It’s not often that I find myself mapping 1300 year old villages, but when I do, Goal Zero, coffee, and goat cheese curds powers my day. Pictured here is the Sherpa 50 battery with the Nomad 27 panel linked to a Topcon total station. In this section I will focus on the Sherpa 50 battery and not the associated solar panel.
For a little bit of context, I conduct archaeological research in remote regions of Mongolia. We have an extremely large power budget, fueling numerous computers, GPS units, iPads, phones, cameras, and other types of equipment for a very large group. Equipment, in order of importance, is: 1) computers; 2) iPads; 3) GPS units. To meet our power requirements, we also use the now discontinued Sherpa 120 and the Extreme 350 battery (and a generator for rainy days). Of the three solar batteries, I think the Sherpa 50 is the most useful. I say this because of its light weight, quick recharge time, and number of smaller electrical items that can be recharged from one power cycle of the battery.
Because the computers are the most important item for our daily operation we mainly reserve the Extreme 350 and Sherpa 120 for powering them (these are also great batteries and we still sneak in a GPS unit or two on the power strip running off the 350), as such these batteries are stuck at base camp constantly cycling through various states of charge. The Sherpa 50 fills in nicely because it can quickly power an item, be taken into the field where it can be recharged in a morning or afternoon and then either provide an important ‘top-off’ charge that allows us to finish a day of work, or be taken back to camp to power a second item that night. The only slight drawback is that the power button is a bit touchy and can give you a little trouble turning off but nothing that would reduce the overall ranking of the product. At the end of the day, it is a good product – okay, maybe not as good as goat cheese curds but at least it leaves your breath a whole lot fresher.