Portable solar panels are a wondrous invention. Whether they’re used to power a cell phone during a camping trip or used to provide power to a work site so power tools can be used, they are an invention that pays for themselves in no time flat and helps the user inch one step closer to energy independence. Of course, before you can actually achieve independence from fossil fuels, you have to take the time to learn the which brands are the best portable solar panels currently available. And that’s why I’ve decided to go ahead and list ten models that I personally feel are the best portable solar panels, so you can save yourself some time and effort.
7. Eco Worthy 12-Volts 100 Watts PV Panel
Designed as a component for off-grid solar panel systems that can be used to provide power for boats, greenhouses or recreational vehicles, this panel system comes with a number of features which make it quite handy. Depending upon available sunlight, it can produce up to 500-watt-hours per day and is easy-to-install thanks to its pre-drilled hole. The panels themselves are made of poly-crystalline and it’s housed in an aluminum frame that allows it to be used outdoors. This unit also has an IP-65 rated junction box that’s dust-proof and water-resistant.
6. Eceen Travel Panel and Charger
This compact and lightweight travel solar panel is small enough to be taken anywhere and can be used to charge mobile phones and tablets. It’s 11.5-inches by 6-inches when folded and a mere 12.8-inches by 12-inches when it’s open and in use. Its panels are highly efficient and have a built-in smart IC that can automatically adjust to the devices which are connected to it to ensure they are charged in the most efficient way possible. This unit has a zip pack design that allows it to be resistant to damp conditions when it’s folded and can be attached to trees, tents or backpacks.
5. Renogy 12-Volt 200-Watt Starter Kit
Designed as a kit that can be used to introduce users to the world of solar power or to add to an existing off-grid system, this products has a number of features which make it ideal for bringing power to RVs, boats, cabins or sheds. This model comes with two Renogy 100-Watt panels, a 30A PWM Wanderer Charge Controller, an adapter kit and an 8-foot 10AWG tray cable. It’s everything needed to start a new solar project and can easily be moved into place. Depending on sunlight availability, this unit can put out up to 1000Wh per day.
4. Acopower 100W Foldable Kit
This kit comes with two pieces of high-efficiency 50-Watt mono-crystalline solar panels and a 10-Amp charge controller. This unit is easy-to-setup and use and comes with a suitcase that allows the user to pack it up and set it up elsewhere in no time flat. This unit has a folding size of 25.6-inches by 19.9-inches by 2.6-inches and only weighs approximately 26-pounds. This kit also has protection from overheating and overcharging and comes with a number of accessories which include a pair of alligator clips, a 15-foot cable, a pair of Anderson connectors and two pairs of MC4 connectors.
3. Renogy 150 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Panel
Able to withstand high winds and snow loads, this solar panel can be used in a variety of different climates. It is EL-tested, has a positive output tolerance of 0 to 3 percent and provides great performance, even in lower light conditions. It’s bypass diodes minimize power loss and its TPT back sheet ensures smooth performance. This panel is ideal for taking on camping trips or for use at a mountain cabin and can be the beginning of an entire off-grid power system, all that has to be done is to pair it with a compatible MC4 adapter kit.
2. RAV Power 24-Watt Panel and Charger
Although it has a small compact size that allows it to be taken anywhere, it also is capable of transforming up to 23.5-percent of the sunlight it receives into energy. This allows it to charge a variety of devices from smartphones to tablets and since it has 3 USB ports, it can charge more than one device at a time. And each of the three USB ports is equipped with iSmart technology, which detects the device being charged and automatically adjust so that the optimal charging current is used. This unit is durable, designed to be water-resistant and is packed with two micro-USB cables.
1. Renogy 100-Watts 12-Volts Panel
Designed with multi-layered sheet lamination with advanced encapsulation material and a TPT back sheet, this panel is able to deliver performance and still maintain its longevity. This unit can resist 5400PA snow loads and 2400PA wind loads, so it can be used in just about any climate. It has water-resistant MC4 connectors rated to the IP67 rating and can be used with either on-grid applications or with off-grid battery applications. And depending on the quality and the amount of sunlight available, this unit can produce up to 500-watt-hours per day. Since it’s only 47.3-inches by 21.3-inches, this unit can easily be taken from one location to the next.
Portable Solar Panels Guide
Ever wanted to camp with the same power as you can get at home? Or just feel like using eco-friendly energy as much as possible? Then a portable solar panel can be a life-changing purchase, but only if you get the right ones.
This is easier said than done and there is a significant difference between the good options and the bad ones. If you are new to solar energy then don’t fret. To prevent you from ending up with a product that isn’t what you expected, we have created the following portable solar panel guide to help clear a few things up.
What To Look For In Portable Solar Panels
This is one of the most important factors you should look for as the portable solar panels need to be able to power the right types of batteries for you to use the power. It also depends on the type of solar panels you buy. The heavy-duty types can be used to power RVs and are compatible with a variety of systems including 6, 12, 24, 36, 48 volts.
Then there are those better suited to camping trips or hiking where a portable solar panel doubles up as a phone charger.
Watts Per Hour
This is the amount of power the portable solar panels can generate and anything too low won’t be worth buying. A lot will depend on the type of portable solar panels you buy. Typically, for powering RVs, products will give you up to 500W of power under perfect conditions so don’t expect this as standard but it is a better sign than those that cannot.
For those used for powering phones, 20 W seems to be standard.
All solar panels are designed to generate power under bright and sunny conditions but what happens when you forget they are on top of your RV or you’ve left them outside? The better products will be protected against bad weather so when the clouds clear and the sun makes an appearance, they are able to work just fine.
A portable solar panel might come with multiple charging ports so you can use it to give your smartphone some juice as well as other gadgets. If you are looking for something a little more compact that gives you a boost of power when out and about, this might be the type of feature you need.
Since portability is the name of the game, you need to be sure the product you buy is lightweight and easy to move from place to place. This isn’t a problem for most products in the niche but you should be wary of anything you will struggle to lift frequently.
Having said that, the bigger the panel, then it is more likely to be able to generate more power.
Because a lot of portable solar panels are designed with hiking in mind, they often come with some neat extras to make life easier. You can find products that have an LED light so you can make an SOS signal in an emergency whilst others have detachable power banks.
Despite the advances in technology, it still has its faults. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well you look after a portable solar panel, you can have issues with a faulty product. To protect yourself when making a purchase, a warranty is always something you should look for.
Do Portable Solar Panels Work?
It is an understandable question and thanks to the advances this useful technology has made over the years, portable solar panels are very effective. They are ideal for use with your RV and can help to make you more eco-friendly when you find the right ones.
There are some powerful enough to be used for larger-scale needs without leaning on the plug ins for help.
Solar Panel Care
A solar panel works best when the sun is shining of course, but there are certain conditions that can make it harder for them to keep their charge.
One tip is to keep the portable solar panels off of hot surfaces such as metal because the heat can be detrimental to the performance of the panel.
Solar Panels And Angles
To get the best out of your portable solar panelsyou need to angle them directly at the sun. This will help them to charge faster and a pack that is pointed to the sun later in the day will charge better than a solar panel that isn’t at the right angle during peak sunshine hours.