If you love the outdoors, chances are you're also passionate about preserving the planet's natural resources. One of the best ways to do your part is to invest in solar energy. Portable solar panels are a great way to harness the power of the sun, whether you're camping, hiking, or just spending time in your backyard.
In this blog post, we'll review some of the best portable solar panels on the market. We'll discuss what to look for when shopping for portable solar panels, and we'll provide our top picks for both budget-conscious and high-end shoppers. By the end of this post, you'll have all the information you need to choose the best portable solar panel for your needs.
What to Look for When Shopping for Portable Solar Panels:
Not all portable solar panels are created equal. There are a few key factors you should consider when shopping for a portable solar panel, including:
- Watts: The wattage of a solar panel indicates how much power it can generate. Most portable solar panels range from 10 watts to 100 watts. If you plan on using your solar panel to power small devices like phones and laptops, a lower wattage will suffice. However, if you want to use your solar panel to run larger items like TVs and refrigerators, you'll need a higher wattage.
- Weight and portability: If you plan on taking your solar panel with you on camping trips or hikes, weight and portability are important factors to consider. Some solar panels can be quite heavy, so make sure to check the weight before making your purchase. Additionally, some solar panels come with built-in carrying cases or backpacks for easy transport.
- Price: Portable solar panels range in price from around $50 to $500. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to portable solar panels. Higher-priced models tend to be more durable and efficient than their cheaper counterparts. However, there are some great budget-friendly options available if you know where to look.
- Reviews: With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are worth your money. We reviewed the best rated solar panels and put them in this article for you to safe you time and money.
Now that we've gone over what to look for when shopping for portable solar panels, let's take a look at our top picks in both the budget-friendly and high-end categories.
Top 5 Portable Solar Panels:
Budget Friendly Solar Panels:
#1. ROCKPALS 120W Portable Solar Panels with Kickstand Foldable Solar Panel Charger
ROCKPALS 120W Portable Solar Panels with Kickstand Foldable Solar Panel Charger
ROCKPALS 120W Solar Panel comes with a 4-in-1 cable compatible with Rockpals power stations and most portable power stations on the market. It is also ideal for backup power use for phones, tablets, cameras and other USB-charged devices in direct sunlight when electricity is unavailable.
Note: This item can't store electricity.
Made of monocrystalline silicon solar cells, this solar panel can convert up to 23.5% of solar energy into free energy for power generation. Broad daylighting area(71.5x18.1x2.2 inches) after unfolding and adjustable kickstand let you maximize solar collection.
Note: Cloudy weather or lack of sunlight will affect its output.
Solar Panel can be folded into a compact size(19.6x18.1x2.2 inches), with a rubber handle, easy to carry on the go. This portable solar panel, made from an PET-laminated case, is durable enough and IP65 water-resistant and perfect for outdoor activities such as camping, climbing, hiking, picnic etc.
#2. BLAVOR Solar Panels 30W Premium Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Panel Charger
BLAVOR Solar Panels 30W Premium Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Charger
- Higher Conversion Efficiency: Made with monocrystalline silicon solar cells, and using high-efficiency multi-layered solar arrays, these solar panel chargers convert up to 28% of solar power into free energy, providing significantly better performance than other conventional panels.
- Two Fast Charging Outputs: With QC3.0 24W and DC 18V1.6A outputs, easy to recharge your phones, tablets, and other devices. Included a DC cable and 3 adapters to charge the power station or drones. The wide compatibility is enough to meet your charging needs outdoors.
- High-Quality Solar Panel: The solar panel with high transmittance ETFE film and water-resistant fabrics, offers high endurance and a longer lifespan. You could adjust the angle of the panel at will to obtain a higher output power, thereby greatly shortening the charging time.
- Perfect Choice for Outdoors: 30W solar panel features a foldable and space-saving design for easy storing and carrying. Equipped with 4 metal hanging holes, you can easily hang it on your backpack or a tree to get solar energy while RV camping, on off-grid trips, hiking, climbing, etc.
