Always On Batteries

What is Always On mode?

Always On means that the output of the battery or power bank does not shut off after a set amount of time. It stays on.

When shipped, our V15 and V88 batteries are in Auto-Off mode. They are designed to shut themselves off after about 20 minutes of little or no power draw. This will usually occur if the device they are charging is full or is disconnected from the battery. To re-activate the output, the power button on the battery must be pressed. This helps conserve power in the battery.

However, there are times when you want to prevent the battery or power bank from shutting off when there is little to no power draw. With an Always On battery, you could power sensors, PS tracking devices, perform time-lapse photography with GoPro and other cameras, or run Arduinos and Raspberry Pis and their peripherals. Essentially, if you want to power a device over several days, weeks, or months without human intervention, then the Always On Mode is a good fit.

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Which Voltaic batteries have Always On mode?

The V15V50, and new V88 are equipped with Always On mode. The USB output on the V15 (4,000mAh) is 1A and should not be used in Always On mode for devices that draw over 1A.

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What happens when the Voltaic battery drains completely?

The battery will shut off if it drains completely. Once the battery builds up a bit of a buffer of power and is partially charged (about twenty minutes of good sun), it will turn itself on again.

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How do I switch into and out of Always On mode?

For V15 Battery:

First, check which mode your battery is in:

  • Press the power button once to turn the battery on.
  • Immediately after the LEDs turn on, double tap the power button.
  • If after double tapping the power button the LEDs stay on for a few seconds, the battery is in Always On mode. If the LEDs turn off immediately, the battery is in Auto Off mode.

Second, to change which mode your battery is in:

  • Auto-Off: Hold the power button down for 5 seconds until the LEDs blink 3 times and turn off immediately. 
  • Always On: To override the Auto-Off mode, hold the power button for 5 seconds until the LEDs blink 3 times and stay on for a few seconds. After this process, the batteries will no longer turn off automatically.
  • Note: Slightly more power is consumed in Always On mode. If left for an extended period of time, you should connect it to a power source like one of our 6 Volt solar panel kits.

For V50 Battery:

Battery's standard setting is Always On. To stop charging:

  • Double tab the Power Level Button or disconnect from the battery.
  • To resume charging, tap the Power Level Button once.

For V88 Battery:

  • Hold the Power Button down until the LED screen flashes through voltages and then displays the text "Always On Mode" in the bottom right corner (~ 5 seconds). 
  • For everyday use and long term storage, use Auto-Off mode. To switch back to this mode simply double-tap the Power Button.
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How do I power an Always On battery in the field?

Let's say you want to run a GoPro or Arduino for a month without intervention. You can use Voltaic portable solar panels to charge our V15, V50, or V88 battery, which will power the GoPro or Arduino. To accurately size the panels and battery, you will need to spec out the power draw of your device and estimate how much power you are going to generate.

If you want more advice on powering devices remotely, schedule an IoT consultation.

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