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Shelf Life of Solar and Hand-Crank Devices?

Discussions of Alternative and Renewable Energy
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Shelf Life of Solar and Hand-Crank Devices?

Postby Captain_Ambiguous » Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:56 pm

When I started my emergency kit I put in a hand-crank radio and a hybrid solar lantern that can also use AA batteries. Each of course has an internal battery pack for taking a charge.

Want to get a second lantern but now I'm wondering: assuming these devices live in a closed box, unused, how long before they can't take a charge anymore?
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Re: Shelf Life of Solar and Hand-Crank Devices?

Postby Denob » Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:02 pm

Like anything, these items living in a closed box is a sure way to kill them.
As you mentioned, these items use rechargeable batteries, so they need some regular maintenance.
I have several crank powered lights and have a maintenance schedule for them.
About once month, they are turned on and left to drain completely dead.
I then crank them for about 15 minutes, then leave them on to drain again.
Another crank of about 15 minutes and back they go into storage.
Any light that I have maintained this way has remained useful for several years...where as the ones I left alone for extended periods always eventually went dead.
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Re: Shelf Life of Solar and Hand-Crank Devices?

Postby Singlecell » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:24 pm

I think you're right Denob. You gotta move power in and out of the battery. That said this solar charger+battery I picked up keeps it's power forever. Charged it the first weekend of November and it's still at 99 percent. Apparently it can go years sitting and never drops below 75 percent which i don't doubt because when I picked it up power level were 75 percent. My brother and others kinda shook my head when i got it for 150 bucks but it is such a kickass piece of hardware, it's gonna be totally badass when it finally comes into use. Gonna try it out soon, strap the solar panel to my handlebar bag on my bike when I go bikepacking.
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Re: Shelf Life of Solar and Hand-Crank Devices?

Postby jonesy » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:09 pm

What's the brand of flashlight?
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