10 Best Portable Solar Panels – Reviews and Buying Guide
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Portable solar panels are an essential part of portable generators to produce power through sunlight, Finding the best among the many solar panels available in the market is not an easy task. With more and more people these days understanding the importance and effectiveness of solar power generation, the best solar panels are being manufactured by different brands.
When you compare different options available in the market, you will have to consider factors like wattage, price, and efficiency as key features when shortlisting the best options. The size of the panel is another key factor, because it decides the convenience of your solar generator kits. Yes, you should understand how well it converts solar energy into electrical energy. Temperature co-efficient is also another factor to consider.
Solar-powered generators generally have solar panels and portable power stations sold with them. But, for some generators, you will have to shop for the panels yourself. Irrespective of the solar generator you have bought, here are some top options:
- The Best Durable Solar Panel: ECOFLOW 160 Watt Portable Solar Panel for Power Station
- Panel With High Conversion Efficiency: Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel
- The Best Weather-proof Panel: Goal Zero Boulder 100 Briefcase, 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Most Powerful and energy-efficient panel: BLUETTI SP200 200w Solar Panel
- Universal Portable panel: BALDR 120W Portable Solar Panel
- Panel with Smart Charging efficiency: ROCKPALS RP082 100w Foldable Solar Panel Charger
- Good Panel for charging mobile devices: FLASHFISH 50W 18V Portable Solar Panel
- Panel Compatible With Most Power Stations: ECOFLOW 110 Watt Portable Solar Panel for Power Station
- The best Panel for Jackery Explorer power stations: Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel for Explore
- Best RV solar panel: DOKIO 18 Volts 160 Watts Portable Solar Panel Kit
The Best Solar Panels Based On Different Grounds
Are you wondering whether you need complete solar panel kits for solar power generation? You can find the answer to this question from the detailed review of the top solar chargers here:
1. ECOFLOW 160 Watt Portable Solar Panel for Power Station
This foldable solar charger is portable. Above all, it weighs just 7 kg or 15.4 lbs. You can just unfold this panel for capturing solar power within seconds when you are camping outdoors. You might wonder why we have rated this panel to be the best durable option. It is because it comes with a protective cover and a kickstand. So, you can safeguard it from external elements and it has a unique design as well. The kickstand enables the placement of this panel either at a 60 or 90-degree direction to the sun.
Above all, you can easily connect this panel with power stations from the same brand. Not just a power station from this brand, you can also connect it to the Goal Zero Yeti power stations. To do the same, you will have to connect the MC4 to an 8mm adapter. Of course, you will be interested in knowing about the high conversion efficiency of this panel. It is 21-22% and the MPPT algorithm delivers improved performance in the cloudy and cold atmosphere within the operation range. For durability, it has an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance. Also, the single-piece design makes it the best choice for hiking and camping. The ETFE film offers an additional level of protection against UV light. In turn, the lifespan extends.
- Possibility to connect multiple solar panels
- Adjustable kickstand
- Possibility to control solar charge
- Takes a longer time to charge
2. Solar Saga 100W Solar Panel from Jackery
Among the best solar panels for home, we have chosen this panel because it has impressive conversion efficiency. This panel has been designed by Jackery to power its Explorer 1500, 1000, 500, 300 and 240 power stations. Further, this panel comes with 2 kickstands. They help with placing the panel in any area that gets the utmost sunlight in your home. It will not take much of your time for setup. Within a few minutes, it will start soaking your Jackery power station with solar energy. When you are engaged in off-grid adventures, you can carry this panel with ease because of its TPE rubber handle.
You might wonder what makes this panel provide a high conversion rate. The reason is that it is covered by monocrystalline silicon solar cells. With a high conversion efficiency of up to 23%, this panel performs far better as compared to other panels in the market. Above all, it adopts multi-layered cell technology for the generation of energy from sunlight. To safeguard from splashing water, this panel has IP65 water-resistant rating. It comes with an ETFE-laminated case. Also, this panel features a USB-A and USB-C output port. It means that you can charge two of your smartphones simultaneously and directly from this panel.
