Portable solar panels are environmentally friendly, making them great for bringing more comfort to camping. Another way to charge batteries is with generators, but they’re noisy, heavy, and not easy to transport.
Portable solar panels are very popular as a go everywhere solution to your power needs, and of course, the most widely available energy source is normally solar. These days with the flexible thin film solar panels is possible to carry your solution around with you.
These flexible thin-film portable solar panels are great for camping, traveling around in your caravan or just hiking in the mountains of whatever your needs this technology is now at a level where it is useful, and it is getting more efficient as the research becomes a reality.
Currently, there are many options for portable solar panels for sale available on the market. While it is always great to have more options, it is always suggested to choose the right product that fit your needs and requirements.
Portable Solar Panel Reviews
Here’s our selection of great portable solar panels that are perfect for camping and backpacking:
1# Goal Zero 19010 Guide 10 Plus Solar Charging Kit
The Goal Zero 19010 Guide 10 Plus Solar Charging is a USB and solar charging system. It comes with everything you need to charge the batteries in a compact package that weighs around 1.5 lbs. It has 2 solar panels that are folded like a book with a wraparound Velcro tab securing the panels close. To charge the battery pack with 7 watts of charging power, it will take 3-4 hours. It’s powerful enough smartphones, tablets, and readers.
This Goal Zero solar panel comes with multiple accessories. It comes with an Ultra Charge solar cord, AAA battery adapter, 12V cigarette adapter, AA rechargeable batteries, and Guide 10 battery pack. It also features a built-in LED flashlight that can come in handy when searching for something in the dark.
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#2. Goal Zero 42005 Sherpa 50 Solar Recharging Kit
Sherpa 50 rechargeable kit is also a great solution when you don’t have access to the electrical grid. With this solar panel, you can charge your laptops and tablets, as well as other small items, like smartphone, Kindles, portable speakers, etc.
The package comes with a folding cell pair, various cables, a rechargeable battery pack, and an inverter. The two solar panels come in a built-in case that folds in half. This case has a mesh bag where you can store all the cables and adapters to organize the system. The limits for this model’s battery and the inverter is 75 watts, so check the power rating of items you plan to charge with it.
#3. PowerFilm AA Foldable Solar Charger
PowerFilm AA foldable solar charger is designed to charge AA batteries and does a good job of charging those very quickly. To charge 2 AA batteries, it will take about 3 hours of full sun and under 6 hours to charge 4 AA batteries.
This solar charger is lightweight and folds up into a small package the size of a wallet. Also, you can use it while you hike by hanging it from your pack by lanyards. Another feature is two charge indicator lights that are located on the back of the battery compartment.
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#4. Instapark 10 Watt Solar Panel Portable Solar Charger
Instapark solar panel portable solar charger offers the quality of construction and rapid charging time. It also offers portability; it folds up into a small package that’s small and lightweight. It has dual built-in USB charging ports, so you directly simultaneously charge your iPad, iPhone, GPS, and other USB compatible mobile devices.
This PowerFilm Rollable solar panel charger is also lightweight, durable and flexible. It were weatherproof and designed to perform in diverse conditions. The solar panel rolls up into a small package making it easy for transportation. Can be used to charge computers, iPods, cell phones, etc. You can plugin your appliances to the solar panel charger via an adapter. Just drape over the picnic table or the car and let it charge.
#6. Brunton Solaris Foldable Solar Power Array
Bruton Solaris Foldable Solar Power Array has a 26W rated panel. You can use it to power everything from cellphones, lead batteries, GPS tracking systems, and other 12V devices. It doesn’t weigh much, folds up into a small bag, and you can strap the solar panel to the back of your backpack while you hike. It provides good performance even in cloudy weather, and it’s made of CIGS providing durability and longevity of performance.
Solar panels usually come with a portable kit that can be folded into a small pack, which allows you to easily transport them and take with you camping. To start getting power from the sun, you just place in the sun and connect it to your charging system.
When buying a portable solar panel for camping think about what you will be charging and how much power you’ll need. If you are charging just AA batteries, you won’t need a very powerful solar panel, but you will need the right adapters.
Your solar panel needs to match your appliances and batteries. So first you’ll need to figure out how much power you’ll be using per day. You need to calculate the total daily watts for all your appliances. Each appliances name plate watts multiply by the number of hours you’ll be using it each day. Find the total of all appliances you plan to use, and that will be your daily power requirement. Then divide this total by 5, the average number of peak sun hours, to find the size of the solar panel you will need for your camping.
