Author Topic: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!  (Read 2947 times)

jj20051

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I saw this and thought it was pretty anti-mustachian:

http://www.aravua.com/2015/03/kraftwerk-highly-innovative-portable.html

The math:

The retail price is going to be $149.00. (Versus a $50 rechargeable battery pack on amazon).

Each canister costs $4 - $8 dependent on shipping and who you get it from and charges your phone up to 11 times. (Versus that battery pack which can charge your phone the same number of times and do it for as little as $0.0428 (Took the cost to charge an iPhone over a year, divided it out by 365 days and multiplied it by 11, then took that number and multiplied it by 10 to account for battery inefficiency. If my math is wrong please correct me. ))

Summary:

Even if you're going to be in the middle of nowhere for weeks you can just buy extra battery packs, get a hand crank power station or solar station for MUCH cheaper. Devices like this are 100% pure waste.

This is just a quick synopsis of my full rant here.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 09:55:12 PM by jj20051 »

EricL

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Re: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 12:23:17 AM »
Agreed.  It's pointless.  Plus if you're off the grid there's no internet so half the usefulness of those gadgets is gone.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 11:03:15 AM »
At least from the article you linked, you can just put gas into this and it will charge your device 11 times?? Where are the $4-$8 canisters coming from?

Looks cool to me...

Cromacster

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Re: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 11:08:58 AM »
Things like these can be a game changer in developing countries and countries with poor electrical infrastructure.

Syonyk

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Re: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2015, 11:43:49 AM »
So, I understood the "11 charges" as the capacity of the charger alone, before you needed to refill it from an external canister.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/265641170/kraftwerk-highly-innovative-portable-power-plant indicates 11 charges "per filling," so you'd have many, many charges per external canister.

According to the weight, it holds 40 grams of fluid (for the 11 charges).

Elsewhere on the page, you can get 12 external canisters (1kg of fuel).  So one of the small external canisters is ~80g, or 22 charges.

And if you don't care about "renewably produced gas," you can get refills a LOT cheaper.  I found a 10oz can of butane for $5 (http://www.cubancrafters.com/butane-refill-for-lighters-ultra-5x-refined-fuel-for-gas-lighters-universal-adapters/, just the first thing I happened across) - that's 283 grams of butane, or ~80 "charges" for $5.  Again, not amazing, but given that you don't have to carry solar with you and butane/propane is easily available, that's not horrible.

I entirely agree with the OP that it's nonsensical for most people in developed countries (and I have no idea why so many people want this when a $40 battery pack does the same job in 99.9% of use cases), but it is a genuinely useful device in terms of pushing mobile devices out into developing countries that may not have power.  A lot of the Kickstarter stuff tends this way (the Biolite stoves are a good example), so I don't have a huge problem with it.

... that said, I looked at it for a while, did some math, and concluded that it wasn't of any value to me, so I didn't order one, for much the same reasons listed.  And I play a lot of Ingress, so mobile power in desolate areas is a very useful thing to me.  Just, my battery pack is a better solution, for me.

v10viperbox

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Re: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 11:57:53 AM »
Agreed.  It's pointless.  Plus if you're off the grid there's no internet so half the usefulness of those gadgets is gone.

Sat phones, camera while traveling, my GPS. I have been in places where you absolutely need juice for safety sake and not been around a functioning electric grid and something like this would be a godsend. Batteries are insanely heavy when you are backpacking as well, third world countries with different phase power.

jj20051

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Re: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2015, 03:30:33 PM »
@v10viperbox - I mentioned in my article that you could use a solar panel instead. Light weight ones (2 Lbs or less) are just as useful and don't require refilling.

Syonyk

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Re: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2015, 03:50:18 PM »
A solar panel requires sun and either a battery pack to store it, or to hang out in the sun charging for a while.  Also, it depends on where you're traveling.  I've tried various solar phone chargers in the Seattle area, and they're junk 9 months of the year.

jj20051

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Re: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2015, 04:29:53 PM »
@Syonyk - There are decent solar chargers which will charge a phone in 6 - 8 hours even in bad weather. In reality even if you're camping out you can set up the charger to recharge the battery pack and then use the battery to recharge your phone at night... Either way the device is perfectly fine for people who live in the middle of nowhere most of the time... the average person? not so much.

The ad they created shows some dude sitting in a coffee shop charging his iPaid with the pack. Three inches away is a socket... good lord.

Syonyk

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Re: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2015, 04:34:28 PM »
That's fair.  The solar I've worked with simply doesn't work unless it's in pretty direct sun.  Do you have links to the ones that will charge in bad weather?

And, yes, I agree, coffee shops are a silly place for this.

jj20051

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Re: Instead of a regular battery here have a highly inefficient battery!!
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2015, 05:21:38 PM »
@Syonyk - http://www.amazon.com/Solar-Charger-Resistant-Lightning-USB-charged/dp/B00M10YD8W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426115935&sr=8-1&keywords=solar+panel+cell+phone+charge

Weather Condition: Overcast -- no visible sight of the sun for 80% of the day: 8 hours 45 mins.

Other panels probably produce more power... this one was made to be small and rugged. Solar has made leaps and bounds in the last 10 years.