Portable solar panels are also growing in popularity as people look for an easy, sustainable way to charge their devices. Whether you're a hardcore backpacker heading into the wilderness, or a sunbather looking to get some work done at your local park, there's a solar pack for you.
Why Buy Portable Solar Panels?
When you think of solar panels, you probably picture a large black slab leaning toward the sun. Portable versions of these fixed arrays use the exact same technology as solar panels, just bundled in a lightweight design. This makes them ideal for a variety of uses, from powering your recreational vehicle to charging your electronics.
Portable solar panels are also a great way to get renewable energy. While you may not be ready to install a solar roof on your house just yet, charging your phone or laptop with small panels can help you gauge the light levels in your area to see how solar might be able to meet your needs.
Factors to consider
While most portable solar panels are easy to install and use, there is always a lot to consider when investing in a new technology. We've rounded up what we think are the most important factors to consider before you start powering up the great outdoors.
Start by figuring out how much power you need. Some individual panels come in many different wattages, which is a measure of pure electricity. For example, the AES Solar Folding Bag, a panel that can be folded into a compact rectangle with a handle for easy portability, is available in 100W, 120W, 200W, and 300W. Higher wattage designs are larger and more expensive, so the best panel for you will depend on which electronics you want to power.
Low-wattage panels won't prove useless in your quest to move away from traditional energy sources, but they may charge your devices more slowly than you're used to. For best results, look at your device's specs and figure out how much power their charging cables will allow. This can help prevent you from buying a panel that watts more than your equipment limits
Portable outdoor mobile power supply (energy storage) selection
Many portable panels come with the necessary cables and a portable outdoor power bank (energy storage) that you need to store power for later. A portable outdoor power bank (energy storage) is especially helpful if you want to use solar power when the sun isn't shining: lighting up a campsite at night, charging your phone during a thunderstorm, or keeping your batteries on a cloudy afternoon. Laptops running, are good examples. If you want to stock up on solar, consider buying a kit that includes the necessary portable outdoor power banks (energy storage), converters, and cables.
It is also possible to use your solar power immediately without these additional accessories. Many portable battery boards have USB ports that allow you to charge your electronics directly. A small and lightweight option might be all you need to keep your phone or laptop running on sunny days. Forgoing portable outdoor power banks (energy storage) and wires can also help keep the cost of your solar setup low.
The size, weight and design of your portable solar pack will determine its portability. If you plan to drive to a sunny location to get some work done, a more powerful and relatively heavy solar panel might be fine. You can keep it in your car until you reach your destination, so its size and weight won't be an issue. Backpackers and hikers, on the other hand, should opt for panels that are small and light enough not to be a burden on long outdoor hikes. Before you buy, make sure you check the weight and dimensions of a panel, as well as the weight and dimensions of all its accessories.
While most solar panels are at least somewhat weather resistant, not all are truly waterproof. The last thing you want is to ruin your brand new gadget and leave it without power just because it wasn't designed to withstand the outside world. Depending on the intensity of your outdoor activities and the weather in your area, determine the tolerance of your panels before you make a purchase.
The final factor to consider is how much you are willing to spend on your new portable solar panels. There's no way a panel this small will pay for itself through the electricity it generates, but the freedom and access to the outdoors it can afford you is an intrinsic value. Prices will vary based on your panel's power output, energy storage components, and overall volume. This is related to the factors considered in the price of solar panels.
AES PV Technology Co., Ltd. is one of the earliest manufacturers for small solar panels and has been devoted to the production of solar panels and mounting structures from 2008. We are one of the pioneers for small solar panels and its solar applications. We mainly focus on Portable Modules and have been developing higher efficient 545W to 700W solar panels with HJT, Top con and Shingled technologies. If you want to customize the mass production of portable solar panels, please contact us.