- 80% solar charging in 6.5 hours
- The utmost solar efficiency
- An upgraded MPPT Controller
- FCC and ROHS Certifications
- Short-current and surge protection
- The design makes it less portable
3. Boulder 100 Briefcase Solar Panel from Goal Zero
Among the solar panels for house with a weather-proof design, we have rated this panel as the best. Do you know why? The Boulder 100 Briefcase panel has been made using an anodized aluminum frame with tempered glass covering and added corner protection. In turn, it stays as a king when it comes to panels with a weather-proof design. Further, it comes with a built-in kickstand that will let you position the panels in such a way that it can continue to get the utmost solar collection. Further, it will be a space-saving option as well as you can fold it away like a briefcase. This design makes it easy to transport as well. For the utmost solar capability, you can also connect this panel with many Boulder panels.
This panel has been field-tested in different environments to prove its efficiency. You can use this panel for powering the Goal Zero Yeti power station. Not only for solar power generation for home use but you can also use this panel to generate power when you spend time outdoors camping with your family and friends. All components of this panel have been designed to ensure ease of use.
- Lightweight design
- For easy transport and carrying, it comes with a protective canvas bag
- Built with tempered glass for stronger corner protection
- It has two 50 watt panels connected by a hinge
- Dependable and durable design
- The kickstand has a fixed 45-degree tilt
- Cables are short
4. SP200 200w Solar Panel from Bluetti
It is the best solar panel for camping because it has a portable design. We have rated it as one of the powerful and energy-efficient panels because this monocrystalline solar panel comes with high conversion efficiency. As it offers an impressive 95% transparency, it performs better even in low-light conditions. Further, this panel has been made using advanced laminated technology and long-lasting ETFE Material on the surface. This feature ensures that it remains scratch-resistant and durable. To safeguard the panel from splashing water, it carries IP65 water-resistant rating.
This panel offers an impressive fold size of 20.7 x 20.5 inches and weighs 14.3 lbs. So, it is somewhat easy to transport and install. It is compatible with different models of power generators from Bluetti. The rubber handles with this panel makes it easy to carry. Also, it has four adjustable kickstands that permit easy installation. For better sunlight, you can adjust the angle of the kickstand as well.
The panel has pre-drilled holes that permit faster hanging and mounting. It is easy to install with most lithium power stations and even solar generators. This feature makes this panel the best choice for Overlanding, RV, camping and other outdoor activities. The SP200 is a 200-Watt monocrystalline solar panel that brings it a higher conversion rate and efficiency as compared to a typical solar charger/generator.
- Premium quality
- 200W is sufficient for powering up most generators from Bluetti
- High-efficiency rating
- Easy installation
- Durable design
- Restricted output compatibility to charge smartphones
5. 120W Portable Solar Panel for Power Stations from BALDR
Among the other solar panels, this panel is known for its portability. Above all, it is compatible with most solar power generators. This panel comes with 8mm, 5mm, 1mm and MC4 DC adapter cables. These cables ensure that you can power not only Baldr portable power stations but also Togo Power, Flashfish, Rockpals and Jackery power generators. Even, it has a USB interface that helps with charging digital cameras, GPS, iPads, iPhones, tablets and other smartphones.
The built-in smart IC Chip has the efficiency to identify your devices intelligently, thereby making the charging speed high. Even, you can keep an eye on the charging current in this power station. Further, the monocrystalline solar panels come with adjustable brackets. So, it converts a higher percentage of solar energy into free energy for the generation of power. When this panel is combined with the Baldr power station, it can create a solar generation system to store power for backup. With an IP65 waterproof rating, it can withstand all types of weather conditions. This panel has been made with five charging protections. They are short-circuiting protection, overload protection, overcurrent protection, overcharging protection and voltage control protection. All these safety features make the safe to handle for everyone in the family including kids.
- IP65 waterproof design
- 5 charging options
- Offers different
- Multiple intelligent protection options
- Multiple USB Outputs
- The performance of the built-in kickstand is not satisfactory
6. RP082 100W Portable Solar Panel from Rockpals
Are you wondering why this panel is rated as the best solar panel for smart charging efficiency? The reason is that it has the ability to charge your devices at 4 times faster rate. It can provide four times quicker charging speed for your DV, tablets, and smartphones because it comes equipped with one USB QC 3.0 and one USB C Output. The good thing about this panel is that it is compatible with most solar generators in the market. By using a parallel cable, you can easily connect a couple of solar panels with the same RPO82 100W to produce more power.
