Flexible Solar with Power Film Solar on The Next Generation

Listen to “Flexible Solar with Powerfilm Solar – The Next Generation Show” on Spreaker.

0 (12s):
Broadcasting network. We have to hit the reset button, create a true culture, prepared, starting at a very young age and still train all the way up.

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1 (1m 9s):
Hello everyone. And welcome to the next generation show where we dove deeper into the little things in life. Here, we explore the lost art of fatherhood Parenthood and fundamental preparedness for the world today. I’m your host, Ryan Buford, along with my cohost young master colon. And today we’re broadcasting from the heart of the Pacific Northwest. We thank you for joining us and there’s not a moment to lose. So let’s dig right in first off, a couple of quick announcements for those of you listening at home or on the road or at work enjoying this podcast, we do thank you for the support and for the downloads.

1 (1m 44s):
If you’d like to take the time out during your busy schedule to join us during the live broadcasts, feel free to come on over to prepper broadcasting.com and you can swing into the chat room. I’m in there with several like-minded listeners. We also have another chat room that’s designated for folks who want to enjoy a more secure experience, so you can actually sign in on the new platform over on element. So it’s pretty cool. You just create your own little username there and you can log in the same as usual.

1 (2m 18s):
And it’s, it’s a lot more secure, a little bit of blockchain style encryption so that you can be more confident if you want to talk behind the scenes or get links downloaded more securely from wherever you are. So gotta check that out. I’m still sorting that out in. Today’s going to be a good episode to be able to do that because we’ve got a special guest on today. It was a prerecorded show and it’ll allow me to kick back in the chat room.

1 (2m 48s):
And while, while I’m talking in the past, I can talk in the present to the folks who were here with us. And for those of you here in the future that listened to it, we hopefully you can get a little bit more out of it. So also special. Thanks to the folks out in Virginia Beach, Virginia, top listeners in one location. This week’s a big shout out to you guys out there. Also thanks to the folks who tuned in support us across the pond and around the world. It’s like we got a couple of new listeners in Israel and the Philippines.

1 (3m 20s):
So welcome. Thanks for your support. Remember if you’d like, you can also support us physically and financially in that regard, by joining the member portal over at prepper broadcasting over there, you’re gonna get some special content added stuff that is going to be exclusive to the folks who are direct members through the membership portal. It allows us to keep the website running, keep the podcasts coming and keep the content flowing. So be sure to check that out over@prepperbroadcasting.com and while you’re there, you can check us out on our show page, the next generation show page.

1 (3m 57s):
You’re going to find all of our contact information. Some of our recent episodes I do have to update. And what else? Oh yeah, social media contact. So Twitter, Instagram parlor, all that good stuff face to face time, Facebook, whatever that garbage is. And we do have some presence there. And if you’d like to reach out to us directly with show ideas, comments, suggestions, questions, or if you’d like to get any of the links that we drop into the show during these live feeds, you can email me at prepper dad at mail dot calm, no tactical torture update.

1 (4m 34s):
At this point. We’ve postponed that once again, because we’ve been busy playing on the water actually, and it’s, it’s been harder to buckle down and get focused on submitting that content and getting it up to par with what we really want to be able to produce for that. So a little bit more time on the back end with editing, and hopefully it’ll be a better production for those of you who are interested in viewing that. So stay tuned, tactical torture.com.

1 (5m 4s):
Hopefully we’ll do that. And if you’re interested in having us do product reviews for you, reach out to me, prepper data@mail.com. If you’ve got a product, you develop something that you’d like to have us torture test, feel free to shoot it our way. And we’ll, we’ll see what we can do. There was a guest that we had on our show last year. About this time, I want to say from jolly Roger custom knives, he’s a custom knife maker in Alabama, and he’s been talking with me behind the scenes on possibly doing some product reviews on some machetes that he’s going to be mass producing.

1 (5m 43s):
Some of the work that he does is just absolutely spectacular. And his business has grown since we’ve had him on the podcast. So, and I’ve seen some of the knives that he’s putting out and they’re just amazing custom knives. You basically, you the design and he slams it together and makes it happen out of the highest quality steel and, and craftsmanship that you can produce. So check him out, jolly Roger custom knives out of Alabama. And if we get our hands on one of those machetes, we’ll be sure to torture, test it and give you guys the lowdown on how well it survived for today.

1 (6m 20s):
We do, like I mentioned before, we do have a special guest on, for those of you who have been listening for a while, you might have heard us say that the pint sized prepper projects are brought to you by power film solar. And we’ve been able to offer discounts on some of the solar products through power film, solar, for anybody who listens to these podcasts. Well, we wanted to test some of their products and give them a chance to really prove themselves and in doing so, it’s really opened my eyes to the ability of solar to be a component in your preparedness.

1 (6m 58s):
No up until now. Solar has really been something to me that was kind of out of reach out of touch. I didn’t really have a lot of faith in it. And a couple of years back, I, you know, I got a quote for a solar system for my house and the intent was to be able to power everything that I have. And I have a separate backup that was tied directly to my Willow pump. So I live on a private well, and in order for me to sustain and survive during a massive power outage, that would last longer than a day or so, I would need to be able to have access to water and having a power outage at the end of the power line and my well water being out.

1 (7m 47s):
It kind of limits me if I’m trapped at this location because of weather or snow or Rose washed out or whatever. It really limits my ability to be able to get out and go to a hotel or a backup place or whatever. So with that in mind, it means that I have to be more cautious of being able to maintain my own water supply. So I looked into solar and in doing so, I kind of realized, you know, the, the cost, the kilowatt hour usage and the production and the realization that the power that I generated, isn’t really mine.

1 (8m 29s):
It just goes back to the grid. It’s not like I could survive off of the actual power as it’s being generated. And there’s a lot of things that I learned through that experience, just looking into solar. But when I realized that I needed to pay more attention to a power budget and understand how I consumed energy and understand how solar power could fit in my life and my preparedness, I had to take a step back so well, fast forward a year or two.

1 (9m 6s):
And I wind up going to this, this retreat event with Ron foster and several upstanding preppers, some of the best in the writing community and, and otherwise, and I run into this power film, solar rollable solar panel. And I got to say, I was instantly impressed. There was some things about it. And I could, I could see the potential for something like this for travel for either a short term or long duration, the potential for large scale versions of this type of rollable solar panels.

