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Bio Lite Stove

ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Bio Lite Stove
Reply #90 on: September 08, 2023, 01:59:13 PM
Bringing this one back up, as I still use the original BioLite stove frequently.

Just to recap- it's a small stove that burns wood and uses a small fan to create a vortex that heats the interior up to about 14000 degrees (does it matter if it's C or F?  Or even K?  that's pretty freaking hot!), cooks your lunch then uses the excess heat to convert to electricity, which it first uses to charge it's internal battery, then uses the rest to charge any USB powered devices you may have. 

With my original stove, you can only generate power while it's burning, but the second generation version allows you to also use it as a power bank when you aren't making lunch, but that never seemed like an important enough upgrade for me to buy the second generation version.

However, I do very much like BioLite products, and I have often been tempted to purchase more from them.  I liked my stove so much that I bought the barbecue attachment for it, and I like it even more as a barbecue than I do as a stove.

But, the stove doesn't work as a battery bank (mine doesn't anyways) and it is hungry- if you want to keep your phone charged, you will need to spend a lot of time gathering wood for it.  It's better suited to top up a battery rather than charging it from 0%, so while it's great, it's not a perfect solution.

Given the bad weather we often experience here, and the resulting power outages, not to mention the fact that I work in out of the way places, portable power that I can generate easily is a huge motivator for me.  That, plus a price I couldn't argue with got me this- the BioLite Solarpanel 10+.

Today is the first day I have had a chance to try it.  It didn't work so well yesterday in the fog and rain, but the sun is out today, so I've set it up, and I will see how well it works as the day goes on.

* BioLite Solar 10+-1.jpg (Filesize: 190.38 KB)

* BioLite Solar 10+-3.jpg (Filesize: 169.28 KB)

* BioLite Solar 10+-5.jpg (Filesize: 166.83 KB)
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Bio Lite Stove
Reply #91 on: September 08, 2023, 02:13:40 PM
The construction of it feels nice, but also illustrates a bit of a problem, but I'll get to that- it's pretty minor, so don't worry your pretty little head about it too much!  :P

First off, it feels very robust, as you would hope that a portable solar panel for hikers and campers would. 

And, it has a tiny solar targeting system built into it- basically the shadow of the dot should show in the middle of the crosshairs, which means the panel is facing directly at the sun.  The stand allows it to sit in multiple angles, so it should be very easy to position it for maximum exposure, which is great.

It also has an integrated 3200mah battery, so while it won't completely charge a modern smartphone, it should be able to top it up well enough- or charge a GoPro, headlamp or other items.

Basically the solar panels charge the battery, then the battery charges whatever else you want charged.  I don't know if the panel can charge anything else directly or not, I haven't been able to figure that out from the literature.

The second panel folds over the first and locks into place for carry/storage, and that is handy, but is also the problem I alluded to earlier.

Since the panels are connected by ribbon cables, something every tech guy knows is a recipe for disaster, the flexible hinge that connects the panels is quite heavily reinforced- and is actually not a hinge so much as semi flexible plastic similar to a book binding.  Unfortunately this means that the second panel really doesn't want to sit flat and in line with the main panel.

I have tried using the targeting system to aim the main panel, and it is very easy to use and quite effective, but the secondary panel wants to close by itself, or sit on another, weird angle.  I have tried using a rock to keep it from folding, but there is enough spring in the hinge portion that it just moves the main panel out of alignment.

In the end I just decided to set it up as good as I can, and use the dot to put the panels slightly off center so that they both get a reasonable amount of direct exposure.

This will probably be less of a concern around noon when I can lay it flat (ish) on a rock and soak up the sun that way.  And, even at part capacity it is energy I wouldn't have harnessed otherwise.  Still, it would have been nice if there was some kind of clip that would hold the two panels at 180 degrees to each other.  Perhaps I'll search online and see if I can 3D print something to fit it.

All in all, I am quite happy with the SolarPanel 10+ so far.  If it functions as it's supposed to then I'll consider it a win.

Def

* BioLite Solar 10+-2.jpg (Filesize: 107.88 KB)

* BioLite Solar 10+-4.jpg (Filesize: 118.67 KB)
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Bio Lite Stove
Reply #92 on: September 08, 2023, 06:13:11 PM
It is fully charged  ow, after only a few hours in the sun.  Dang this thing is fast.

Also, one the hinge plastic warmed up the second panel was able to lay flat, so that problem turned out to be not a problem at all.

Now I wish it had a much bigger battery if it will charge that fast.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


scotland Offline Sea Monster

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Re: Bio Lite Stove
Reply #93 on: November 06, 2023, 12:04:18 PM
I enjoy your review of this, and have considered getting one of these for...well nearly a decade  ::)

but I still have not...

I don't know, maybe it sounds too good to be true?
no one I know in the outdoor industry uses one, and half of them are gear junkies, and I guess I can't figure out why, and I'm too much of a coward to take the plunge on one myself.



ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Bio Lite Stove
Reply #94 on: November 06, 2023, 02:28:18 PM
I can't comment on what your friends like and don't like, but I really like the BioLite products I have.

I'm kind of bummed that the Base Station is no longer available.  I have been wanting that one all along, but it was always a bit too pricey.

But I have been having good luck with the solar panel and the stove.  I've been using the stove for years now and I haven't had any problems- at least nothing to do with the stove.  Wet wood is always a problem, but that's not the stove's fault.

I've heated water on it for rehydrating bag meals, I've cooked steak on it, with the barbecue attachment and in a pan, to be cooked hot dogs on it and I've roasted marshmallows.  It's done all of it and more.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


scotland Offline Sea Monster

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Re: Bio Lite Stove
Reply #95 on: November 07, 2023, 10:55:15 AM
I know, I read the thread  :D


I didn't say they were my friends :P



 

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