Further, to ensure more energy generation, this foldable panel comes with high conversion efficiency. It means that it can generate more power when you place it in an area that gets strong sunlight. This feature makes it an ideal choice for camping and outdoor life. It has a foldable design with a handle. So, you will find it convenient to carry, wherever you go. All you have to do is to slightly adjust the angle of the kickstand to get 25% more sunlight as compared to laying it flat on the ground.
- Comes with a kickstand and handle for easily using and transporting
- For extra protection, Oxford cloth outer layer has been used
- For faster-charging USB port has been designed with Quick charge 3.0
- Better energy efficiency
- 4 times quicker charging
- The junction box that comes with this unit is not waterproof
7. 50W 18V Portable Solar Panel from FF Flashfish
You can use this panel with FF Flashfish Solar-powered generators for power generation. Also, you can directly charge your mobile devices with this panel. This is one of the best panels for charging mobile devices on this list. Also, the USB smart charging technology it uses makes it the best in this domain. It comes with a built-in smart IC chip. It identifies your mobile devices with intelligence. Also, this technology ensures that your devices can stay protected against overloading or overcharging. Also, due to the smart charging technology it uses, the device monitors the charging current of USB ports and adjusts them automatically as per the sunlight.
Further, it is compatible with most solar generators in the market. Not just FlashFish Generators, it can power, Paxcess, Suaoki and Goal Zero generators as well. It is known for its high efficiency as well. For easy transportation, it looks like a suitcase when folded. Also, for ensuring transportation, it has been made with just 3.66 pounds of weight. To give instant charge from sunlight, you can hang it on your tent, RV or you can spread it out on the beach. The unique feature of this device is that you can use the 18V port and USB ports simultaneously. In turn, you can save time in recharging your devices as you need not have to wait for one device to get charged before recharging the other.
- USB Smart charging technology
- Better Conversion Efficiency
- Can use 18V and USB ports simultaneously
- It does not work properly initially when kept idle for long
8. 110 Watt Portable Panel from EF Ecoflow
You can power up any solar generator with this panel as it has been designed to work so. Yes, it is compatible with most generators in the market for powering them. It has been designed with a flexible bracket stand and rubber handle. Also, the stand can be adjusted from 0-180 degrees. It means that you can adjust it to make sure that the panel gets the utmost sun exposure for power generation. For easy transportation, you can easily fold it and take it in the associated storage pouch. Even, the pouch has been made using durable fabric material to safeguard the unit from occasional rain. For this feature, this panel turns out to be the best choice for outdoor activities and camping.
As compared to other solar panels, this unit comes with a chainable feature that enables you to connect this unit to four or even more Ecoflow 110W panels using an MC4 cable. It means that irrespective of the place you go within a few moments of solar charging, you can gain ample power to your power station. Apart from these features, this unit is waterproof. It means that it can withstand different weather conditions. It is the best choice for outdoor activities like hiking, climbing and camping for this purpose as well. Even, you can submerge this panel in water for about 30 minutes and this move will not harm the unit.
- Can stay in water for 30 minutes without harmful effects
- Comes with a storage pouch
- Easily foldable
- The kickstand is adjustable from 0-180 degrees
- High transparency
- The kickstand is not able to withstand heavy wind
9. SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel from Jackery
Do you own a Jackery Explorer Power Station? If yes, you can power the station enough with this unit. Together with this panel and the Explorer Power Station from Jackery, you can create solar panel kits. Of course, you should buy both separately. This panel comes with short-circuit protection, surge protection and over-power protection features. Also, the simple kickstand setup will help you easily charge this panel by placing it under direct sunlight. The stand leans to any angle for soaking the panels in the sunlight. It comes with an IP65 waterproof rating. Jackery has made this portable and foldable panel for on-the-go charging when you camp or when you are outdoors on a trip.
This unit comes in an ETFE-laminated case. This case is durable enough to extend the life of the panel. The case that comes with this panel has zippers that will help you easily carry the power cords. Even, the zippers will help with covering the power port. The weight of this unit is just 6.6 lb and it is foldable as well for easy carrying. It comes with a handy TPE rubber handle for easy carrying.