Portable Solar Panel Charger ALLPOWERS
- ALLPOWERS 200W foldable monocrystalline solar panel has high conversion efficiency, which is up to 24%. 200W foldable solar panel generates more energy and perform better than conventional solar panels in any weather.
- Made with advanced laminated technology and long-lasting ETFE material on the surface, this foldable solar charger is more durable and scratch-resistant. It is IP67 water resistant that will protect from high pressure water jets from any direction.
- This portable solar panel is lightweight , foldable and flexible( folded Size: 20.67*21.06 inch, net weight: only 11.02lb). Adjustable kickstands make it easy to install and adjust its angle for better sunlight absorption. The handle makes it easy to carry outdoor for camping or RV.
- The monocrystalline solar panel with MC-4 Output(25A max) is compatible with most solar generator/portable power station on the market. The portable solar panel includes different size of connectors( MC-4 to Anderson, MC-4 to DC cable) for ALLPOWERS portable generator,such as 606wh and 1500wh.
High End Solar Panels with Generators:
Goal Zero Yeti 6000X Portable Power Station
- Power your fridge and keep your home running during a blackout with the Yeti 6000X solar-powered generator and included Boulder 200 solar-panel charger pair. It’s equipped to power whatever you need wherever you need it.
- There’s no need for a gas generator with the Yeti 6000X solar generator with panels included (2 Boulder 200 Briefcases). This solar-power station has a massive 2,000-watt output and long-lasting power with a 6,000-watt-hour battery so you can power your world.
- The Yeti 6000X equips you with safe, clean, portable power for everything from camping and tailgating to off-grid events and at-home backup. Take this power generator with you whenever and wherever you need to get your devices and appliances up and running.
- Charge the Yeti 6000X from the sun with our Boulder 200 Briefcase solar panels for unlimited power. An integrated MPPT charge controller ensures your portable solar generator gets the most efficient solar charge possible.
#5. ALLPOWERS SP037 Portable Solar Panel Waterproof
ALLPOWERS SP037 Portable Solar Panel Waterproof IP67 Foldable
- With MC-4 Output ports, ALLPOWERS 400W solar panel provides 37.4V huge power for your solar generators, such as ALLPOWRS S1500/S2000/S2000 Pro and other large generators on the market. Effectively shorten charging time, make you enjoy the sunshine energy as soon as possible.
- ALLPOWERS 400W solar panel is equipped with advanced polycrystalline solar modules and can convert up to 22% of sunlight into usable electricity. High efficiency saves more space. And even a cloudy day, you can receive solar power.
- This solar panel also withstands extreme weather like frozen or heat. Consists of multiple layers of flexible EVA and robust glass fibers for greater durability and mobility. It is also IP67 protecting from scratches, dust and water splashes.
- Folded size only 41.3*104*2.5inch,40.8lb. Portable solar panel 400W has 5 foldable panel, can be folded into a square when stored or transported. Great for RV travel, it's easy to fixed on the top of RV.
FAQs about Portable Solar Panels:
How Do Solar Panel Work?
Solar panels, or photovoltaic (PV) systems, are devices that capture energy from the sun’s rays in order to generate electricity. Solar panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electrical energy via the photovoltaic effect.
The PV cells inside of a solar panel absorb photons and use them to cause electrons in an atom to flow, resulting in a build-up of charge on each side of the panel.
This is known as the photoelectric effect and it creates an electric field which transports electricity out of the cell and into wires connected to other solar panels or electrical systems like batteries or inverters.
The process starts with sunlight hitting the solar panel surface which consists of several layers; one of them being photovoltaic cells made from a crystalline structure formed by silicon atoms arranged in two separate columns called n-type silicon and p-type silicon.
When light particles (photons) interact with these atomic structures they cause electrons within those atoms to move around between each column creating charge separation across their junction known as a “p-n junction”.
When there is enough movement between these two types of semiconductor materials in this way it produces DC power that can be harnessed as usable energy for various applications such as powering homes and businesses!
In order for solar panels to be effective at converting sunlight into usable electricity they must be regularly maintained so that dirt doesn't accumulate on their surfaces and interfere with efficiency levels over time.
What are the Advantages of Solar Panels?