1 (9m 38s):
And I got into looking into them and they’re foldable solar panels and their custom panel systems. And I really started thinking, okay, well maybe solar isn’t completely off the tee cable. Yeah. This month on prep on the next generation show, we are dedicating some time to solar. Last week, we had a great interview with Joshua who wrote a fiction novel series called commune. And his, his series was based on us, a chain of events that was triggered by a massive solar flare and or an EMP that kind of changed the way humans interacted with each other.

1 (10m 22s):
It was, it was a device basically that was used to push the story along. And it, from the fictional standpoint, it’s hard to turn that away as not very far from reality. The fact is that we spent a lot of time on our technology and our devices, and we rely heavily on power. So when you consider the impact that solar, you know, having no son can have it really kind of peaks your interest into what solar can provide.

1 (10m 58s):
I guess what I mean by that is if it can take power away, there’s also the potential for sun to provide energy. And that’s been around for years for decades, and that’s not, that’s nothing new, but the way things have been developed and the way technology has changed, especially with these, these particular panels, it’s pretty impressive. So we’re gonna get into that more. This is a prerecorded interview. So I’m going to be checking out the chat room and checking out what I can at prepper broadcasting and over at the new chat room over at element.

1 (11m 35s):
So if you haven’t heard about that, check it out. And hopefully I can monitor both chat rooms and see how things are going. Get my feet a little bit wet during this prerecorded live feed, I guess. But before we get into that, Colin, would you like to share your fun fact of week?

2 (11m 56s):
Well, what it do, everyone? My name is Colin and I’m the cohost here at the next generation show today. I’m joined with my father and those to the show, Ryan, where dad has discussed about solar energy with our special guests today with power film, solar, but real quick, before we get too far into that prerecorded episode, I’d like to quickly share the graphical and fun fact of the week.

2 (12m 26s):
So, I mean, for those of you who have been here for a while, you know, it’s just like a short segment on our show where basically I share a fact usually related to the show topic. So today’s graph to go in front fun fact of the week is the largest solar power plant in the world is located in the mode, Javi, desert, and California Mojave desert Mojave desert in California covering 1000 acres or 1.5 miles or four kilometers or 26 football fields.

1 (12m 60s):
That’s awesome. Does it say how much energy that puts out?

2 (13m 5s):
No, but I’m sure it, it, it probably, you know, like I, I could probably look into that.

1 (13m 11s):
Alright, cool. Well, awesome. Thanks buddy. So kind of a fun little tidbit of information. There was a, I was talking to a guy at work today and he’s from Egypt and he was talking about how, if solar ever gets to a point where it’s extremely efficient and affordable, like a fraction of the cost of what it is today, you, I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s all kinds of opportunity to be had in places like Egypt, you know, because it’s just desert and those flat open spaces could be powerhouses literally for power.

1 (13m 53s):
But what we’re talking about today is a different kind of solar and a different way to look at solar more as a potential for powering devices, especially in a pinch or for other types of things. Like if you want to power small motors, take, take advantage of certain things like that. So in this instance, for example, the solar that we’d be talking about, wouldn’t be enough at face value, you know, right, right.

1 (14m 25s):
As it stands to be able to power say a well pump, but some of these things could be rolled out to be able to and sized appropriately, to charge a power system, a DC power system that would, or, you know, that would convert to AC through an inverter and allow me to temporarily run my water pump, my well pump and those kinds of systems and the customizations with that are extremely valuable.

1 (14m 57s):
So instead of looking at a whole house set up, I can focus on what the solar panels provide and matching my devices to the panels instead of the other way around. So we actually had to record this in two different parts. I’ll do my best to put them together seamlessly, but there, there was some weird audio that was happening on my end. And I apologize if any of it comes through, but I think we got it sorted out. So with that, enjoy this, we’re going to be back after this is all said and done to take care of the pint-sized prepper project of the week, but for now enjoy here’s our interview with Seth Hansen with powerful solar.

1 (15m 39s):
Alright, let’s try this again. Alright. So here we are with Seth Hansen with power film, solar shallots, Seth, welcome to the show. And rather than take up too much time, why don’t you give us a brief introduction of who you are and what’s power film. Solar is all about.

3 (15m 55s):
Yeah, absolutely. So as he said, my name is Seth Hansen. I’m in, I work on the marketing and sales side at power film, power film really at our, at our core is a custom solar manufacturer. And we have been in business for over 30 years, starting back in the late eighties and kind of our core competency as a company is providing specific power solutions to meet the needs of, you know, mostly we work with businesses and military markets, but also consumers as well.

3 (16m 33s):
And so that’s kind of cool. We do really serve three segments. We’ll serve, we’ll serve the commercial business space. We’ll conserve military and government spaces and consumers as well. And it’s, it’s pretty cool because the products that a consumer is getting in, in almost all cases are going to be the exact same products that we provide to a military customer as well. It’s kind of a trickle down effect if you will.

3 (17m 3s):
And that over these years, we’ve, you know, we build to, to mill spec. And so you are getting a product that was built to that same military specification. And so that’s pretty, that’s pretty cool. That’s something we really hang our hat on is providing, you know, super lightweight. No, no. And when you think of solar, oftentimes people will think of like rigid metal framed panels. The solar that we’re manufacturing is lightweight, super thin think like paper and very flexible and durable.

3 (17m 38s):
And so, as you can imagine, it’s, it’s very attractive to, to military markets where you need to, can carry some sort of power source. And rather than gearing up with, you know, just an obscene of batteries, if you can carry something, that’s going to generate power on a daily basis and do so in a reliable, lightweight form factor, then that’s super attractive. And you know, you, as the consumer can, can gain those, those same, same pieces. And so that’s, that’s, that’s something that’s kind of cool.

3 (18m 12s):
You’re getting the same quality of product that the United States military would.

4 (18m 18s):
Yeah. And I think you had mentioned before that when power film was getting off the ground that you had taken on some grants or whatever, to be able to get into that now. Yeah.

3 (18m 33s):
That, that was kind of foundational to the company being able to scale up and, you know, build out these manufacturing methods. Because something that I failed to mention is that all of our production is custom built. So it’s kind of meta and it’s kind of interesting, but all of the products that make the custom products are also custom products themselves, if that makes any sense. So all of the machinery and everything is custom built.

