Solar power isn’t just for homes and businesses – with portable solar panels, you can use the power of the sun on the go. From portable solar panels and solar generators for RV trips to solar phone chargers, there are many kinds of moveable solar products on the market today.
What are portable solar panels?
Any solar panel that can be moved around and used for power away from your home can be considered “portable.” Most commonly, portable solar panels are used for backup power generation on camping and RV trips. These panels are smaller than typical rooftop or ground-mounted panels – standard panels usually produce between 250 and 365 watts of power per panel, while portable panels produce closer to 100 watts.
Solar chargers are another version of portable solar; they are smaller, easily transportable solar devices used for charging phones and other small electronics. Most solar phone chargers generate between 5 and 20 watts of power.
Because of their smaller size, some portable solar panels may come with unique features, such as a kickstand or foldable design that make for easier use on the go.
What are the best ways to use portable solar panels?
Portable solar panels are useful for some smaller solar projects, but won’t be able to provide enough power for your home. If you are interested in maximizing your electricity savings with a rooftop or ground-mounted solar energy system, the EnergySage Solar Marketplace is the best place to start getting quotes and comparing your options.
That being said, if you’re looking for a small amount of on-the-go solar power, portable panels are a solid option to consider. Here are some of the cases when portable solar panels might be right for you:
Portable solar panels for camping/RV trips
A portable solar panel setup is a great option for RV owners who spend long periods of time off-grid (known as boondocking or dry camping). With a few portable panels, you can recharge a solar generator whenever the sun is shining and use that energy to run some appliances while on a trip. Portable panels allow you to leave that noisy gas-powered generator at home and enjoy the quiet natural landscape you’re traveling through.
Just like a rooftop solar system, portable solar panels need several accessories to produce and store solar energy. You’ll need the proper cables, a battery or solar generator, an inverter, and equipment to keep your panels mounted and secure when they’re in use. While portable solar panels can be useful in many circumstances, it is important to make sure you set them up correctly to reap their full benefits. It’s always a good idea to consult a professional electrician when starting to use any portable solar product for your RV or camper.
What are solar generators?
The best way for campers and RV owners to most effectively reap the benefits of a portable solar panel setup is to pair panels with a solar generator, which is a battery equipped to pair with solar panels. With a solar generator system, you can use your portable solar panels to produce free energy whenever the sun is shining, and store that energy for when you might need it later.
Solar phone chargers
Portable solar panels aren’t only useful for serious adventurers. You can purchase small solar chargers that fit in a backpack or your pocket and use them to harness power from the sun. These devices don’t generate and store much energy, but you can use them to recharge a phone or a laptop.
Unlike portable panels used for camping and RVs, solar phone chargers are usually all-in-one devices, meaning you don’t need to do any additional setup to start using solar energy. Simply place your charger in the sun to collect energy, and plug your phone or other devices into the charger when you need to power it up.
Products like the X-Dragon Solar Charger and the Wildtek Portable Charger offer clean energy on the go at a reasonable price for small electronic devices. These won’t power appliances like a microwave, but they can keep your phone up and running for much longer than it’s battery life alone.
Set your home up with solar today
You can use solar energy on the go to keep appliances and small electronics up and running, but solar will save you the most money when you install a rooftop or ground-mounted solar installation to cover as much of your electricity needs as possible. If you want to understand and compare your options for a solar installation on your property, sign up on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. By registering your property, you can get multiple free quotes from high-quality, local installers. If you want to start with some quick numbers on the savings you could see by going solar, check out our Solar Calculator.