Simple and easy.
A couple of weeks ago I showed how to make a simple 12 volt battery pack (http://bit.ly/Pnpikc).¬† Today I am showing how simple it is to charge the battery packs.¬† I use these packs for running lights, charging batteries and running radios.¬† There uses are only limited by your imagination.
For charging I use a Powerfilm Solar R14 rollable solar panel that produces an operating voltage of 15.4, at 14 watts and 0.9 amps.¬†This is quite adequate to charge the battery packs. Because I sometimes use different solar panels, I have a 7-amp Sunforce controller between the panels and the battery pack.¬† This prevents the batteries from overcharging or discharging.¬† This setup with the Powerfilm panel will take about 14 hours to recharge both batteries if they were¬†completely drained.
Because I use the battery packs with LED lights and other low voltage equipment, I do not let them get drained. I try and stay with the same kind of connectors¬†whenever¬†possible. I use cigarette light plugs for¬†connectors as much as possible, this allows a lot of¬†versatility. They come premade in all types of¬†configurations.
This is a very simple set up and doesn‚Äôt take a lot of work to duplicate.¬† It is also quite portable and does not take much room in a vehicle. ¬†The whole system weights less than 20 lbs.