3 (19m 4s):
And so a lot of people will say like, Hey, like don’t, do you have a patent on this? And no, because our president says that would, that would be the worst thing we could do right now because a patent would actually leave us more vulnerable than we are currently because it’s almost impossible to reverse engineer, a completely custom built manufacturing process. And so, you know, being able to develop that with military contracts and grants, especially in the early years and, you know, even, even today and beyond the United States, military and power film are kind of intertwined, you know, we’re, we’re absolutely grateful for them.

3 (19m 47s):
And I know they have definitely enjoyed being able to work with the US-based custom solar manufacturer, because they’re just, I mean, frankly, there aren’t any left at least to the level of customization that we’ll do. I mean, we’re actually manufacturing the solar material on site. And so, yeah, that’s, we’re, we’re pretty unique, mostly serving businesses and military markets, but you know, consumers as well. So like anybody who has a need for portable, lightweight, durable, solar power, like we can figure out what the best solution is going to be for you.

4 (20m 28s):
So you’re talking about lightweight and a military application, and that’s probably one of the biggest things that drew me. All right, here we are with Seth handlers, there was a guy that I knew who was very much into lightweight backpacking, and he rolled one of these things out and I was pretty impressed. So can you talk a little bit how it evolved

5 (20m 48s):
Maybe from the military application to a consumer standpoint and that’s a little, yeah. Yeah. So originally, so are the co founders of the company started out at three M and they were really interested in pursuing a flexible solar solution. And so they, you know, they, they brought it to three of them and said, you know, would you be interested in this? They said, no, not for us, but

6 (21m 19s):
Don’t often do it

5 (21m 22s):
At the very beginning. The, it was really important to, to, to land these types of military, you know, grants or contracts, to be able to help kind of develop the technology for that very specific, lightweight, portable, durable application. And so, you know, through the years, the foldable line has expanded and now there’s probably six or seven different models in the foldable line.

5 (21m 55s):
And you had mentioned rolling. Those are our roles, a hundred percent waterproof panels. So the core technology is the same across the entire line,

6 (22m 7s):
But yeah,

5 (22m 8s):
Because we were able to secure those grants and help develop the technology. You know, that’s really the only reason why power film exists today. And I will say that it’s kind of a cyclical type of market, the military. And so that’s where it’s, it’s really nice to be able to serve, to serve consumers as well, because there’s a huge contingency of individuals who want access to lightweight, portable power, specifically in a few different market segments, one being hiking, backpacking, and camping, those types of folks.

5 (22m 49s):
And then there’s kind of a crossover between anybody who’s interested in ham radio and also survival preparedness. The reason I think this is because a lot of people like to operate remotely and they want to be able to power up their rig for an extended period of time, but they don’t want to add a whole bunch of weight to their, you know, their go kids or whatever. And, you know, being able to take 120 Watts

6 (23m 17s):
At less than

5 (23m 19s):
It’s less than eight pounds is a really attractive option. And then on the prepper side, you know, we’re never going to be the cheapest option. That’s just not something that we feasibly manufacturing here in the States and in relatively small volumes compared to the, you know, the solar industry in general, we’re, we’re not gonna be able to compete on being the cheapest solution, but you’d be hard pressed to find a technology or a product that’s more durable.

5 (23m 53s):
And in fact, it’s already three years ago, time flies, but we actually took one of our roles that will panels out to a local firing range and hooked it up to a meter just to see like, what, what, what’s it putting out what it’s totally fine and then proceeded to shoot it. I believe it was nine times. And so there’s actually a video on YouTube that we published. And so you can see with each bullet hole, you’ll see a slight drop in performance, but it’s kind of insane that it’s still actually functioning after it’s been shot nine times.

5 (24m 33s):
And it’s, you know, I always say it’s kind of a ridiculous example, but like, think about it from a worst case scenario standpoint, you can literally punch a series of holes in the panel and it’s going to continue to function. So that’s, I mean, that’s the, the most durable example that we could think of is just shooting the panel.

4 (24m 56s):
Well, yeah. And that kind of right in there, it makes a pretty big difference between your foldable panels and your rollable panels, or, you know, what people would normally perceive as a pocket solar panel or something like that. Cause they do, if they’ve fractured, they’re generally they’re garbage, which is one of the reasons why I really liked the way these work. So we’ve been field testing these for several months now and we’ve had them out and doing all sorts of different charge tests and things like that. We haven’t shot them yet, but we’re going to, or we’re planning soon, but you know, you mentioned solar when it comes to preppers.

4 (25m 33s):
And, and I wanted to kind of get into this a little bit when it comes to solar for preparedness, for emergency, for preparedness type things versus solar for everyday use. And I wonder if you could speak to that just a little bit and see what, you know, what kind of things that power film solar does or, you know, encourages for folks who are looking for either or, and how to differentiate between those two.

5 (25m 55s):
Yeah. So good question. We, we do have solutions for both as far as solar for everyday use. What I would normally do would be suggesting that people offset, you know, what, what devices are you using on a daily basis that consume power, and maybe you’re not near an outlet or you don’t have access to grid power. And what’s a device that everybody has seemingly everybody has a smartphone.

5 (26m 29s):
And so it’s been years ago now the light saver line was developed. And so it’s the same exact flexible, thin solar technology, but with an integrated battery. And this is probably the most widely applicable product that we manufacture. Really what it is, is it’s comprised of a small panel, a 3,200 milliamp hour lithium ion battery and the USB port.

5 (27m 1s):
So if you are an ultra light hiker, backpacker camper, very attractive to that group strictly because of weight. But there, I mean, literally anybody who has small electronic devices like a cell phone or something in that nature can gain value from this particular product and the natural, the extension of that product was its big brother, which is the lightsaber max, very similar idea, just a little bit more versatile as far as inputs and outputs go, it’s not USB type a, it’s a USB type C input.

5 (27m 42s):
It’s got two USB outputs, it’s got a 12 volt in and more importantly, 12 volt out, which kind of opens up a lot more charging options devices that require, you know, non USB or a higher voltage. And it’s just a larger panel on a larger battery. And this would be for anybody that wanted to charge a tablet or a cell phone, or maybe a group of people’s phones totally doable.

