The advantage of Portable solar panels

Advantages of Portable Solar Panels

Portable solar panel kits have several important features which make them unique premium quality products:

  • They are completely waterproof, including the solar charge controller, so it can be used in any weather conditions
  • Folding Monocrystalline solar panels are made of high quality solar cells which can offer high efficiency.
  • The protective bag which is offered in a kit is a sturdy protective case made with a layer of foam which prevents accidental damages to the frame and glass
  • Advanced fully automated charge controller provides complete overcharge protection and supports several battery types with different charging parameters for maximum efficiency.

Portable solar panels are great for when going outdoors and in need of electricity to power appliances. Their small size allow for easy maneuverability, a 12v portable solar panel kit is the size of a briefcase, therefore easy to store somewhere and can offer a more reduced power output, depending on the size it can be 80 – 120W of power. Such kits include a stand, solar charge controller, 5m cable and a storage case and also includes everything needed for charging the battery bank.

How Portable are Solar Panels?

Portable Solar panels for households and businesses have become a very common sight in all over the country. Entire neighbourhood can be seen decorated with solar systems, as more people benefit from financial incentives that lower the cost of these. However, one niche has not been filled yet, transporting solar panels anywhere with ease. Until now.

Portable solar panels are exactly what their name suggest, small sized panels which can be taken anywhere. Yet, one “disadvantage” is their limited power output, however they are intended for powering small appliances on the go. Even so, their portability is the key feature, the panels differ in sizes, but even the biggest can all easily fit into a normal size car for transporting.

 

How to position solar panels

Many campers talk about 30 degrees as being the optimal angle at which to place your portable solar panels. While this is a reasonable approximation in many cases, the correct answer is a little more complicated. In fact, the optimal angle is primarily affected by two factors: the latitude of the place in which you are camping, and the time of year.

In ideal conditions (i.e. the warmer seasons), the angle of your solar panel should, as close as possible, match the latitude of the place in which you are situated.

Using solar in partial shade or cloudy weather

You can use portable solar panels in cloudy weather or partial shade, but bear in mind that their output will drop significantly compared to ideal conditions. From a 200W panel, you can expect up to 11A or more per hour in ideal conditions, but this can drop to 3A per hour or even less in full cloud or inclement weather.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Portable Solar Panel 

Whether you are looking for a portable solar panel for the RV or a smaller solar panel for a backpacking kit, learn about the various products’ features and specifications to make certain it’s the best portable solar panel for your purposes.

Size and Weight 

Size can actually refer to both the physical size and the size of the power output, but here, the focus is on the physical size and weight.

A solar panel’s size can be limited by its intended purpose. For instance, hiking with a 36-by-24-inch solar panel in the backpack might be difficult, but this size of solar panel is an excellent option for an RV. Choose a solar panel that’s large enough to gather the required energy, but small enough that it’s not a burden. A lightweight portable solar panel could weigh as little as 1 pound, while a heavy-duty portable solar panel can exceed 60 pounds.

Efficiency Rating

The efficiency rating is typically dictated by the type of portable solar panel.

  • Monocrystalline portable solar panels have the highest efficiency rating because they use a single piece of pure silicon crystal. Their efficiency ratings can exceed 20 percent.
  • Polycrystalline portable solar panels, with an efficiency rating ranging from 15 to 17 percent, are close to monocrystalline in efficiency, but they fall just short because of the impurities in the silicon wafers used to make the solar cells.
  • Thin-film portable solar panels vary in efficiency among products because they’re made with a variety of different materials. However, they typically have an energy efficiency rating of just 11 percent.

Higher efficiency is always better, but these products also cost more than low-efficiency solar panels.

Power Output 

Because of the differences in materials used to make the solar cells and the number of solar cells in a panel, power output also depends on the type of solar panel.

  • Monocrystalline portable solar panels are the best choice for power output. Some monocrystalline solar panels have power capacities that exceed 400 watts (W).
  • Polycrystalline portable solar panels and monocrystalline solar panels come in standardized sizes, including 60, 72, and 96 solar cell variants, and often hit a maximum of 200 watts.
  • Thin-film portable solar panels vary between products, but thin-cell solar panels rarely have power capacities of 100 watts or more.

Device Charging

Also determine goals for the charger; those who want to charge their devices directly should determine if a product has the outputs that allow for a direct connection. Many portable solar panels are designed to connect only to a battery. Other products connect with an RV battery or a car battery to provide power to the vehicle and its accessories.

While a boat or an RV may have built-in power outlets, when the engine isn’t running, the alternator isn’t recharging the battery. Connecting it to a portable solar panel can provide the power necessary to charge devices without draining the battery.

Battery Integration 

Adding a battery to a portable solar panel ensures stored energy is available even when the sun has gone down. However, only specific portable solar panels can connect to a battery. Some products are designed to connect directly to devices through USB ports, while other solar panels are made for charging vehicle batteries specifically.

To connect a portable solar panel to a vehicle battery, attach the positive wire from the solar panel to the positive battery terminal and attach the negative wire to the negative terminal—the same configuration used to connect a solar panel to a portable battery. However, a charge controller may be necessary to prevent the solar panel from overloading the battery and causing a reverse flow of energy from the battery to the solar panel.

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