- Weighs only 3.3 lbs for easy carrying
- Made using durable ETFE Material
- It comes with a couple of USB Ports to recharge your devices
- Higher energy transmittance
- Rubber handle for easy holding and transporting
- Smart-charging design
- Is not compatible with power generators other than the ones from Jackery
10. 18 Volts 160 Watt Solar Panel Kit from DOKIO
This solar charger is the best overall because it is offered as a complete kit. It starts working immediately out of the box. It works for almost all power stations from different brands. Further, it has a lightweight design that makes it easy to carry. This feature along with the 3m cable length from panel to controller makes it the best companion both for outdoor and indoor use.
With powerful conversion efficiency, it will help you get the utmost power to your power stations. By reducing mismatch loss, it ensures the utmost system output. This photovoltaic solar panel packs 160W of power. However, it weighs only 4.1 kg and is 2.4 cm thick. In turn, it is easy to move, hang, transport, and mount. This unit provides power to all 12V batteries and it protects against short-circuit, overload, and overcharging.
- An ideal choice for emergency and outdoor use
- Works out of the box
- Foldable and lightweight design
- Greater power efficiency
- Lengthy cable
- Absence of metal D-Rings
What are Solar Panels?
Solar panels are devices that are helpful with the absorption of the sun’s energy such that a solar generator can convert it into heat or electricity. These panels are a collection of photovoltaic or solar cells that generate electricity using the photovoltaic effect. Solar energy, as most of us know, begins from the sun. These panels are helpful with the conversion of the light from the sun into electricity. The light from the sun is composed of particles of energy known as photons. These particles are converted for powering electrical appliances.
We can describe the best solar panels as a set of photovoltaic modules. These modules are constructed on a structure that supports them. A PV Module is something that is not only packaged but also connected using 6 x 10 solar cells. You will be surprised to know that solar energy is being used for more than 100 years now. But, in the present situation, solar panels by powering solar generators are helpful with bringing life to a wide range of applications. You might have found these panels in smaller sizes in calculators. But, to your surprise, they can help with powering your entire home or commercial building.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels help with the collection of clean renewable energy in the form of sunlight. You might have heard about a solar-powered generator. It is powered by panels. These panels encompass many individual solar cells. These cells are composed of different layers of silicon. They get a positive charge from boron, while the negative charge is provided by phosphorous.
Solar panels initiate electric current generation by absorbing the photons. The energy that the photons generate by hitting the surface of the solar panels gives way for the electrons to get out of the atomic orbits. They get unlocked towards the electric field that the solar cells have generated. Then, it drags the electrons that are not engaged into a guiding current. This entire thing happening in the process of power generation is called the photovoltaic effect. When you take the case of an average home, it will have sufficient roof area for the installation of many solar panels as per the requirement. In turn, these panels will help with the production of sufficient solar power for supplying to the power needs. The energy generated by these panels is more than what is used by the family goes into the main power grid. In turn, the power grid will supply energy during the night when the sun is not available for the panels to generate power.
You might be aware that the DC power generated by a portable power station using solar energy cannot be used by electrical appliances. This is where a portable inverter generator gets into the picture. It will convert DC into AC or usable energy. Then, the AC energy will flow through the electrical panel of your property and it will get distributed accordingly.
Thanks to portable solar panels that will help you with power generation on the go when you camp. In turn, you can use the power generated for charging your mobile appliances.
What Are the Benefits of Solar Panels?
Renewable Source of Energy
Different from dual fuel generators, gas-powered generators, and portable propane generators, solar panels can connect to portable electric generators to create clean energy. Solar panels for home help with the generation of electricity from the most renewable source of energy, which is more eco-friendly compared to other portable fuel generators. And it is an essential part of the RV solar generators, which ensure you have no worries about electricity during traveling. The sun is always available to gather this renewable energy and so you cannot run out of solar energy like other energy sources. Scientists say that the sun is going to live here to provide us the energy at least for five billion years.
Reduces Electricity Bills
As you are going to meet some of your energy needs with the electricity from the solar system, you will find that your energy bills will reduce. It is not that you can use camping solar generators only when you camp. Yes, you can use the energy that these panels generate to power up some of your appliances in your home based on the output it produces. Of course, the money you can save on your electricity bills will vary based on the size of your solar system and your heat and electricity usage.