5 (28m 14s):
And that’s a product that you can just use wherever you are, you know, whether it, whether you’re pre charging it from the wall or you’re charging it from solar. I mean, I went one, I think I tested it for about a week just to see, could I completely offset my phone’s usage using the lightsaber and I was able to do it. So that was kind of interesting. Now, granted, I don’t like live on my phone or anything like that, but it was pretty impressive to be able to only power it from solar for an entire week.

5 (28m 48s):
And so that would be my every day type of solution because those are, I mean, your phone is something that you use every single day, maybe for like a second specific trip or a specific use case of like, let’s say like disaster preparedness we’re in Iowa. And we just had a ridiculous storm that came through yesterday. It was a hundred mile an hour straight away wins. I didn’t even know that was possible in this part of the country.

5 (29m 18s):
Think hurricane without the water, it was insane. It was flipping semis, just breaking trees. There’s I think 500,000 people were without power yesterday. We were able to get it back. But so, and that type of situation where you just don’t have power, you’re going to need most likely something a bit, a little bit heftier. So I almost always would suggest our foldable line.

5 (29m 49s):
The foldable line is, is a larger panel. So the smallest panel that we offer is a 20 watt all the way up to 220 and the 220 watt is, is mostly going to be for like military applications or larger it, I mean, frankly, it’s, it is our most expensive foldable panel and it’s just not, it’s not very practical to a lot of people. So most people live in the 20 to one 20 range.

5 (30m 20s):
And so what I would suggest, you know, when we lost power yesterday, what I would do is I would find something in the 200 to 400 watt hour range, as far as the battery goes. And then something in like the 60 to 120 watt range, as far as the panel goes, and you deploy that 60 watt foldable plug it into your most batteries now are like either lithium, ion or lithium iron phosphate. So they’re lightweight and you’ve got a renewable solution and you can power any number of different things.

5 (30m 57s):
I mean, the, the number of portable battery solutions outright now is, is incredible. And it just makes solar even more versatile because solar inherently is only available at a specific time of the day, right? It’s not available at night. The sun only shines as long as the sun shines. And so you need a place to put that power. And so let’s say you’re at you’re without power for, you know, a lot of people in Ames where we’re located are probably going to be without power for several days.

5 (31m 28s):
And so you deployed that panel during the day and you’ve got a full charge on your, a relatively large battery bank. Then you can keep some, some larger devices powered and you can kind of get through that situation.

3 (31m 46s):
So yeah, I would say

5 (31m 48s):
Fold larger foldables are great for larger power needs or disaster prep. They’re also super low, low profile, very compact. That’s not gonna be the kind of thing where it’s going to take up a ton of space and for everyday use, the lightsaber is great, but you know, there are also people out there that at, for everyday use, they would, you know, they would gain a lot of value from using a foldable. It just really depends on what your lifestyle looks like.

5 (32m 18s):
But the majority of people that are into preparedness I’m into ham radio, which I, like I said, there’s, there’s quite a bit of crossover. There is foldables are going to be great. Some people who really want durability, they’re going to opt for maybe a rollable, which is great, but roll panels. The reason that they’re waterproof is that they were designed more with like the Marine market in mind, not to say that they can’t be used for other markets.

5 (32m 51s):
They’re just not quite as compact as a foldable. It’s really nice that you can fold up a 60 watt and just stick it in a bag and, and in your good roller balls, take up more space, but again, a lot less space than a conventional crystal and pale. Yeah.

4 (33m 8s):
And then, you know, you bring up a good point there about, you know, the Marine industry versus the backpacking or even the military side of things. But this idea of, you know, packable, solar panels kind of opens up some different power options. Have you seen, I mean, can you maybe give us a, an idea of like, what types of vehicles or, you know, machines, you usually see these on like, like I’ve seen them actually. I think Ron foster showed me how you used some of his on a boat to power, a TOEFL trolling motor, right.

4 (33m 46s):
And stuff like that. I mean, what are some of the, kind of the things that you’ve seen other preppers or people gen in general use these?

5 (33m 52s):
I mean, it’s crazy. Like, what do you think about it anywhere that you have a battery? And a lot of these batteries are 12 volt. You can gain value from a solar panel, whether it be a trickle charging that battery so that you are ready to go at a moment’s notice, that’s kind of the main value for the bodiness story, especially large boats that are docked and you, and you just essentially what you need is you need somebody to tend to the battery. And, you know, even something as small as a seven watt panel is going to be, it’s not going to put a lot of power into that battery, but it’s going to keep it topped off enough.

5 (34m 32s):
So you don’t have to worry about it starting. Cause that’s kind of the dreaded, you know, you turn the key and it’s not turning over, but for him, he, I believe he was using a 60 watt. Yeah. I mean, we can, you know, it’s, it’s kind of a balancing act between, you know, how much space do you have available, whether it be like a boat with like a mini top or something like that, how much space do you have available? You know, how much, again, it’s kind of like back to what, what is your power budget?

5 (35m 3s):
Like what, what are you looking to do and how much power are you going to expend in doing that? And then that’s going to help us kind of guide you towards the right solution for your vehicle or your specific use case. I mean, we’re, we’re right now, we’re working on panels that are designed to charge EVs, specifically golf cars, but electric vehicles in general. And so, you know, if you have a full battery and you are taking it out and you, whether it, whether it be playing golf or if it’s just like, literally your main means of transportation and at the end of the day, you come back and you have X percent, you know, I’ve consumed 25% of my battery.

5 (35m 45s):
So how much solar do I need to theoretically not have to use short power anymore? It’s, it’s totally possible. It’s just more or less a math problem. And so that’s kind of the conversations that we have with most people. We, you know, we tend batteries on military vehicles on boats. This, this particular golf car application is pretty exciting because we’re actually working with crystal and Silicon. So a couple of years ago, we started being able to manufacture crystal and panels.

5 (36m 23s):
And the reason is that for specific applications, you don’t necessarily need the lightweight, flexible panels. You just need something. That’s going to put a lot of power into a battery and potentially you’re more space constraint than weight constraint. And so Crystalyn is a better technology as far as power to area goes. And a morphous is a better technology as far as power to weight goes. And so, you know, based on our initial findings, if you put this on a standard size golf car and you’re gonna be able to go 50 plus percent further wow.

