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Does Portable Solar Panel Worth It?

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

It makes sense to utilize renewable energy to run our everyday operations at a time when the planet's resources are getting harder to come by. Solar power is gaining popularity as a source of renewable energy. After decades of progress, solar energy can now supply power for several items used in daily life, including solar water heaters, lights, and other items. However, there is a rising need for portable solar panels at the same time. So, do portable solar panels worth it?

Let’s see how does solar panel work first?

A device known as a charge controller or regulator is used by portable solar panels to capture the sun's rays and transform them into usable electricity. After that, a battery is connected to the controller to maintain power.

Portable Solar Panel gain power from sun rays
Sun Rays is the resource of solar power

An intelligent transmission of electricity from a solar panel to a battery that is appropriate for the battery's chemistry and charge state is made possible by a solar regulator.

A competent regulator will include several programs for various battery types and a multi-stage charge algorithm (often 5 or 6 stages). While many older or less expensive devices are restricted to programs for AGM, Gel, and Wet cell batteries, modern, high-quality regulators will contain specialized programs for lithium batteries. It's crucial that you use the appropriate application for the sort of battery you have.

Reverse polarity, short circuit, reverse current, overcharge, transient overvoltage, and overtemperature protection are just a few of the electronic safeguards that a high-quality solar regulator will have to protect the battery from.

What should be considered and How to choose portable solar panels?

Learn about the features of the various solar panel products to ensure it's the best portable solar panels for your needs, whether you're searching for portable solar panels for the RV or a smaller solar panel for a hiking gear. Here are eight tips to choose solar panels you can follow:

1.You should Choose Portable solar panels Depending on Your Aims, Considering Size and Weight

Portable Solar Panel intalled onto a movable cart
Movable Carts suitable for garden

What size portable solar panels do I need? It depends on where you are going to us it, the size should be different for backpacking and for an RV.

Portable solar panel used to charge vehicle
Charging Vehicle by Portable Solar Panel

The application for which a solar panel is designed could have size restrictions. For instance, it can be challenging to hike with a big solar panel in your backpack, but if you're using the panels for your RV, that should be your only choice. Select a solar panel that is big enough to gather the energy you require while also being lightweight. A light-weight portable solar panels may just weigh one pound, but a heavy-duty solar panel may weigh more than sixty pounds.

2.What is Your Use Frequency of the Portable solar panels?

Portable solar panels have many advantages, but if you just use them once and then store them in the garage after a vacation, it's a waste of money. You also need to consider the caliber and robustness of your solar panels. Look for metal legs and a strong structure that won't corrode. Look for sturdy locks that can survive road bumps, are simple to install, and can withstand the wear and strain of being packed away. Additionally, a high-quality portable solar panel must to be weatherproof.

3.Different Solar Panels Different Charging Time

Charging Mobile Phone
Charging Mobile Phone

Charge times may be impacted by the weather. The generators are unaffected by dense clouds or the weather, as shown by a reliability comparison of generators and solar panels. The only thing you need to keep the generator operating is gasoline. Solar panels, on the other hand, depend on exposure to sunshine. You must also take into account your location, the season, and the anticipated temperature. However, using the latter is more economical. The size of your panels and how much sunshine you receive will determine how much energy they produce. The optimal time to generate solar energy on your panels is during peak sun hours. The energy conversion efficiency of a decent portable solar panel should be between 21.5 and 23.55 percent. Depending on the month and where you are, the peak daylight hours range from 1.4 to 7.4 hours every day. The finest solar panels for camping trailers are monocrystalline solar panels since they perform best in direct sunshine. The finest solar panels for caravans are monocrystalline portable folding panels. It enables you to set the panel exactly where you want it. With a handle, corner guard, and dust cover, it is portable. The weight of the solar panel is 12.6kg due to the aluminum frame.

4.Efficiency Score, the type of portable solar panels determines the rated efficiency.

Comparation between Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline
Comparation between Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline

The most efficient portable solar panels are monocrystalline, which only employ a single crystal of pure silicon. Their effectiveness rates might be higher than 20%.

Polycrystalline portable solar panels are nearly as efficient as monocrystalline silicon, with efficiency ratings ranging from 15% to 17%, although they are somewhat less effective because of imperfections in the silicon wafers used to create solar cells.

Thin-film portable solar panels are constructed from a range of different materials, which causes their efficiency to vary from one product to another. However, they often only have an 11 percent energy efficiency rating.

Although more efficiency is usually preferable, these goods also cost more than solar panels with lower efficiency.

