I have a chance to pick up a Renogy Phoenix Generator Solar Kit for a sale price ($520 tax & shipping included) in the next few days. This unit is an upgrade to the Renogy Firefly Ray tested back a few years ago.
I see myself using this unit to run smaller AC equipment (the biggest being my laptop, which I measured at using 90 watts when I used it under very heavy load and with the battery charging).
I plan to charge the Renogy either using my 2000 watt generator, with the built in solar panels, in the truck with 12 volts DC, or with 120 volt AC when I have shore power/generator hooked up.
I have a couple of questions that you more experienced users could possibly answer:
Will solar panels work to a degree when inside, with the sun coming through a window?
Would Ray (or another owner) know if the unit can be chained down so it resists being stolen?
Would Ray or any other owner have advice on this purchase or other things I should consider?
PS With a Buddy heater I plan to buy, my 2000 watt Champion generator, and this unit, I figure I'll be all set for boondocking ...
I'd be concerned about the small battery capacity of the Phoenix. At 17.1 amp hours, there isn't much reserve. Though, the 9A max recharge is pretty good for these little boxes. I think you pay a premium for the all in one nature of it with the solar panel built-in.
Solar panels will charge though glass, most panels are glass-coated, though I imagine the power is reduced the more glass that is put in front and the angle of it.
Most items can be locked up to deter people from just picking it up but pretty hard to deter a determined criminal. Depends where you hang out, but I haven't encountered much theft over the years of RVing.
Thanks for your advice and experience Ray.
I would just be using this for light power needs. I have a pair of batteries for the routine 12 volt stuff (lights, pump, etc.) and a 2000 watt Champion to make 120 volt AC when I need it. I do like the idea of using solar to have a quiet way when I just need to charge camera batteries, phones, power banks, and use a laptop. I do not want the hassle of adding solar cells, charge controllers and wiring. This seems a simple (albeit expensive) solution.
I have now picked up my Phoenix unit, plus a portable, flexible 100 watt solar panel in a suitcase configuration, plus a couple of extension cords for the panel. I will be able to use it to both charge the Phoenix quicker (in as little as 2.5 hrs it is claimed) or to top up my batteries on the RV itself.
I have tested the Phoenix unit itself so far (in the house). I measured the time to charge it to 100% as 3.5 hours using my house 120 volt outlet. Since charging it, I have been using it to charge iPhones (mine and wife's) and an iPad (my wife's). It's done 3 iPhone charges and 2 iPad charges so far, and 55% of the battery capacity is still remaining. I also tried charging an iPhone and the iPad simultaneously successfully.
I'll continue reporting on my results with the Phoenix as I test it, before our trip starts in late February.
sound good solar is very nice.
Thanks for the update.
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