Let us consider that you own a business, where you install commercial solar panels. Of course, you will have to spend money initially for buying these panels and installing them. But, once installed, you can have huge benefits as the large system size can cover huge chunks of your energy bills. Above all, apart from saving on your electricity bill, you can also get payments for the surplus energy that you export to the grid if the panel is connected to the grid.
Wide Range of Applications
You can use the energy generated by the best solar panels for many purposes. With such a panel, you can generate photovoltaics or solar thermal. The energy that the panels generate can be into home back batteries in the daytime. In the evening or any situation when you need it, the energy can be used for producing electricity in areas that do not have access to power grids. Even, it can be used for distilling water in areas with restricted clean water supplies. Also, the energy can be used for powering satellites in space.
Low Cost of Maintenance
A solar generator does not need a lot of money and time to be spent on maintenance. All you have to do is to keep the generator clean. It means that you can clean them around two times a year. If you cannot handle this cleaning yourself, you can find cleaning services specialized in cleaning them. As you will be getting the service of such a company only once or twice a year, your per-year spending on such a service will be minimal as well.
When you take the domain of solar-powered generators, it is constantly developing. Even, it is believed that its development will intensify in the future. The effectiveness of this power-generating system will improve with continuous innovation made in nanotechnology and physics. These developments can double or even triple the input and output of these panels, thereby bringing you more benefits soon.
How to Choose Solar Panels?
Of course, a solar-based portable power station is easy to set up. However, before you buy this piece of equipment, you will have to consider different factors to make sure that you end up with the best. Here are a few of them:
When it comes to shopping for portable solar panels or camping solar panels, the right place to start is to figure out how much power you need to generate. Some panels offer different wattages, which is the measure used for evaluating pure electrical power. For instance, some panels look like briefcases. So, you can easily carry them. Above all, they are offered in different wattage capacities like 50, 100, and 200. Of course, the variants with higher wattages are not just larger but cost higher as well. However, you can power more of your devices when you go for a panel with a higher wattage capacity.
2. Gain Some Knowledge on the Types
When you intend to buy solar panels for a home or camping generator, you should remember one thing. Not all panels are similar. You can come across three possible types of these panels to select from. One kind is a monocrystalline panel. This type of panel will be heavy and rigid. However, they are efficient and can assure you of durability. Even, you can find these panels in different shapes.
The second kind is polycrystalline panels. These panels are similar to the first type. However, they are slightly less efficient and are blue in color.
The final choice available to you is CIGS. It means Copper, Indium, Gallium, and Selenide. This type of panel will be thin and flexible. The problem with this type of panel is that it is not durable.
You should choose one of these types based on where you will be using the panel and how long you want it to last.
3. What Is Your Budget?
You may be thinking about buying camping solar panels. Otherwise, you might be thinking about buying them for your home. Irrespective of your requirement, you should first fix a budget for yourself. The price of these panels varies greatly based on the capacity and size. When you take the case of portable variants, they will cost you less as compared to units that you intend to buy for powering up your home. When you intend to set a solar generator, you will be shopping for other items as well. Examples include solar inverters, solar charge controllers, solar regulators,solar battery chargers, and other accessories. These appliances will alone help you access power from the panels. Initially, of course, you will have to spend more on these panels. However, in the long run, they will help you save a lot on your utility bills.
4. Gadgets to Be Powered
Before you buy the best solar panels, you will have to create an honest list of appliances that you wish to power with the power that these panels generate. This list is important as it will not be possible to power all appliances that you wish to power using the electricity generated by the panels. Even, the most elementary setups can help with powering LED bulbs and phone battery or a DC fan. But, when you wish to power your camping refrigerator and other appliances, a panel with a smaller capacity may not be sufficient.
5. Climate of Your Area
Another key point to consider when you intend to buy a solar generator is the weather in your area. Will you get sunlight on most days in your area? Otherwise, will it be rainy and cloudy on most days of the year? The reason is that the charging time will differ based on the climatic conditions in your area. When you intend to choose a solar-powered generator, it is better to ensure an energy conversion rate of about 21.5 to 23.55%.
In general, the daily peak sunlight hours will be 7 hours roughly. However, this will differ based on your location and month. When you intend to use the generator for a camping trailer, it would be good to use a monocrystalline panel. The reason is that this type of panel will work well when it gets sunlight straight. Even, you can adjust some portable panels in an ideal position, where they will get the utmost sun exposure.