5 (37m 2s):
Because of the solar panel. Right? And so it has a lot of benefits on keeping that battery healthy by trickle charging it and, you know, keeping it topped off batteries. Don’t like to stay at low levels. They call a depth of discharge. If you get into a dangerous level and you live there for awhile, it’s going to eventually damage your battery. And it eventually just render it useless. But this new product is going to allow us to put a significantly higher amount of charge back into the batteries so that you will be able to go a significantly further distance using the solar panel compared to if you didn’t have it.

5 (37m 44s):
So then, I mean, honestly the possibilities are really endless, almost everywhere. There’s a battery, a solar panel can, can help you get more life out of that battery or, or just augment that experience.

4 (37m 58s):
That’s awesome. And I think you mentioned before a little bit about, you know, you’re identifying that budget, your power budget. And I think a lot of folks don’t really consider that as much. And when you’re thinking about looking into solar, adapting, your devices and your device usage to, you know, solar capabilities instead of the other way around. Absolutely. So I’ve been testing some of the light saver products. And what I’ve found is that the more devices that I have with USB rechargeable capabilities, the more use I can get out of this solar charger.

4 (38m 38s):
And we went, we went contracting with these guys here a couple of weeks back, and we had two way radios. And we did that because in the Canyon that we were in, there’s no cell phone service. So whenever you lose cell phone service, your battery drains faster because it’s constantly searching for a signal. And just through the use of the two way radios on this river that we were on. Cause we wanted to still be able to communicate between each other when the two way radios died, we were able to recharge them with the solar panel.

4 (39m 15s):
And this I think is kind of a key point with how you use your power, how you use your devices and how you make them all work together. And of course it’s summertime and it’s sunny and nice out now. But the big question with solar is, you know, what’s going to happen in three, four, five, six months when it’s overcast and it’s rainy now I’ve seen some of the performance of dressings in person, but can you speak to the efficiency side of that?

5 (39m 46s):
Yeah. Yeah. So arguably one of the, the benefit of our flexible thin-film technology is, is weight probably right behind that is low light performance. And so what I mean by low light, it doesn’t necessarily have to be like very dim, like any, anything that’s less than ideal. You talked about overcast or if you’re getting an off angle light, or maybe it’s like partial shading amorphous is a really good technology or the way that I describe it in its most simplest terms would be, it starts collecting energy earlier.

5 (40m 28s):
It turns on earlier in the day and it stays on later and that’s just a benefit of the technology itself. And so, you know, I’ve heard from, I wasn’t in Alaska, I think it was an Alaskan park ranger and she was on an extended trip with her husband and for the majority of the trip, it was an overcast situation, but she was able to pull enough power from the foldable that she was using to put into a battery to keep her husband’s like C-PAP charged.

5 (40m 59s):
And so that was like a perfect example. The majority of conventional crystal and panels, they’re just not tuned to absorb light at the same rate or in the same spectrum. And so to your point foldables or any of our amorphous products are going to work across a wider range of environments. And like I mentioned earlier, your Emmy it’s a more expensive product, but when you think about it, w the way that I like to think about it is it’s an investment more than just a onetime purchase, because essentially what you’re doing is you’re investing in a product that’s going to perform across a four more vast number of use cases and for a far longer amount of time and, you know, to, to the right group of people or the right individual that’s, what’s important, right?

5 (41m 58s):
It’s not necessarily how cheap can I get X device? It’s I need something that’s going to work every time in the field and work really well. And so, you know, we’ve had success, there are enough people that really value, quality and performance, and that’s kind of what we’re looking to deliver. And something that I mentioned earlier, it’s, it’s, it’s been really cool to be able to offer crystal and panels as well, because if a user comes to us with a very specific use case, and we know that the best performance that they’re going to get is out of actually a semi flexible panel, that’s a crystal and panel.

5 (42m 38s):
Then you, we’re no longer confined to strictly saying, like, here’s what we can offer you. We now have an offering that for specific individuals, this is going to be a better solution. And, you know, here we can make it as well. And so that’s been really cool.

4 (42m 57s):
Yeah. And that’s one of the neat things, probably one of the neatest things that I’ve come across your website as the, the calculator. So what’s really cool about this is, well, I, I don’t want to talk too much, but I I’d give you the chance, but I think it’s really neat that you can actually, you know, figure out what size you might want and calculate these kinds of things, but the idea that you can customize what you’re looking for, and actually talk to someone and have it built to the specifications. I mean, I’ve all sorts of different ideas and you and I have talked about it, but can you speak a little bit to the, your online calculator and kind of the customizations that you can do?

4 (43m 35s):
Yeah.

5 (43m 35s):
So one of our engineers, I should put that together and that’s kind of been on our minds for a while because so the, the it’s we call them our it’s, our custom solar panel design tool is what it is. And it really operates like a calculator we offer, roughly man is like 20 to 25. We call them electronic component panels. And really all of our standard products are just made up of a series of these panels, wired together to, to gain you a larger output.

5 (44m 8s):
And a lot of people are interested in whether it be integrating this into their product or developing a product, utilizing the series of panels. What we were able to do is take some of the guesswork out or allow people to be able to play around with, you know, let’s say that area is my area, you know, is what I’m really focusing on. Then I can build something and see how much power can I get out of this specific area, or maybe like, voltage is your constraint.

5 (44m 46s):
And what can I do if I have to stay at this voltage? Or if you’re just looking for pure, like what’s going to give me the most power, you can do that. And so currently this calculator will, will kind of spit out the best, whether it be a stock panel, or if it’s not a panel that stock right now, we can, we can build custom panels. But for the majority of use cases, the most of those will be for like a business, just because there is a decent amount of upfront cost, but, you know, you can design a panel that will fit your exact needs.

5 (45m 26s):
Essentially what your doing is your w what you’re, what you’re privy to is you’re seeing what we would do on the backend, but you’re able to do it yourself. And so it’s pretty cool because it’s allowed people to, to play around with what’s possible and, you know, design based on whatever their specific requirements are. And that’s really what we that’s really, what powerful does we design to your specific requirements?