If you’re buying the solar panel for backpacking, you’ll also need to consider weight and compactness.
Some solar panels also come with other accessories, such as extension cables, USB connectors, alligator clips, and charging indicators. So decide which accessories you need, and check which comes included with the panel.
Their size is shrinking, and their efficiency is increasing, most portable solar panels come with the supporting accessories, but it is important to know what type of technology in the solar feel you are using there are some differences. It is best to then choose your supplier/manufacturer carefully before making the purchase, and you may want to expand your system.
Take care of your panels, avoid situations where your flexible, portable solar panel may be accidentally creased or folded, it is preferably better to keep it rolled or flat. Avoid situations where the surface may be scratched, and be careful as to which cleaning solution you use on the surface area.
This technology has a long way to go, but at this point, people are finding it to be beneficial, the portability and the ability to recharge devices such as cell phones, radio batteries, torches, and laptops are just a few of the applications they are being used for. But think ahead and see where this is leading us, there will be a future where portable solar panels will become so energy efficient at producing electricity from the sun that they will be able to power many more energy consuming devices, and this can only help keep our planet in a healthier condition.
Buy Portable Solar Panels
Solar is free energy we can use without any side effects like polluting the environment. We can use it as long as we are under the sunshine. And currently, we have the technology to harvest this free energy resource. And with the portable solar panel, it is now possible for us to use this energy anytime anywhere.
There are several factors you need to consider when choosing portable solar panel here are some of them:
You buy portable solar panels since you want to be able to carry it easily. Make sure it is light enough, so you don’t have any problems carrying it along with you. It’s probably won’t be a big issue when you go with a car, for example, however, if you are backpacking, then it might be a different story.
Make sure you understand how much power it can supply. Will it be able to run your equipment or it will only be able to charge it. Make sure you choose the solar panel that fit your equipment power requirement.
3. Back Up Battery
Some brands offer back up batteries along with the solar panel. This way you can charge the battery, let’s say while you’re traveling, then use it later to support your equipment. This is a good option, and I suggest you get one that has this backup battery.
For some people, it is an important factor to consider. If you plan to go with a boat or camping in the jungle, make sure your solar panel is waterproof.
5. Cord Length
Many of us don’t pay attention to it. Remember, you will need to place the cell under the sunlight. However, your equipment maybe is not suitable to be used under the direct sunlight. This is where the cord length plays an important role.
12V Solar Panel Buying Tips
12v solar panel is probably one of the most popular solar panel products on the market, beside the 10watt solar panel. There are many choices available for this panel specification, and choosing the right one that fits your need and budget as well as the quality requirement may look hard. But actually, it is not as hard as you think. Just make sure you know several points before you buy a 12v solar panel.
The first point here is making sure what is the charge capacity you require and ensure you choose the right one. This is a crucial step since it may take few days to be able to charge it for full. There are days where you can’t get maximum sun rays to charge the panel, so you probably will lose the power. Another issue you need to pay attention when buying 12v solar panel is getting the required device called charge controller.
This solar controller is an important part here especially if you find that the panel you use gives more than 5watts output. It will help you to avoid discharge condition when you use it while the panel doesn’t get enough sunlight. Make sure you buy the controller that fit your wattage.
To be able to charge your solar battery, there is no need to buy big solar panels that will require the entire roof. You will only need to count the required power amount to charge the battery then make a kind of calculation to determine your solar panel needs. Though it’s probably sound difficult, actually you can do it easily. Or ask the store to give you a clue on your solar panels requirement.
Using solar energy can give you many advantages. You can save lots of money on your electrical bills, and at the same time, you help the environment since you use clean energy resource. However, you can even save more money if you decide to build a solar panel from scratch your self.
I hope this tips can be useful for you when you decide to buy a 12v solar panel for your home.
Solar Panels For Camping
Camping is one of the greatest forms of adventure one could have. It is not only fun but also a way to show your compliments to Mother Nature by staying close to it and enjoying it. However, the most important part of camping is not to hurt Mother Nature in any way possible, and that is why all the camping stuff is carefully made from environment-friendly materials and such anthropogenic activities that are considered harmful to the environment are avoided. Some camping enthusiasts even object to the use of laptops and mobiles as blasphemy of camping. However, let’s face it, cameras, laptops, and mobiles have become very much an integral part of our lives today. Further, the videos and photo experiences of campers motivate others to go for camping and enjoy nature in its crudest form by staying close to it.