6. Consider the Design
When you intend to buy a portable power station, it would be a good idea to consider the design. It is better to check whether it is weather-resistant, while it will be best if the unit has water resistance. Also, you should not forget to check the portability of the unit. It means that the design should be such that it is portable. Further, it should have been designed with handles, loops, straps, or grommets to make it easy for attaching to tents, panniers, backpacks, and bikes.
7. Look at the Power Storage Options
Many portable solar panels come with essential batteries and cables you will need for storing the power that they generate for use later. Just in case, you plan to use the energy they generate when there is no sun, it is better to ensure that the panel comes with a power bank. When you intend to store more power than the panels generate, it would be good to shop for a kit that encompasses cables, converters, and batteries for saving the power for later use.
Even, some people think about investing in these panels to instantly charge their smart devices. In this case, there should be USB ports in the panel as they will help with directly charging your electronics. If you want your laptop and phone running on a sunny day, a lightweight and small panel can take care of your requirement. When you forgo cables and batteries, you can actually cut down your total spending on these panels.
Your requirements will differ based on whether you plan to buy solar panels for home or camping solar panels. Compare the appropriate options available in the market and make the most suitable choice.
FAQs – Solar Panels
How Long Do Portable Solar Panels Last?
In general, solar panels are built to last. Many users have expressed that they were told that the panels will last for nearly 25-30 years when they bought them. It does not mean that they will stop working after 30 years. They will continue to work. But, energy production will decline after working for around 30 years. The only thing you will have to ensure is that they do not get any physical damages. There are chances of damage to the panels from external factors like debris and wind. The reason is that portable solar panels do not have any moving parts.
A portable solar panel can break only from within and can be damaged only by outside forces like inclement weather and a poor racking setup. So, if you plan to buy a portable solar panel, it would be good to ensure that it has a rust-proof aluminum body. Also, the legs and frames should be rust-proof. The panels should have heavy-duty latches that can withstand wear and tear. Further, ensure that you shop for a panel that is weather and waterproof.
How to Use Portable Solar Panels?
You can use a portable solar panel in many ways. For instance, you can use a panel for charging devices like laptops, mobile phones, portable music players, and even car batteries. When you are camping, you can also watch television with the power that these panels generate. They can be used as an RV generator to electrify your RV and your camp. Some models of solar panels these days come with built-in LED lights. Without consuming much energy, the LED lights will make your camping spot bright.
A solar panel will work by capturing rays from the sun. Then, the light from the sun captured by these panels is converted into useful power with a help of a charge controller or regulator. Mostly these panels come with USB ports. Using these ports, you can recharge your mobile phones, Bluetooth headsets, tablet PCs, and laptops. When you are not camping, you can also use these panels at your home. When at home, recharge and discharge the panels so that they continue to work with no issues.
Are Portable Solar Panels Waterproof?
Thankfully most solar panels these days come with waterproof features. Most panels in the market can withstand ordinary outdoor rainfall. Some come with water splash protection. But, if it rains heavily, there are chances of damage. If the entire panel including the LED lights in the panel comes with an IP65 rating for waterproofing, it can resist not only rain but also damaging dirt particles in the air. When it rains mildly, it will be good for the panels as well if the panels you have shortlisted are waterproof. The reason is that the rainwater will wash away dirt if any in the panel.
If it rains, it is better to ensure that you place the panels in such a way that water won’t stand in the panel. It means that when you place them in a slanting position, water will run away. Even, if it rains, solar panels can continue to generate power from the sun. Of course, as compared to summer, the power production might reduce in the winter. But, still, the panels will continue to generate energy.
How to Connect Portable Solar Panel to Portable Power Station?
As you are intending to connect your solar panel to a portable power station, buy a panel without a charge controller. The reason is that most power stations come with a charge controller built-in. To connect the solar panels to power stations, you need MC4 connectors. This connector will have two heads. One of them is positive and the other one is negative. They look like male and female connectors, respectively. If you have confusion with the positive and negative parts of MC4, a multimeter can help you with this. However, in most cases, male connectors are positive and female connectors are negative. When using a multi-meter, put the red wire into the male connector and the black wire into the female connector.
