profit and replacement could be partially to blame.
      Seems the next step needs to be outside the profit machines.
      Outside of this I love my omnicharge with built-in inverter. great for all usb ipad/phone etc and inverter for laptop or items without a direct dc interface. Not a huge size so may not work for most in camping.
      The other items is solar controllers, wish I could find the link, most portable panels will disconnect if they get shade and are directly attached to a device, to a battery not so much but can be a real pain when you walk past and shade the panel just to have it disconnect and need to pull and plug back in.
      EDIT: found it

    • I have a few friends with portable solar panels. In my experience they are delicate and it's annoying to keep them pointing at the sun and out of the shade.

      I see sprinter van rigs with solar panels on top all the time now. That seems the way to go. Has anyone done this? I wonder if there's a practical way to put some panels on my Subaru racks.

    • Direct to battery (sprinter van type install) normally have a controller that takes care of the charge and shade issues.
      My portable panel is pretty tough and not to difficult to set up, but having to reconnect if it gets some shade is a pain and limits it's use.
      My rack I built for my crosstreck was built with this as a possibility. 80/20 so the mounting plates would be easy to fit. Was going to rig a tilt mechanism, but the project has been put on the back burner for now. Plenty of holes to route the cable into the car where the extra battery could be installed.

    • Ah very cool!

      I Just remembered I always travel with a rooftop box, so that makes rooftop solar harder to implement. I imagine a rooftop box that has solar panels on top with a built-in battery and controller. How cool would that be?!

    • they make curved panels for sailboats, they also sell fabric panels, sounds like you need to break out the hot glue gun. A top box solar camp battery portable shower and gear storage thread coming soon.....