As the traveling is becoming easier and quicker, the camping duration is also increasing; the professional campers, adventurers, and naturalists travel long distances to see marvels of nature and they enjoy camping for as long as possible. But longer camping stays mean more and more need of staying in touch with your families and others. Also, you need power for lighting up your campsite at night and for other purposes. This is where solar power for camping comes in.
The conventional equipment carried by campers included battery powered torches, emergency lights and lanterns, gas-powered stoves and other such equipment. The flaw with battery-powered equipment like torches and lanterns is that the batteries run out quite quickly, even if you use premium quality batteries, they too would not last for a long time. Therefore, you have to keep a big stock of batteries with you on a trip. Further, gas fuelled stoves are dangerous as they can explode and they are not environment-friendly as well. There were no solutions for charging your cell phones and laptops if you had a longer camping journey planned. Solar power for camping offers a solution to all these problems.
Solar power for camping has made longer camping possible without any added hassle. All you have to do is to replace your conventional equipment with the ones that are powered by solar power. For example, there are searchlights and emergency lights available in the market and online sources, that are powered by solar energy. They are initially more expensive to buy than the conventional battery powered search lights, but in the longer run, considering that you will not have to buy new batteries every other day, you will be able to save a lot and have a wonderful and long camping experience.
Another great option that solar power for camping allows you to have is that you can carry electric stoves with you, which is much more efficient and safe for you and your environment. Unlike the gas fuelled stoves, these electric stoves cannot explode and do not emit toxic gases like methane into the environment. So, solar power for camping allows you to be much safer and greener at the same time. If you think, solar power for camping is green in itself. Everyone knows that the solar power is a renewable energy resource that leaves no harmful imprints on the environment on to its usage. On the other hand, the chemical based power sources like Li-ion batteries and fossil fuels are non-renewable energy sources and have a significant print on the world pollution levels. Therefore, using solar power for camping is very close to the gist of camping, which is not to harm nature and environment in any way.
A great power option for the camping enthusiasts or mountaineers and adventurers who love to spend a long time in their camps is the solar power generators. Solar power for camping means that the adventurists, naturalists, and camping enthusiasts can enjoy a long time with no problem in their campsite. These solar power generators can ride in the back of their pick-up truck and power the whole site with no problem at all. This means that you can charge your laptops, set your system, charge your cell phones, cameras and whatever gadgets you have so that you do not miss out on anything worth remembering.
However, if you do not have so much need of power and unlike the Mountaineers or naturalists you do not need to set up your base camp, which needs quite a lot of power for their equipment to go on, then your needs might suffice with what is commonly known as the solar explorer kit. This solar power for camping solution is just like a suitcase that is easy to fit in your rucksack and is therefore very portable and mobile. This small briefcase sized solar explorer kit is powerful enough to charge your cell phones and cameras. It provides you with as much as 120 watts of power, which is quite good keeping in mind its portability.
If you are a serious adventurer and camper but you cannot afford something as big and as expensive as the big solar generator that rides on the back of your truck, then solar power for camping has other solutions for you as well. It is called base camp solar kit. It includes solar panels of 4300 watts, battery packs of about 2300 watts, an inverter and four lanterns. This solar kit can provide serious power over a sustained period for a couple of camps. Moreover, they are not as expensive and as hefty as the solar power generators. This solar kit is easy enough to carry with you even if you are amateurs, but capable enough to fulfill the needs of the professional campers as well.
Some people are of the view that solar power for camping is not as good a solution as the conventional camping equipment is. They argue, for example, that battery powered search light give much more luminosity in comparison to the solar powered searchlights. This is not true, today the solar powered equipment is as good as, if not better than the other equipment. There are plenty of choices available regarding what kind of power output you want, and with solar power for camping, you get to stay green too!
Pv Charger for Camping or Around the globe!
We recently needed my daughter and a pair of her pals camping. The camping site made an appearance as though a satellite store for Radio Shack.
I purchased a Soldius1 pv charge a year ago to charge my granddaughter’s iPod device tool and cell phone ultimately was camping inside the White-colored Hills of Nh.
They come in seven plastic plugs for charging 250 different items including energy-hungry apple ipods, Zen Micro Audio gamers, BlackBerrys, and mobile phones from Nokia, Siemens, The brand new the new sony Ericsson, Samsung, and Motorola.
The PV charger labored like the manufacturer mentioned it could, and charged my granddaughter’s iPod device within 3 several hours. Where we are camping you’ll find more moose than cell phone towers, so keeping the phone charged wasn’t a problem.