Some panels do not come with MC4 but will have a single DC output port. In most portable power stations, you will find an 8mm DC input. Even in some of them, you will find the Anderson port. To connect the panel to the 8mm DC input, you should have an 8mm adapter. So, if your solar panels do not come with this adapter, buy the adapter separately. Now, get to the solar panel and connect the male and female connectors to the spots. When connecting, ensure that the portable power station can handle the voltage capacity of your panel. Now, connect the panel to the DC output in the power station and you are ready to go.
Can Portable Solar Panels be Combined?
Just in case, you have two solar panels with the same power and voltage, you can easily connect them parallelly. All you have to do is to wire the positive pole of one panel to the positive pole of another panel. Then, connect the negative poles of the two panels. To establish these connections, you need MC4 Y-branch solar connectors. Only a few panels with the opportunity to expand come with this connector. If not available, buy the connector separately.
The power generation ability of both panels will be at their best when you place them close to each other. Also, ensure that they are oriented to the sun at the same angle. Also, according to the distance of the panels, ensure the selection of the most suitable section of electric cable.
How Many Solar Panels to Charge A Portable Generator?
The answer to this question depends on the watt capacity of the solar panel you have and the battery capacity of the portable generator. Let us consider that you have a portable generator with a 150AH battery. To fully charge this generator, you need a 300Watt Solar panel. The reason is that a 100-watt panel can approximately generate around 5 amps of power if there is no load running on the battery.
To identify the suitability of solar panels to a portable generator, you should know the discharge capacity of your 150Ah battery. Let us assume it is at 80%. in this case, charge only 80% of the rated capacity. The reason is that the battery cannot be discharged less than this capacity. In short, the answer to this question relies on many factors. The most important of them is the capacity of your solar panels and the batteries in your portable generator. It relies on climatic conditions as well.
How to Clean Portable Solar Panels?
The first thing you should do before cleaning your portable solar panels is to check with the manufacturer. The reason is that different manufacturers provide different recommendations on how to clean their panels. When you have placed them in an area with the hottest summers, they can get incredibly hot. So, it is better to ensure that you clean them either in the morning or at night. Otherwise, choose a relatively cool day.
You can splash water using your garden hose. This method will help with the removal of most of the dust and debris. But, if a lot of dust has accumulated, a thorough cleaning might be needed. In this case, you can fill a spray bottle with warm water and soap. Without the need for any special equipment, you can clean the panels using a spray bottle. Use a soft cloth or sponge to clean the surface of the panels. Do not touch the wiring underneath. Once cleaned, make sure that the water is dried completely. Cleaning at least once a year is important for solar panels. The reason is that dust, debris, and bird droppings can reduce the efficiency of solar panels to a great extent.
What Size Portable Solar Panel Do I Need?
The answer to this question relies on the type of appliances you wish to power using solar panels. Remember that all electric devices right from your portable chargers to refrigerators are measured in Amps. It denotes the fastness of the flow of the electric current into the device. It means that bigger power denotes more electricity. Calculate how much electrical load you will require. You should know the total amps that those devices will draw from the solar panels. You can get to know the amp capacity of each device right from the device body itself.
Knowing the amperage will aid you with identifying just how big an auxiliary battery you will require. Further, decide on the size based on how long you will power the devices using the power generated by the panels. This is called amp hours or Ah. It is the total number of amps generated from the number of hours you should draw the electricity.
From these best solar panels for home, you might wonder which one to select. But, before you know that, it is better to understand what to consider when you plan to buy foldable solar panels. Here are a few points to consider:
- Lightweight and easy to carry around
- Has a kickstand to position it in such a way that you can get the best sun exposure to the panels
- Ports to charge your mobile devices directly
- Works well even in shaded areas that do not get much sunlight
Of course, you should check whether you can expect top performance and quality. It is needless to say about the price as you will consider price without any doubt before you choose one. We have reviewed solar panels for house and outdoor use. Based on our review, we would like to recommend the following choices to you:
- For Jackery Power Stations: Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel for Explorer
- Longer Cord: 18 Volts 160 Watt Solar Panel Kit from DOKIO
- Longer Water-Resistance: 110 Watt Portable Panel from EF Ecoflow
The idea here is that from these best solar panels for house and outdoor use, you can evaluate your needs and accordingly make the best choice.