Who’s it for? Those venturing longer distances who want a back-up power supply. Contact: www.solartechnology.co.uk
HUBi Solar Hub 10k
In the face of it this is a great back-up system – a 10ah lithium battery pack/connection hub with ‘intelligent charge electronics’, plus a 20W solar panel and two bright LED lanterns.
The hub has outputs for the two lights, a pair of high-power 2amp USB sockets and a 3amp 12V cigar-type power outlet. As such it has the potential to be an extremely useful back-up power supply for yachts undertaking long passages.
Although there’s no chance of it powering the fridge, watermaker or TV screens, it has sufficient capacity to charge essential equipment, including a handheld satellite phone, VHF and GPS, along with a tablet with a chart plotter app and LED navigation lights.
Granted, there may not be sufficient power to keep each of these, other than the communication devices, running 24/7 but that’s not really necessary until the final approach to land – and provided the devices are charged in advance that should not prove to be a problem.
On the downside, the hardware is clearly designed primarily for spending time off grid while on land. It’s therefore disappointingly heavy and bulky, especially in the supplied packaging, and is not waterproof. It would have scored an extra point had the design been more compatible with stowage and use on board a yacht.
It’s only designed to deliver a total current of 3.5 amps and will shut down if this is exceeded and is not intended to be capable of powering an inverter, even for a very short period. If necessary, a number of HUBi units can be connected together to create a more powerful emergency power source. www.solartechnology.co.uk
Tested by Rupert Holmes
The HUBi is certainly a back-up that would be invaluable to have in the event of a failure of the boat’s main power systems, either because of a system failure, or a more serious incident that disables the vessel in a more comprehensive manner.