5.Cost of the Portable Solar Panels

A Common Solar Panel
Common Solar Panel

The size and capacity of portable solar panels affect their cost. Solar panels for camping trailers are a little more expensive, comparing with the portable solar panels for RVs. Portable solar panels for backpacking are often more affordable. When installing a solar panel system, you must additionally purchase solar conditioners, sometimes referred to as solar charge controllers, and solar inverters. These enable you to use solar panels to generate electricity. The good news is that there aren't many additional costs after the first setup of solar panels, which might make the initial configuration of solar panels a bit pricey.

6.Different Energy Output for different solar panels

Due to the various materials used to create solar cells and the amount of solar cells in a panel, the power output also varies depending on the kind of solar panel.

For power production, monocrystalline portable solar panels are the best option. Some monocrystalline solar panels may produce more than 400 watts of electricity (W).

Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline portable solar panels come in conventional sizes with 60, 72, and 96 solar cell options, with output often reaching 200 watts.

Few thin-film solar panels have a power capacity of 100 watts or more, while thin-film portable solar panels range in size depending on the model.

7.Always Check whether the Portable solar panels can Charge your Item Directly

Also consider the charger's intended use; users who wish to directly charge their devices should check to see whether the device has an output that supports this. Many portable solar panels are built with merely the battery as a point of connection. To power the vehicle and its equipment, some connect with RV or automobile batteries.

RV installed with solar panels
RV with Super Portable Solar System

A boat or RV may have an integrated electrical outlet, but while the engine is not operating, the alternator won't charge the battery. It may be possible to charge the gadget by connecting it to a portable solar panel without using up the battery.

8.The Portable Solar Panel needs to fit the Battery Properly

Use battery to charge devices
Sometimes Battery is a Solution to Protect Your Device

Will you be spending three days or longer in a tent? If so, determine how many watts each of your devices need. You must determine your daily use and choose the linked devices. You may figure out how much power your devices will require each day by calculating the total amps they consume each hour by the number of hours you intend to use them. You may calculate the overall number of amps required for your camping trip by dividing it by the entire number of days you anticipate being away. Batteries for solar panels are a must as well. Its overall storage capacity ought to be greater than your estimated daily consumption. To ensure that you always have enough energy, do this. The battery life shouldn't be depleted because doing so would reduce its longevity. Invest in a solar panel that will produce more electricity than you will need each day if you intend to be gone for an extended period of time. This will guarantee that your battery is always completely charged.

Does portable solar panels worth it?

Well, given what we now know about what to look for when picking a solar panel, are solar panels worth to have? Let’s see some pros and cons.

Advantage of Portable Solar Panels


Portable solar panels may be customized for a variety of uses.

The majority of portable solar panels cannot be used stationary. They are made for users who are constantly on the move. Small gadgets like cellphones and lights may be powered/charged on the go with portable solar panels.

For activities like camping, hiking, fishing, and more, portable solar panels are fantastic. These portable solar panels frequently function with portable solar generators. They are utilized to refuel solar generators that serve as backup power sources.

Party in front of a RV
You can Use Portable Solar Panel in lots of Locations and Occasions

2.Water Resistant

Can portable solar panels get wet?

The majority of compact, foldable, portable solar panels are water-resistant rather than waterproof. The majority of waterproof solar panels may be put on a house, cabin, or car.

Additionally, the charge controller may benefit from the waterproof function as well. This characteristic adds to its adaptability. You can be sure that waterproof panels and accessories will hold up well in torrential downpour if you get them.

3.Deliver Green energy

sustainable living logo
Green Energy from Sunshine

As you may already be aware, the sun produces solar energy, a renewable resource. Solar panels can take in this energy and transform it into power that may be used for daily activities. Renewable solar energy is not confined to any one place. The beauty of solar electricity is that it can be found and used anywhere.

4.Low Maintenance Cost

Solar panels surprisingly require relatively little upkeep. It works best when frequently cleaned for maximum effectiveness.

Then, how long do portable solar panels last?

The finest portable solar panels for camping have a long lifespan if properly maintained. Between 25 and 30 years are the typical lifespan of a portable solar panel kit before its energy production starts to decrease.

Disadvantages of Portable Solar Panels


cloudy sky
Solar System works worse in cloudy days

Portable solar panels are unreliable and unable to supply the necessary amounts of power. mostly due to their reliance on several drivers. For instance, when the weather is bad, they are less dependable.

On days that are overcast, rainy, or stormy, they won't function at their best. Compared to the potential output energy, the actual output energy is substantially lower.

2. Space Needed

Space is a must regardless of where you intend to place your solar panels. Without a location to set up solar panels, they won't function.

But in general, as long as they are conveniently foldable and tiny, the great majority of portable solar panels may be utilized in practically any circumstance.

Generally speaking, your use case and goal will determine if a solar panel is a wise investment. But there's no disputing that customers all over the world are getting more and more interested in portable solar panels, which turn solar energy into power. With the advancement of technology, solar panels should perform better, have fewer usage limitations, and last longer.

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