The amazing benefits of portable solar panels are undeniable and also the main reasons why so many people decide to invest in them.
Whether you are a digital nomad who travels a lot and needs to charge his smartphone or laptop periodically to keep working from remote locations or you are searching for some cool alternatives to the regular campfire in the outdoors, a portable solar energy system as a source for renewable energy is a wise investment. If you are eager to find out what are the best portable solar energy systems for 2021 and beyond, you have reached just the right page.
We have searched for some of the most reliable and efficient solar generators that you should consider buying, and we have also prepared a mini portable solar panel buying guide with precious tips on how to identify the best panels.
What Are Portable Solar Panels
Briefly put, portable solar panels enable you to use the energy form the sun as a clean source of renewable energy when you are on the move. For example, when camping in your backyard in the summer or when sleeping in your RV while on vacation, having a portable solar system with you will transform the light from the sun into solar electricity via solar cells. This means you will be able to remain connected to technology and still have electricity for your devices and electronics.
Portable solar panels work similarly to their full-sized counterparts, only they are smaller in size, lighter and a lot easier to carry. They also come with simple to use features and their compact design makes them very easy to use. This means set up is very easy and can be done by pretty much anyone, no matter if they are completely inexperienced.
Solar panels are some of the most common occurrences inside RV camping, since they enable you to generate electricity even when outside the campground. One minor inconvenience might be the fact that, since they are a lot smaller in size compared to regular solar panels, the portable version will also smaller amounts of electricity.
What Are the Advantages of Portable Solar Panels?
- While they are known to generate smaller amounts of electricity, portable solar generators are still capable of producing a suitable amount so they can effectively run several smaller appliances.
- Portable solar panels can also be used to charge batteries, and this turns them into spectacular off-grid camping solutions. Also known as boon docking, RV camping outside the regular campgrounds is more and more popular among camp-goers and these generators can easily fix the missing electrical power issues that comes along with it. Camping is a lot more convenient and comfortable thanks to these panels.
- Since they can be easily moved around and repositioned in any area with a decent amount of light from the sun, they are very convenient to use. You could park your RV in the shade and put the portable solar generator in direct sunlight using an extension cable.
- The operating costs of portable solar panels are equal to zero. So, once you will decide to make the investment, there will be no additional or continuous costs to worry about. By comparison, you can compare the zero costs with the cost of buying expensive fuel for a generator or the cost of paying for to get access to the grid so you can charge our batteries charge your batteries.
- Portable solar generators are much less noisy compared to generators that use gas, so this is another advantage worth mentioning here.
How to Set Up And Connect Your Portable Solar Panel
Setting up a portable solar panel is not difficult, but it will require some attention, especially when you need several devices charged. Assuming you are camping, you could be looking at the battery pack, a charge controller, the portable solar panels, an inverter, and wires.
You will first need to establish the right power size, followed by the connections, whether in series or in parallel, in accordance with the input voltage and current and voltage necessities that the charge controller comes with. The series connection, for instance, is going to add voltages, while a parallel connection will add more current.
When you are finished connecting the terminal outputs, you will need to move on to connecting every terminal output to the input of the charge controller. This is a device that will establish will the speed at which the solar array will charge and it will also let us know whether the battery is fully charged or not.
With the help of the controller, you will next need to tie the terminal outputs to the device that will be storing the energy, while checking that the voltage output of the controller is identical with the the nominal voltage that the battery packs come with. Once this step will be completed, you will need to wire the inverter that uses a battery to power the AC loads.
If you would like to charge your smartphones and other smart devices, you should be able to connect them into the portable solar generator with the help of USB ports. USB solar charges are usually shaped like backpacks or tablets with special USB ports that will significantly improve your experiences while out and about.
They are extremely advantageous given their very light weight and high degree of portability and some models will even allow you to attach them to a suitcase or backpack and connected to speakers, a Go Pro, external batteries, or flashlights, depending on your exact needs.
There are also flexible types of portable solar panels that can be easily rolled out and connected to the gadgets you will need to be charged. Expect a smartphone to be charged up to 20% in under ten minutes via a USB cable.
Portable Solar Panel Buying Guide
Knowing how to shop for the best portable solar panel that will suit your exact needs is not hard to do. However, knowing exactly what to pay attention to will make all the difference.
Determine The Reasons Why You Need a Portable Solar Panel
The usage of the panel will help you decide which model suits you the best. If you are searching for a portable solar panel for your RV, look for one that is 100 W.
If you need some panels for your boat, look for some that feature larger solar systems and battery packs used to supply something that is larger than a laptop or a smartphone. Only opt for waterproof marine solar panels so you can keep using them on the water as well as to prevent the moisture from accumulating between glass the frame and the glass and eventually cause the cells to delaminate.
Selecting portable solar panels that work materials that have been encapsulated will make sure the panels can withstand water resistance.
Portable Solar Panel Weight
The weight of the portable solar panel is also essential. When camping, you are going to want to use something that is not very heavy and the same goes for going hiking. Here, you could opt for an ultra-lightweight kit, with special emphasis on low-weight portable chargers and solar panels that can be folded, with USB ports that will allow you to charge your phones.
The Efficiency Of The Portable Solar Panel
The efficiency values are related to the energy conversion rate that turns the energy from the sun into electricity. When the efficiency is high, the solar panel will be smaller in size and it will be able to generate an identical power output.
Invest in a quality portable solar panel as this is the most important indicator of a good panel. The higher this efficiency level, the lower the weight fo the solar panel and the smaller the surface area.
The Best Portable Solar Panels In 2021
Renogy 100-watt 12 Volt Foldable Portable Solar Panel
This is one of the most popular portable solar panels for people searching for off-grid solutions. It is sold with the entire solar power system and it has a very compact design, weighing 26.60 lb.
It also comes with two monocrystalline of 50W each as well as 12V panels, water-resistant Voyager charge controller tied to the back of the panel. It also features a 10-foot cable that can be used with alligator clips.
Jackery SolarSaga 100 W Portable Solar Panel
This model is extremely portable as it can be easily folded and taken anywhere without any hassle. It features a 100-Watt module placed in two distinct panels with a back kickstand so they can be placed on any type of surface at a 450degree angle.
The module’s conversion efficiency can go as high as 23%, which is one of the best in the industry. The solar panel also comes with two USB charging ports for mobile phones and smaller electronics and it also protection against short circuits and surges.
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase
The model comes with tempered glass, as well as a frame made from aluminum and corners that have been reinforced, which means it is perfect for use in the outdoors. It also has kickstands for tilting the panel so the production of energy can grow during the day. The same kickstand can also be removed and mounted on a fix surface. This model comes with a 100W output and this makes it extremely efficient.Fre
Solar power is the most sustainable, reliable, and plentiful source of power we have available to us and if you are thinking about shifting to solar power to provide electricity to your home, know that it will cost a substantial investment up front, but will provide long-term cost savings.
On average, a monocrystalline solar system costs between $ 150 and $ 400. It would only cost between $30 and $50 for small portable solar panels for charging phones and other handheld devices. Depending on scale, model and any gimmicky features, solar blankets can cost anywhere from $50 to $500.
It doesn’t only include the acquisition costs when contemplating the economic feasibility of a solar panel device. The solar PV systems also produce operating costs over the period under study (usually 20 to 25 years).