4 (45m 50s):
Yeah. And that’s pretty cool. I mean, that in itself is, is one of the reasons why I really kind of wanted to help promote your business and what you guys do over there, because it’s not a matter of, you know, going to Harbor freight and buying it because it says you’re getting that. And that’s, you pull the one off the shelf and that’s how you go. This that’s not what you’re getting here. And the thing is, is you’re going to pay for what you get. Right. So, I mean, it’s, it, there is value to be had when you spend money in the right places. And I absolutely, you know, some of the things that you guys have going on, it’s, there’s definitely a value proposition there when it comes to customizing your own solar setup, you know, whether it’s right for a boat or an RV, or, you know, taking it out, you know, even if you’re just in a, you know, an emergency lights out the situation, right.

4 (46m 45s):
I’m looking forward to testing it out this winter, actually trying out different. Cause I’ve got like heated vests and stuff for wintertime and plugin in my, my battery packs, you know, work with using battery packs and things like that that are mobile. Not cause to me, whenever it comes to solar, it’s like, Oh God, the last thing I want to do is pack around a 50 pound lead acid battery, or deep cycle Marine battery. Every time I want to go do something, right. So it’s been kind of a, an interesting thing for me to be able to kind of rearrange the way I think about power consumption and solar to fit how I can feed that power.

4 (47m 23s):
Right.

5 (47m 25s):
It’s actually, it’s actually kind of interesting because something, a lot of people don’t think it it’s actually solar panels will operate most efficiently in colder temperatures than you would imagine. And that just has to do with, as the panel itself heats up, you’re going to experience some losses. And this, this was kind of hard for me to wrap my mind around it initially after talking to engineering. But I mean, there’s obviously, there’s obviously an area where it becomes harmful, but now our panels will work and, you know, extreme heat, but also extreme cold.

5 (48m 4s):
When you get down to, I’ve worked with some people who have been in like the, you know, negative 20 range and really the only thing that’s going to go wrong when you get to like the negative 40 and beyond is you’re actually going to run into some issues with like the cabling and things like that. And we’ve actually designed around that, but that’s a very specific use case, but we, we really work with people who are in extreme environments or need something that they can’t get anywhere else.

5 (48m 37s):
And, you know, we’ll design something specifically for you and that’s, that’s kind of a unique that puts us in a unique space. It’s specifically state side and, you know, in the Midwest, you’re not gonna find, you’re not gonna find another, you you’d be hard pressed to find someone that is able to help you build small batch prototypes of a product in the States without paying an arm and a leg.

5 (49m 9s):
And that’s something that we enable people to do. And that’s something I haven’t talked about is, you know, what we’ll, what we essentially do is we enable people to take their ideas and turn them into prototypes and iterate, and then eventually come to a, you know, a full production product. You know, if you went to a Panasonic or another solar manufacturer, and you said, can I, can I make 10 of this thing? They would probably just laugh because their minimums are going to be enormous and you’re going to pay more per product with us.

5 (49m 45s):
But I mean, that’s really our in our wheelhouse is helping you get to market faster by enabling rapid prototyping and just super, super nimble on the manufacturing side so that you’re not having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars.

4 (50m 2s):
Yeah. And I, it was kind of interesting too, because when I get off solar for just a second, because I wanted to at least bring this up to the audience. So the may not be aware, but when, when the nurses were running out of gear early on in this moon demic, I noticed that there were some interesting things that came off the line out of your production facility. Yeah. Do you have a minute to chat about that real quick? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

5 (50m 28s):
So pardon are part of our manufacturing process, includes what we call a die press. And so it’s essentially what it does is it like punches out a specific shape with our laminate, which is just a thin plastic material. And I mentioned three M earlier, and they, they manufacture a lot of this and they have been doing so specifically during the pandemic. And what we’re doing is we’re manufacturing face shields. And so it’s a super cool story because it kind of involved a combination of a lot of people working together.

5 (51m 3s):
So you had a three D printer enthusiast out of Sweden or SOC. I can’t remember if it was Sweden or Switzerland. I, I get two confused. Anyways, he published online. Like here’s how I made my face mask or my face shield. And, you know, it’s available to anybody because, you know, the world needs this protective barrier right now. And so we were able to leverage that design and turn it into a die press so that we’re able to manufacture the face shield portion.

5 (51m 40s):
Now it connects up to another part that fits on, know your forehead. And that is actually one of our injection molding partners was providing that piece of the puzzle. And so now from our website, we’re able to provide as small as 25 units to anybody who needs a face shield. And the demand has been enormous when we initially started in, I believe April, it was overwhelming.

5 (52m 16s):
I think an emergency preparedness group of like a whole bunch of localities got ahold of that. We had these, and this was before we turned it on our website. So it was much more of a manual process. And I spent like five days just trying to dig out an invoice and do all this stuff because people, they just needed facials. I mean, our goal throughout this entire process, you know, obviously we need to be able to keep the lights on.

5 (52m 49s):
So we have to do this in a way that it’s not, you know, going to take us under, but it’s, it was never the kind of thing you saw. People inflating the price of PPE. And it’s just super sad because for us, it was just about specifically, you know, starting local. And now we’ll, I mean, we’ll ship anywhere in the States, just being able to provide this like super important barrier for, you know, initially emphasis nurses, medical professionals, first responders.

5 (53m 22s):
But I mean, I look at the look at the time of year we’re in now, people are going back to school, there’s a whole swath of people and we just want to be able to serve them. And I think we’ve probably, we’re probably coming up on, man. It would be hard. I bet we’re coming up on over 50,000 units shift. Probably, maybe, maybe flips that, but it’s been really cool because you’ll see people from all across the country utilizing different manufacturing methods. And it just so happened that we were able to utilize a method that we use every day for our solar manufacturing.

5 (54m 0s):
And we were able to leverage that and tweak it slightly to be able to produce this. And so, yeah, it’s been super interesting because I’ve been on the front end of that as far as the sales side goes. And so I’ve been communicating with all sorts of different people from hospitals to city governments to assisted care facilities and, you know, from all over the country, the majority of which being here in Iowa, but yeah, it’s been super cool. It’s been, it’s been nice for us to be able to meet that need and to do it during the time, you know, and busy businesses is difficult for a lot of different people.

5 (54m 39s):
So it’s kind of a, a great combination of being able to utilize our, our workers on our end and be able to provide something locally that, that you couldn’t get anywhere else or you, you couldn’t get for the price that we’re able to provide it at.

