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Topic: Backpacking with CPAP machine, Solar Power for a CPAP.com Battery< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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fransom Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 04 2011, 12:31 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wish to do multi-day backpacking but must use a CPAP machine. I do have a CPAP.com battery that uses 12v adapter for recharge and lasts for 2 nights. I just bought a solar panel that has a 12V connector. Problem is, CPAP.com says the battery I have can not be Solar charged. I would hate to ruin a $279 battery trying to charge it with a Solar panel... Anyone have experience in this area???
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 04 2011, 1:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(fransom @ Jun. 03 2011, 9:31 pm)
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I wish to do multi-day backpacking but must use a CPAP machine. I do have a CPAP.com battery that uses 12v adapter for recharge and lasts for 2 nights. I just bought a solar panel that has a 12V connector. Problem is, CPAP.com says the battery I have can not be Solar charged. I would hate to ruin a $279 battery trying to charge it with a Solar panel... Anyone have experience in this area???

No experience with CPAP, but I do have a lot of experince with solar panels--besides being an electronics technician.

Even with a battery that can be recharged, you would need a lot of solar to keep it charged during the sunny day for just a little use during the night. You would need more solar  than would be practical for a multi-day back packing trip.

If you can tell me the current draw of your CPAP machine and what type of solar you have, I will be able to tell you more. But so far, it doesn't look good. I hope you can get by without the CPAP for a few days. I just don't think it can work within reason.

-Don-


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-Don- South San Francisco, CA or Cold Springs Valley, NV (near Reno).
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AlmostThere Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 04 2011, 1:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You're in the wrong forum. You'd get better response in the gear forum than in the regional forums.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 04 2011, 1:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Get back with the service people and get the specific details on why there are restrictions on charging.

From there you can judge what sort of system would meet those requirements in terms of, speculating, rate of charge and then look at what systems from, say, Brunton, could work.

It might turn out that the rate of charge would require too large an area of panel to be practical but that's why you need details. I mean with enough area you can power a house.....two parts to the problem as I see it, get what the battery needs from the battery people then go to the solar panel people and ask them to solve that end for you. Tech support earns their pay doing that sort of thing.

http://store.bruntonoutdoor.com/portable-power/panels-and-chargers/

Added: This is rather definitive unfortunately:
"
The CPAP.com Lithium Ion Battery Pack must be charged using the included specially designed battery charger. Using any other charger may damage the battery and become a fire hazard. The battery pack must be recharged using standard AC 110v to 240v power, and cannot be recharged off of a battery or solar source. The battery pack is shipped with a minimal charge and must be charged for 10 hours before it can be used for the first time."
http://www.cpap.com/cpap-ma....le.html

"standard AC 110v to 240v power" is what would have to be matched and that's only doable with a rather heavy solar setup....

So a Plan "B": get two more batteries. Ok that's 7.5 pounds or so but I've been known to carry more than that in camera gear and what with today's lighter weight backpacking gear your total weight for a five day or so would still be rather tolerable I expect..... There are floorless shelters than run 10 ozs......
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 04 2011, 2:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OR instead of their battery get a portable power source that IS solar rechargable. The restriction seems to be from their charger-battery combination, so dump that and power your equipment a different way that is compatible with solar charging.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 08 2011, 5:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You might be able to cache batteries too - like water on desert hikes.  e.g. if you happen to cross a road at some point in your hike you can drive batteries to a spot and cache them.

If you haven't already checked in there, CPAPTalk.com is a seeming good forum.

I'd also make sure you ran your batteries though a couple charge-discharge cycles to make sure they are appropriately broken in before taking them on the trail.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 08 2011, 6:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I recall doing some calculations the last time this came up.  Foldable/rollable solar panels don't have enough oomph for this job and won't for the forseeable future.  The surface area required to capture a night's worth of power is too big to deploy on the go, and it takes far too long to wait in one place.  For now, extra batteries are the only answer.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 08 2011, 6:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

BPL had a pretty good thread on DIY solar charging systems the other day. Got a little nerdy for me, but it might be a good read if you can solve the battery problem.

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Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe. - Thomas Sowell
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 08 2011, 8:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some of the CPAP machines can be real fussy when it comes to the power supply. I had to get a special "approved" converter to run mine off my truck battery. They may have been trying to get me to use their converter but I didn't want to take any chances.

I checked with my doc and he said a couple nights without it wouldn't be that bad so I don't bother with it for short trips. I know that for some people going without it can be dangerous, I'm lucky in that regard.

When I did our UNO class a few months ago I slept in my truck with the seat reclined a bit and didnt bother with the machine. I had to get up a few times during the night to pull people out of the field when they called in so I didnt want the hassle. I actually got a good nights sleep....all things considered   :)


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"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."
Helen Keller
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edkras1 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2011, 11:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

You may want to try to see if you can use an oral device. They do work well for some people. That would avoid the whole problem.
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9 replies since Jun. 04 2011, 12:31 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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