Solar panels offer a number of advantages, both for the environment and for homeowners. From an environmental perspective, solar energy is without a doubt one of the most sustainable sources of energy.
It does not use any fuel or emit any toxic pollutants into the air, unlike fossil fuels. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also reduces our dependence on finite resources like oil and coal which are being rapidly depleted.
From a financial standpoint, solar panels can be extremely cost-effective in the long run. Once installed, they require almost no maintenance costs while providing free electricity throughout their lifespan (usually up to 30 years).
They will also increase your home's value if you decide to sell it in the future as buyers are increasingly looking for homes with renewable energy systems already in place.
Additionally, many governments offer tax incentives or other subsidies that help offset initial installation costs over time so you'll make back your money even quicker!
Finally, solar panel technology has become more efficient than ever meaning they produce more power per square foot than ever before so homeowners don’t have to sacrifice large amounts of outdoor space just to have an adequate amount of power generated from them.
All these factors combined make solar panels one of the best options when it comes to affordable and green energy sources!
How Long Solar Panels Last?
Solar panels, or photovoltaic (PV) cells, typically have a 25-30 year lifespan. While they are designed to last much longer than that, the efficiency of the solar panel will start to degrade and decrease over time.
Generally speaking, most solar panels should be good for at least 15-20 years before their output decreases noticeably.
To ensure that your solar panel lasts as long as possible and provides maximum power output you should maintain it properly.
Be sure to keep dirt & debris from collecting on the surface of the panel and regularly inspect it for any damage or discoloration which may indicate an issue with wiring connections or other components of the system.
On average, proper maintenance can add 5-10 years onto its expected lifespan in ideal conditions!
Do Solar Panels Work When is Cloudy?
Yes, solar panels do work when it is cloudy. While the amount of energy they generate depends on the amount of sunlight available, solar panels remain capable of producing electricity even in overcast skies.
The photovoltaic cells that make up a panel typically produce between 15-20% of their rated wattage during inclement weather. That means for an average home system at 4 kW output, about 600-800 watts can be expected to be produced on a cloudy day compared to approximately 4000 watts on a sunny day.
This difference will vary depending on the wavelength, intensity and direction of light that reaches the modules surface. On days with more intense clouds or higher humidity levels can decrease output even further by blocking out some extra ultraviolet and infrared rays that are beneficial to powering PV cells.
While this may seem like a significant drop off in power (especially if you need immediate electricity due to cloud coverage), fear not! Solar batteries paired with your PV panels can help counteract any decreases in production caused by adverse weather and provide reliable storage throughout situations such as these; allowing you to store energy generated from sunny days for use during overcast ones and any other time you're short on supply!
By installing solar battery systems alongside your existing array, you'll always have access to clean energy no matter what Mother Nature throws your way!
How Many Watts of Solar Energy Do I Need to Power a Small Size RV?
The amount of solar energy you need to power a small size RV depends on several factors, including the size and layout of your RV, as well as how much energy you plan on using.
Generally speaking, for a modestly sized RV with one or two occupants and minimal energy usage, approximately 250-500 watts of solar power is sufficient.
However, if your RV is larger than average or contains more occupants who use more electricity on an everyday basis (such as running air conditioning), it may be necessary to up the wattage by another 50% to 100%.
On top of that, many companies are now offering solar panel kits which come with extra racks and other components that can fit onto a typical large rooftop.
Each additional panel usually generates up to 270 watts for installation directly onto the roof of your recreational vehicle. Therefore, depending on what type and how many items are within your vehicle and how often they require electricity – in total you may need anywhere from 500 - 1000+ watts in order to properly equip an individual's small sized RV with enough solar energy supply.
With the newfound knowledge of portable solar panels, it's easy to begin your own journey into the wide world of energy sustainability and exploration. From powering small electronics on camping trips, to finding ways to make life a bit easier through renewable energy sources, portable solar panels offer endless possibilities for their users.
Once you've taken your decision on solar panel energy, don't forget the power of simply appreciating the sunshine and its potential by checking in with yourself during your travels and explorations - no matter what they may look like.