Whether you just don’t like to be dependent on the power grid or you simply want to protect the environment and produce some sustainable, electric energy – you need a solar panel. If you’re someone that travels often and likes to enjoy long, camping trips from their RV – you need a portable solar panel.
Owning a portable solar panel can come quite in handy, for both home use and travelling, so investing in the right panel might be something that you need to do. If you’re already in the market for it, let us help you by pointing you towards some of the best ones on market.
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Features To Look For In A Portable Solar Panel
Here are a few things you need to understand about portable solar panels before you go out and buy one. Also, these key features are what we considered when we went out and put this list together.
- Type – In general, there are three main types of portable solar panels – monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous. The main difference between the three is in the way these panels are made. Generally speaking, the monocrystalline ones are the most efficient, followed by polycrystalline and then amorphous, but all of them have their selling points.
- Efficiency – Ideally, you’d want to look for a panel that’s most efficient in converting solar energy into electricity. The better the efficiency is – the more powerful, yet more compact the panel is, which is very important for a portable device.
- Wattage Cells – As a general rule of thumb, the panels with more wattage cells can easily power several different devices all at the same time, so this one comes down to your personal needs and preferences.
- Durability – You’ll want your solar panel to be able to perform well in all kinds of conditions, as well as serve you for a really long time. So, if you stumble upon a deal that seems too good to be true – pass on it.
- Portability – Finally, as you’ll mostly going to use the panels while you’re on the road, you have to consider the dimensions and weight of the panel, as well as some additional features like travelling or protective cases.
Our Top 5 Picks
1. Renology’s 100D Starter Kit
This kit is widely regarded as the absolute champion amongst great solar panels. Inside the kit, you get an 8-foot cable that is used to connect the battery with the charge controller, meaning you can use the kit right away. The wattages you can produce with this one range from 100W to 400W, meaning it will be more than sufficient for most people.
Another quite important thing with this one is the negative grounding controller, which can be useful if your RV’s negative grounded. As far as portability goes, it could be better, as this is a non-foldable panel, but still, it weighs only 20 pounds, so that’s a plus. Also, according to www.futofolia.hu, this solar panel is great in both sunny and shady environments, so you won’t have to worry about it letting you down on a cloudy day.
2. Zamp Solar 120P
The Zamp Solar 120P will generate anywhere from 30 to 40 amps per day, which makes it a solid pick for anyone. It’s a monocrystalline panel, making it as efficient as it comes and it can only get better if paired with an anti-reflective system.
It is very simple to connect this panel to the desired power system, either through an SAE port or directly the battery. Even in cloudy or dim conditions, this one is capable of producing a significant amount of electricity. It has a 120W output, which is what most people need, so no worries there as well.
As far as portability goes, this is one foldable in half, which makes it slightly easier to transfer. However, it’s almost double in weight, weighing in at 35 pounds, but still, that’s a weight almost every grown person can carry with relative ease. Bonus points for including the travel case.
3. HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel
The HQST is a small, portable panel that can easily fit on any rooftop, RV, camper or tiny home. As you can tell from the name, we’re dealing with a polycrystalline panel, making it not the most, but still very efficient. The glass panel is tempered and anti-reflective, but still very transparent, making it highly effective on both cloudy and sunny days without any discernible differences in performance.
In the best-case scenario, you can expect around 500Wh, which should be more than enough for anyone. It’s very portable, weighing in and just 16.5 pounds, which makes it the second-least heavy solar panel on our list. Even though it’s small and light, it’s just as durable as the rest of our picks, if not more.
4. ECO-WORTHY DC-FP40-1
This polycrystalline solar panel from ECO-WORTHY is extremely robust and is widely regarded as one of the best folding solar panels. It’s small and portable enough to be mounted on anywhere you like and considering it only comes at 12 pounds, even your pre-school child could carry it around with ease.
The aluminium frame of this one also makes this one safe to be carried by a child, since it offers an added level of protection and durability, although, we wouldn’t advise letting your children play around with it – we’re just stating they could. The output of this one is around 40W, so, it’s not the most powerful solar panel on our list, but that’s not the main selling point of this one – it’s compactness and durability, not the wattage.
5. ACOPOWER UV11007GD 100 Watt
As you can tell from the name, for our final pick we have something with some extra juice, as the output of this one is 100W. In fact, these are two 50W, monocrystalline solar panels put into one. Considering that we’re talking about a monocrystalline panel, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this one is very efficient (15.4%). In addition to all of that, this one comes with MC-4 connectors, making it easy to connect to any kind of generator.
What stands out even more about this one is the design. This one is equipped with corner protectors, latches, kickstand legs, a handle and many more. It’s a very well built solar panel in every way and is sure to last you a long time. As far as portability goes, for such a powerhouse – it’s a light kit, weighing in just above 33 pounds.
We’ve tried to diversify our picks and try and find the right model for everyone and we can only hope that one of our picks matches your needs perfectly and that you might be willing to try one of them out.