This is often a fantastic charger, though single.1 watt/6 volt rating you’re limited to the
volume of items it might charge through the path of every day.
This fact was produced out whenever we recently needed my daughter and a pair of her pals camping. The camping site made an appearance as though a satellite store for Radio Shack.
Try as it can certainly, the Soldius1 wasn’t any match for that electronic product these teenagers introduced along. We certainly needed MORE Energy.
The Brunton Solaris 25 PV charger with 25 w/15.4 volts cost of charging energy, gave us just what we needed. Its high output photo voltaic energy sections charge from cell phones to vehicle batteries. Also, it charges apple ipods and cell phones in fifty percent of your time is needed for your Soldius1.
Thinking about the amount of bigger electric items it might be energy, the
durability, (they’ll use these around the polar ice cap), and just how rapidly it charges, the Brunton Solaris 25 is a value.
Another factor – you’ll be able to connect around three models for triple the power.
Regardless if you are employing a PV charger for camping or charging the batteries inside your yacht, it’s unmatched cheap and clean PV energy.
Q. What is Wattage and what is Amperage – I am confused?
A quick “lesson” might help to fully appreciate this key question?
All quality portable solar panels are rated as to their Wattage and Amperage outputs as well as their Voltage output from the Controller/Regulator based on testing in a simulation chamber and to an International Standard.
There is a simple equation that is undeniable, and it applies to all panels of all types and can’t be interpreted in any other way.
Wattage divided by the Voltage output from the Controller equals Amperage.
W ÷ V = Amps/hour (current).
Often people think that it is the panel Wattage divided by 12 when we are dealing with a 12 Volt system. This is incorrect! It is the Voltage coming out of your controller (technically called Vmp), that is the key number; it is divided into the Wattage of your panel to calculate the Amps per hour that are available in ideal conditions. Most solar panels will have a specification panel on the rear panel; you should get this in writing from the retailer to confirm what you are being supplied, and more importantly, what you are paying for.
These are the key technical terms for you to understand: Known as
- POWER (Panel Wattage) Pm (W)
- MAXIMUM OPERATING VOLTAGE (Out of Controller) Vmp (V)
- CURRENT (Amperage/hour) Imp (A)
Q. Which is better, Monocrystalline or Amorphous portable solar panel technology?
It is not so much which is better but how are they different? Monocrystalline cells are far more efficient as a power generator that Amorphous, per square meter of cells, employed. Amorphous (Silicon sprayed onto a flexible surface), requires a much greater surface area to generate the same output as Monocrystalline panels. Both technologies are well proven for solar camping and can provide great solutions. Interestingly too, while the general commentary is that Amorphous panels are cheaper to manufacture they seem to be considerably dearer at the retail level?
Equally, for solar camping it is important to know that all Solar panels do not like heat; they love light of course but not heat!
Due to this, they need to have good ventilation to maximise cooling opportunities through the day. It is therefore not ideal to lay them on the ground or any flat surface without a breathing cavity behind the panel.
Another important fact to know is that due to this dislike for heat the performance of ALL solar panels decreases in hot weather. Any temperature above 25 degrees Celsius will see a reduction in performance. It is not dramatic but it does occur, so it is important to have a margin up your sleeve for this, as well as for less than ideal weather conditions.
FOLDA SOLAR TIP!
The dearest portable solar panel does not mean it is the best – it is all about the space you have to store it when traveling, the weight of it and the amps per hour it produces; to do the job you need it to do. Naturally, it needs to fit your budget too!
Q. What’s the material used in the cells of the new canvas folding panels from Folda Solar Direct?
Being Monocrystalline they have the same fundamental structure as any other monocrystalline panel. The key difference is the top layer (wafer). It is a specially formulated molded material that is extra tough to handle the outdoor conditions. Normal monocrystalline cells have a glass or poly carbonate wafer on top and are more vulnerable. This special material used on the folding canvas panels is designed for use in the military and as a consequence is much more robust than normal monocrystalline and able to take the occasional knock.
FOLDA SOLAR TIP!
Protecting your investment is part of the journey when you have a portable solar panel. They are all vulnerable to damage if not looked after. Take every precaution to protect yours.
Q. I have a hard framed aluminum solar panel; how should I store it when traveling?
Ideally not flat. With glass as the top wafer on each cell, you need to think of it as a mirror or a piece of glass. Store it on its edge and protect it well against other items stacked around it.