Portable Solar Panel: Your Camping Savior
Whether you are traveling for a weekend or for a week, one thing that stays on top of every camping checklist is a solar panel. A portable solar panel is a camping essential. It is a compact, lightweight, and easy-to-use system that allows you to generate electricity on the go.
These help you survive your camping trip by keeping the caravan battery topped up and providing power to other appliances such as lighting, fridge, and water pump. Moreover, they do not need traditional noisy generators to operate, just the sunshine. And Australia has plenty of it!
Let's look at the types of portable solar panels available in the market today.
There are three types of portable solar panels available in the market for camping:
Hard-Frame Folding Solar Panels
Hard-frame folding solar panels are quite an innovation in portable solar panels. These are constructed with two banks of cells and enclosed in a thick aluminum frame. As the name suggests, these can be folded in half from the middle. But there's a drawback: these are quite heavy and inflexible as compared to other options available.
If you want to drive a long-distance and storage is the issue, do not look further than the solar blankets. Solar blankets' innovative design and accessibility have made them a popular option amongst the campers. These are smaller, convenient, compact, easy to transport & set up, and half the weight of the hard-frame solar panels. Not just this, solar blankets are resistant to accidental damage.
Solar mats boast the characteristics of solar blankets. These are lightweight, compact, and constructed with cells coated with durable materials. The only difference between them is that solar mats fold only in one direction and are suitable for free-standing.
Types Of Solar Cells - Two types of cells used in portable solar panels are:
Polycrystalline cells are made from many silicon crystal shards. If you look closely, you will see that many crystals are joined together. Polycrystalline cells are cheap but require a large surface area to produce the power as electrons get trapped and reduce the flow of electricity and efficiency of the panel.
Monocrystalline cells are made from a single crystal. Due to this, the electrons flow freely and increase the panel's efficiency. The appearance of these cells is nothing like that of polycrystalline cells. These look uniform and need less surface area. Moreover, solar panels with monocrystalline cells perform better and have a longer lifespan than those with polycrystalline cells.
What To Consider When Buying A Portable Solar Panel For Camping?
When buying the panel for camping, make sure to consider its efficiency. Efficiency is how well the solar panel converts sunlight into power. It usually depends on the weather conditions. A lightweight and compact portable solar panel is considered to be more effective & efficient than a physically larger one.
Portability is the key factor to consider when choosing your solar panel. Choose a solar panel that is easy to carry & move and does not become a burden on you while camping in the outdoors.
Along with the portability, the solar panel's weight also determines the amount of electricity or power it will generate. This is why we recommend you to go for a lighter one.
Figure out how much electricity you need for camping. The wattage of a portable solar panel depends on what electronics you need to power. The panel with higher wattage is recommended, but it is generally expensive and large. Not that you cannot go for lower-wattage panels, but they would charge your devices slower than you are used to.
Now, you must be clear about which portable solar panel to choose for camping. You need not struggle anymore. You can charge your appliances and keep your electronics running on the go easily with a portable solar panel.