Portable solar products are an eco-tech way for camping or hiking. It has always been a great way to make a temporary escape. Especially from routine lives. However, people cannot fully withdraw from the connections. Those established with their electronic devices. The need of charging those devices when out in nature. It has become more and more prevalent. Adding to this is the reliance on electrical energy. All for other needs such as refrigeration or lighting. This leads us to the discussion of portable or off-grid power generation.
Solar Panels for Camping and Hiking Needs
Staying connected to the grid becomes increasingly difficult. Especially when it comes to outdoor adventures. Those that take you away from the comfort of your electrical grid. The locations can usually stretch far beyond the available facilities. You know of motels, also gas stations, and others.
In such cases, the ultimate and free source of energy is the sun. It always proves to be a reliable source if you are prepared with solar panels, preferably portable, and compatible battery packs for night usage.
Modern adventures can demand the uninterrupted operation of everything. I mean from mobile phones and laptops. Then to mini-refrigerators and other electronic appliances. Portable solar panels are specially created for outdoor use. They have a stronger build and compact, handy designs.
Solar panels should be selected. All depending on the required cumulative power. That’s for the appliances and their duration of use. They also come in a variety of power outputs ranging from 1W to 200W. The higher the power output, the more energy you can harness. However, with the increase in power output comes the increase in dimensions and weight. All challenging the portability of the panels.
Selecting the Right Portable Solar Products
As mentioned before, the perfect selection of solar panels is a delicate balance between power rating and weight. You will also need batteries, the most recommended being deep discharge batteries. Deep discharge batteries provide more charge capacity in relatively smaller sizes.
The selection of panels and battery systems should be done in a way that they are mutually compatible. For example, most or all batteries come with a 12V input. Panels, on the other hand, can range from 14V to over 40 volts. A major benefit of buying portable solar panels is that they come with a 14-22V output so as to suit the battery voltage ratings.
Besides the technical compatibility, portable solar panels are desirable for the added attention towards their strength and durability. Many panels come with stronger frames and even reinforcements such as corner protection. Additionally, since they are not supposed to be placed in a single location permanently, they can also come with an integrated mounting system, such as a kickstand.
To make frequent connecting and disconnecting easy and safe, unlike regular, non-portable panels, portable ones can also come with their positive and negative terminals modified into a single pin or a jack. This eliminates the possibility of incorrect connections.
To improve the portability of such panels, they are usually constructed from higher efficiency materials, such as monocrystalline cells instead of polycrystalline. In some cases, by using thin-film panels, the manufacturer can offer the unique feature of panel flexibility. Panels are able to roll or fold like mats. Unfortunately, this may put a serious limit on efficiency because flexible thin-film technologies are yet to reach high numbers of efficiency.
So with such a host of available features, it is easy to get confused. The key is to identify your needs clearly and decide on features that you really need. For example, if walking long distances with your panel is one of the criteria, then the weight is a higher priority than ease of setup or aesthetics are.
When making a choice it’s always a good idea to look for a certain set of features. These include relatively low weight, a sturdy frame, and portability features such as easy plug pins, foldable stands, and panels. If you are comparing the costs of different portable solar panels only, it can be an important criterion for selection, as there can be a larger range of prices than you expect.
From a small number of very basic products just a few years ago, we have come to an age of a large variety of portable solar products. It may be overwhelming while making a choice. If you are unsure about which product suits you best, take a look at the portable solar panels ecotality recently reviewed.
In conclusion, modern times require a blending of outdoor adventures with the use of technology for an enriching and memorable experience. Portable solar panels are perfect in this aspect. With a growing market, it is often difficult to make an informed choice. The key is to gauge the consumption and other requirements wisely and choose what fits your needs best.