The Ultimate Guide to Portable Solar Panels: Everything You Need to Know

The Ultimate Guide to Portable Solar Panels: Everything You Need to Know

Imagine having your portable power source with you wherever you go. Better still, imagine if all the power you harness was also free. Portable solar panels tick both those boxes.

Lightweight, typically with easy-to-carry handles, they are ideal for hiking, camping or any time you find yourself off-grid.

Find out all about these revolutionary must-haves as we examine why they’ve become such game-changers in the world of portable power solutions.

Understanding Portable Solar Panels

Portable and fixed solar panels share certain characteristics. They both convert photons from sunlight into electricity. The direction in which you point them and the degree of tilt play into yielding maximum energy output.

The most efficient panels generate electricity using monocrystalline cells cut from a single source of silicon.

The main feature that sets fixed panels apart from their portable cousins is their surface area. A larger surface area allows for more solar cells that can generate more wattage.

For added mobility, portable solar panels are smaller in size and, therefore, tend to create less energy than fixed systems.

Types of Portable Solar Panels

You’ll be able to fold most portable solar panels. Some will easily fit into a backpack. Others may be the size of a small but thin suitcase that you can fold in half and carry with a handle.

Most, including those Maxwatt supplies, are durable and splash-proof. You can connect two panels in parallel for faster charging. Maxwatt includes parallel cables with each solar panel.

Maxwatt solar panels have a higher energy conversion rate. Covered by monocrystalline silicon Sun Power solar cells, the panels use multi-layered cell technology to generate energy from sunlight.

They perform better when compared to their polycrystalline counterparts because of a higher conversion efficiency of up to 23.7 per cent.

Key Features to Consider

Maxwatt offers two types of portable solar panels, the 100w MXPROSP001 and the 200w MXPROSP002 versions.

A 100w portable solar panel that gets 8 hours of sunlight per day will make nearly 1 kilowatt-hour per day.

Both types of Maxwatt portable solar panels have cable and USB outputs. There’s a 3m DC output cable with an Anderson plug, and the USB offers 18/36w single or dual output.

Despite being smaller than most fixed panels, there is still a long list of appliances and devices that can run effectively using either Maxwatt’s 100w or 200w solar panels. Items include laptops, smartphones, eskys, fans and lights.

To calculate what you will be able to power, you’ll need to compare the output per day, so one kWh/day for the 100w solar panel, with the needs of your appliance.

A particular fridge may need 3.8kWh/day, so a 100w solar panel would not be sufficient to power it. In contrast, a laptop consumes around 60 watts/hour meaning that a 100w solar panel would be suitable to meet its needs.

Solar Panels and Portable Power Stations

Portable solar panels are ideal for charging portable power stations. Think of the latter as being like the pocket-sized battery pack you might use to charge your smartphone, only on a much bigger scale.

You can use portable power stations to charge all sorts of devices, including slow cookers and small electric coolers.

Remember that if your solar panels are going to be in a place that tends to be cloudy quite regularly, you’ll need to take this into account when calculating how much energy your system will be able to collect.

If pairing your panels with a power station, you’ll be able to tap into excess energy produced during the day. When it’s cloudy or dark, you’ll still have an energy source to draw from. Both Maxwatt solar panels are compatible with our Power Stations, making them ideal for off-grid camping or unexpected power outages.

Ease of Portability

Technology has come a long way in a relatively short space of time. Maxwatt’s 100w and 200w portable solar panels weigh around 4kg and 8kg, respectively. They neatly fold away and are easy to carry or transport.

The panels come with easy-to-set-up stands. You can place these on any kind of surface so that you can start charging using the sun’s energy in seconds. This is what total freedom with access to a reliable power source feels like.

The laminated case is tough enough to maximise the lifespan of the solar panel. Although they’re IP65 water-resistant, you shouldn’t place them directly in the path of rainfall.

Weighing Up Your Solar Panel Needs

Portable solar panels come in varying degrees of size, quality, durability and portability. It’s important to check out the specs of any you’re considering so that they’re the right match for your needs.

If you’re only ever going to be backpacking, for example, you may get away with just having a small foldaway panel. However, if you’re camping and intend to use your panels in tandem with a portable power station, you may still need panels that are easy to carry, but that also offer a bit more extra power for all your devices and appliances.

Maxwatt’s solar panels are ideal portable power solutions for camping and hiking trips. They have also turned working remotely and off-grid with a smartphone and laptop into a reality.

To work out what size of system will best suit your needs, jot down a list of all the devices and appliances you plan to run. The main appliances to consider when addressing energy needs may include:

  • A TV, laptop or smartphone
  • Lighting and fans
  • A microwave and refrigerator

You’ll then need to match the wattage they need with your preferred portable solar panels.

Portable power solutions From Maxwatt

The two portable solar panels Maxwatt offers are durable, efficient and easy to set up. They are compatible with our range of portable power stations. This makes them the ideal choice for all your off-grid needs.

If you still have any burning questions about the range of portable products Maxwatt offers, we’d love to hear from you. Just get in touch with us today and one of the team will get back to you.


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