4 (54m 56s):
That’s amazing and kudos to you guys for stepping up to the plate and doing that. So I can’t speak highly enough for, for you guys and what you guys have going on over there, power from solar. I don’t want to take up too much more of your time, but do you have anything else that you want to add before we cut out?

5 (55m 13s):
I would, I would say that if, if any of your listeners are interested in learning more about power film or learning more about solar in general, I would direct you one we’re active on most social media platforms. So majority of, of what we talk about our, our, our blog posts, the blog posts that we publish are kind of the heart and soul of, of power films. Marketing efforts is just trying to make solar more approachable, make it easier for you to understand because a lot of people can, can get turned off to the technology just because it can be kind of confusing.

5 (55m 59s):
And there’s a lot of information out there. And so we publish monthly and we have over a hundred posts on our website and they’re kind of broken down and I would highly recommend that you take a look at our website, I’m actually in the middle of working on a, an updated version, but navigate to our blog and I can provide a, a link to you. So make it easier for people or just, yeah, just follow us on Facebook, on Twitter, wherever, wherever you’re active, we would love to engage with you.

5 (56m 34s):
If you have any questions at all about anything that I’ve talked about today, your power budget, if you need to power X device, what, what would be the right panel? Happy, happy to talk to you, happy doing, engage with our engineering team. And, you know, that’s another thing that we, that we’re able to provide that you really can’t find anywhere. Else’s, we’re, we’re really proud of the level of customer service that we’ll be able to provide. You know, I can engage our VP of engineering and you can, you can, I can bend his ear and we can help you out.

5 (57m 11s):
And that’s super rare. You won’t, you won’t really find that anywhere else. In fact, unfortunately these days, if you reach out to a company and actually get a response, it’s surprising, but, you know, we’re, we’re really dedicated to helping anyone and everyone, and, you know, solar, solar is exploding. So I’m happy to happy to help you learn more and get more confident and, you know, be able to gear up for everyday life or, or worst case scenarios.

1 (57m 46s):
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time for folks who are listening and interested in, check them out per film, solar. And if you have any questions or anything, feel free to reach out to me if you’d like, and I can see if I can forward them on or reach out

5 (57m 60s):
Of them directly. Yeah, absolutely.

1 (58m 3s):
Put together a custom set up for you. I’m so glad to have you on thanks for all your, your time and for stepping up to the plate with the whole PPE scenario and like that, but it’s awesome. It’s awesome to have companies like this in the United States who, you know, are this involved and, you know, flexible and can, I mean, you’re as flexible as the panels that you make. I mean, it’s pretty amazing and yeah, we get so, but we appreciate your time, Seth, and, you know, take care of I’m sure.

1 (58m 33s):
We’ll see what we can do to get you back on here in the near future.

5 (58m 37s):
Yeah. Happy to, happy to do it anytime. Awesome. Okay.

1 (58m 42s):
Well there you have it. Folks are impromptu and yet not impromptu conversation with Seth over a power from solar and having a great conversation behind the scenes with the folks in chat. And if you have any questions about power from solar, feel free to reach out, but also, you know, you should be, you also have an opportunity to get a discount on some of their products as well.

1 (59m 14s):
So if you’d like go to power from solar.com, check out some of their stuff. If you have an interest in getting one of the light saver products, enter the promo code, PBN 10, that’s PBN, number 10, and we can, they’ll give you 10% off. So like you mentioned, they’re not cheap, but you really do get what you pay for and for, for a Marine application or ATVs hiking, backpacking driving down the road.

1 (59m 51s):
I mean, for something that is designed for military, use that as civilians we can handle and put in our bag for our own preps and gear our survival skills toward the power that we can provide for ourselves. It just gives us a chance to be more self sufficient. So with that, let’s, let’s take a quick moment. We’ll bring Colin back on. Hopefully he’s still on and we’ll do the pint size prepper project of the week.

1 (1h 0m 22s):
Colin, why don’t you go ahead and give us enlightened us, let us know what we’re in for this week.

2 (1h 0m 27s):
Yeah. So with all the talk of solar and, and, and all the benefits and whatnot of that, we figured it would be appropriate to have a solar project project for, so for the positive private project today, we did a solar hydroponic facial plush tank system or, or fish tank set up. And so this is something I actually threw together there, not too long ago with the intention of putting a couple of goldfish in there.

2 (1h 1m 1s):
But I, I decided not to, because I realized that I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t be around to like watch him or anything like that, but the, the idea is still cool. And, you know, there are definitely some benefits to it. So what you’re gonna need for this project is a submersible solar pump, which I can put a link in Amazon link to that in the chat you’re going to need like a quarter inch line, like a vinyl line.

2 (1h 1m 35s):
That’s, you know, it doesn’t have to be very long, but, and it doesn’t even really have to be a quarter inch. You just have to fit on your water pump. So you need that, those two things. And then you also need like, probably probably close to a foot of drip line, but that just depends on how big your tank or fishbowl is. And then, you know, that’s pretty much it, as far as the actual solar side of things is because the, the, the water pump that you’re using is run by solar.

2 (1h 2m 12s):
So you won’t have to worry about, you know, chords actually being plugged into a, a, an actual power source. And then, so you have your line, your drip line, and then you have your line, some sort of line adapter, or, I mean, if you, if you don’t want to get too fancy, you could just use electrical tape, because that seems to do pretty well. And then you need like a fishbowl or a tank, and then some sort of cover or a decor to put on top of, or cover the water pump and then a plant.

2 (1h 2m 52s):
So it’s really simple. You just have to take the quarter inch line or whatever line fits on your water pump, and then you attach it to the water pump and then connect that quarter inch line to your drip line, which is just a thinner line, I guess it’s more flexible. And then you string the solar cord out away from the fishbowl and, you know, bleed it wherever you’re going to set it up and then place the pump inside the desired or inside the tank in the desired place, wherever that might be and find a way to cover the pump.

2 (1h 3m 28s):
Like with, I don’t know, they, I know they have like little things you can put in your fish bowl to just, I guess, sort of make a little bit more degree. And then you lead the drip line. That’s coming out of the water pump into a plant, either in the fishbowl, like directly in the fishbowl. So you’re basically just redirecting the water while filtering it. Or you can lead the drip line to a vase while still allowing water to drain back into the bowl in some way, cause you don’t want to lose water while that pumps running.

