To the OP, does the country get enough winter sunshine that a AA yard light would charge enough to usually give 2 or 3 hours of dim light in the evening?
I know winter overcast is typical, but is there enough sun to keep a AA partly charged enough to give a little dim light when brought into the apartment or house, reducing the use of their flashlights and lanterns?
In a situation, people trying to save their batteries can adapt to reducing their usage as long as there is a little moonlight through the windows or a little ambient light.
I would buy a name brand one since they won’t be able to warranty or replace one as easily as we can.
I have a Renogy Phoenix 100 which i would recommend except its no longer made and it takes 5 hours to fully charge.
That said what about a 50W solar panel and a small power station so they can generate their own power more reliably?
Something like that would be useful and cost-effective with a sort of ‘block captain’ idea.
Neighborhoods/groups that aren’t large enough to be serviced by government resources could have a volunteer that would agree to host the solar power charger station, they could even do the charging of devices and serve as a rotation center for nimh batteries for the group.
Assuming there is enough sunlight to feed the solar charger power bank, but slow and intermittent is better than nothing.
1) Order lights from Ali / China without LiIons shipped to Ukraine. This way they will arrive faster. I think we still have some 18650/21700 etc available for sale locally. You can order with LiIons included but it will take longer to arrive.
2) Buy everything from the US dealers/stores and use Meest US forwarder to deliver to Ukraine (they should accept LiIons if declared properly). You can combine everything in one box but the total cost of the items should be below $145. I think this will be faster than China.
3) I think there are still some Covboy, Olight and other brands still available in Ukraine but the price can be 2x. So sending some money and helping to choose flashlights and batteries can be fastest option available
P.S. no massive attack today because we hit russia first!!! but it can happen anytime soon
When you pull an 18650 battery from a laptop battery pack, even if its voltage is extremely low and it appears that it is ruined, do not give up on it. Put it in a charger at the lowest amperage (I charged mine at 0.2A) and chances are good it will recover.
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I've been recommending a $12 Boruit D10 (king of the budget headlamps) to lots and lots of people because they are just a really good bang for your buck light and a headlamp that can easily be popped in or out of its cradle makes it a true multi-tool. If you glue a decent magnet on one end it's a good stuck to the refrigerator or over the stove cooking light .
I have no shortage of flashlights because I am passionate. One can rejoice that this hour has come when all this wealth came in handy, if not for the grief with which it all came. From personal experience, I can say that the main demand is for a headband and a straight fluder and (oddly enough) a cheap Chinese with a side KOB. Charging in the flashlight is not required, external is better. Everything is on 18650, because it is more affordable. Smaller elements cannot stand the time of work, large ones are either cumbersome or less accessible.
With a 10 foot cord an apartment dweller can place the solar charger in the sun and run the cord through the patio door or a window, or in the-country-that-isn’t-Ukraine, even drill a hole to run the cord.
In my small house, just one of these angled down the hall from the kitchen gives me enough light to move around the entire house, go to the bathroom, etc. In my thinking that is a big asset in a sustained blackout, and reduces the use of lanterns, headlamps and flashlights.
The Nitecore LA10 is a very nice light and AA batteries are universal. You could also put a cone on a cheap 17650 light like a Wurkkos FC11. The problem is a 18650 take a few hours to fully charge and it sounds like power is only available for one hour at a time. A small folding solar panel could be a solution, with batteries in rotation, or multiple batteries in a 4x charger, in rotation, each having got 4 x 1 hour of charge over 4 days.
I suspect heat is a more pressing concern for your friends, and communications to stay safe.
Thanks again for all the help everyone… I change the title of this thread to indicate that I just happen to have some family in an area with no power during a lot of the day. I certainly didn’t mean to bring any politics into discussion. All advice is greatly appreciated!
Now it's a little better already. It looks like our power engineers are correcting the situation, also thanks to the help of almost the whole world. If the shutdown schedule returns 4 hours in 4, it will not be bad.