2 (1h 4m 8s):
So you can have like a vase that has holes in the bottom of it, or like a pot. And then you can like set it on top or find a way to get it, to sit in the middle of the fish tank. And then you just lead that drip line to the plant and then it waters the plant. And then you can use like an over an overflow system so that it waters the plant and then it overflows. And then it goes out, back into the, the tank and this way the pump cleans the water.

2 (1h 4m 38s):
So you have clean water, but it’s automatically watering the plant whenever there’s sunlight to the solar solar panel. So, you know, you have the water daily and then you have that sun obviously, cause the plant needs sun. And then it’s also like free energy, pretty much. I mean, other than the price you have to pay for the actual thing, you don’t have to plug in like a pump near a wall or anything like that because the solar pumps are usually pretty small and you’re able to get a good 10 feet out of the cord.

2 (1h 5m 18s):
So you can drag your line wherever you need to take it. But that pretty much sums it up. It’s a pretty simple project, but it’s, it’s pretty neat because you kind of have this little mini aquafaba not yeah. Hydroponic system set up, you get whether or not you’re going to grow like a crop or just like a decorative plant either way. It’s, it’s pretty, pretty cool.

1 (1h 5m 45s):
That’s awesome. Some of the skills that are most, Oh, go ahead.

2 (1h 5m 50s):
I forgot to mention, but the best, I would say the best thing to put the plant in would probably be something like for Makey light or maybe it’s per light per light because when it overflows, it’s not going to get soil all up in the tank. It’s just gonna give it, it’s going to just going to give the plants something to Ruden, but it’s not gonna like overflow and then fall into the tank. If you don’t know what that is, just either look it up or come into the chat room.

2 (1h 6m 24s):
I’ll put a link to some per light. Nice,

1 (1h 6m 26s):
Good job, bud. So yeah, this is a great project and it’s a, it’s a great way to see how systems work together. Yeah. You’ve got three different things, solar water, you know, movement obviously and performing work and also a bio. What do you call that? Basically the biosphere or basically a, an ecosystem and being able to combine plant life and be able to grow fruit, grow food effectively using the power of the sun and fish and having all these systems work together.

1 (1h 7m 1s):
It’s also a great way to demonstrate power usage and it allows people to understand how solar works, how bad power is stored and how, how power is derived from solar panels. And when, so it’s a great opportunity for you to check it out for those of you out there who are in the chatroom. We thank you for joining us. I think for the final thought today, first off, big shout out to power film solar, thanks for taking the time to come on the show tonight and demonstrate, you know, kind of what power film solar is all about and kind of sink some teeth into the whole idea of you have these US-based companies that we’re trying to engage and promote here on prepper broadcasting, especially when it comes to survival and preparedness.

1 (1h 7m 54s):
I think when it comes to solar, it’s very easy to take the sun for granted. And last week when we were talking about solar as a fictional standpoint and the potential for it to cause great doom and chaos and destruction, you can’t really ignore the fact that solar can actually help you get past things. I gave the example earlier in the show and we wound up using these to be able to charge our USB devices, namely the two way radios that we’re using to communicate while we were on kayak.

1 (1h 8m 28s):
So we weren’t shouting across the river. You know, it allowed us to stay in touch when we were nearby, but it also opens this door to the potential of other devices, USB power devices that can be used for all sorts of things. James Walton, not too long ago, maybe a year ago, did a special on USB power sources and how much you can do with a, basically a USB toolkit, charging things, everything from tools to lights, batteries for your lights and even lighters.

1 (1h 9m 7s):
One of the things we might do here in the near future is a full on electronics camp out where we demonstrate how to live temporarily off grid using nothing but solar power devices that are charged through USB. So hopefully that’ll be enough to where we can actually use them to feed ourselves, start fires for ourselves, communicate with each other, you know, maintain at least some power to devices for other forms of, you know, like research or whatever.

1 (1h 9m 48s):
So it’s gotta be an interesting type of thing. But what I really wanted to get out there is how, how it’s IM it’s important to look at solar and solar power, as more than just something that gets mounted to the outside of your structure. It’s more than just something that is some huge price tag with no return on it. Really the return on the investment is going to be when you take it out, is it going to work?

1 (1h 10m 20s):
Is it going to be effective? Is it going to be reliable? Is it going to survive a bullet? The fact is that power of film solar has come up with these products that are so well-designed that they’ve been able to pass the mil-spec standards, to be able to provide our own forces overseas with portable, lightweight power where no other power exists, and the fact that they’re able to pass those standards and then pass the products on to us is one of the best things about America.

1 (1h 11m 1s):
It’s one of the best things about, you know, what we can do as a nation or what we can do as a company. What we can do as a people, as preppers is people who are geared towards survival. It’s the ability to, to adapt and to find ways to work through problems with only the tools that we have at our hands, but also keep an open mind and be able to see what kind of different options are available and who to reach out to when it comes time to ask those questions.

1 (1h 11m 37s):
Lastly, in case you missed it on last week’s show, we have a special guest on Joshua Guy, you an author with who, let me see if I can pull up that information. I don’t think I can, but he was actually, he was not there. Who, who wrote the commune series? It was one that Colin decided to host for the night. So I was kind of a fun little experience. Listen, if you’d like to check out any of our previous episodes, you can always go to the show page or go to your favorite streaming service and check it out while you’re there.

1 (1h 12m 12s):
Be sure to leave us a five star review. It does help to boost our ratings. And it allows us to share this message with others. Next week, we do have another angle of solar. Hopefully we’re going to have another special guest on we’ve got Forrest Garvin who some of you who are long time listeners might know who he is, what I’m going to try and get them on either this week or next week to talk about this new development with sun ovens. So I’m looking forward to that.

1 (1h 12m 43s):
Hopefully that’ll work out next week. If not, we’ll do our best to get them on the following week. I think that’s going to be at for today. Everyone. Thanks for joining us on the next generation show. And don’t forget to tune in next time where we explore another aspect of all the little things in life that make all the difference in the world. This is your host, Ryan Buford, along with your cohost, reminding you to stay involved, stay informed, get involved and be prepared.

1 (1h 13m 14s):
Have a great night everybody and make it a great week.

1 (1h 13m 22s):
thank you for listening to the prepper broadcasting network, where we promote self-reliance independence tune in tomorrow for another great show and visit us prepper, broadcasting.com.

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