Are Portable Solar Panels Worth It? Everything You Need to Know

Shriya Sarang

29th Nov'22
Are Portable Solar Panels Worth It? Everything You Need to Know | OpenGrowth

When you're camping, off-grid, or coping with an emergency, using solar energy is a terrific method to recharge electronics or your smartphone for nothing. Portable solar panels are not usually efficient and are not free. Are portable solar chargers thus worthwhile investments?

What is described as a portable solar panel is exactly what it is. You can use a portable set of solar panels to recharge your phone or a portable battery pack wherever there is sunlight.

If you're going on a long camping trip or engaging in other activities, USB solar chargers are a terrific option. While a portable battery would be my first recommendation, they will eventually run out of power and can be cumbersome if you're going on a hike. Portable power sources are excellent as well, but they are much too large and heavy for the majority of expeditions. Additionally, once you use it enough, the battery will run out.

Consequently, portable solar panel chargers come into play, providing free on-demand power wherever the sun shines. Here is what you need to know, why I own several and a few worth purchasing, despite the fact that they undoubtedly have limitations and speed restrictions.


What's the Process of working on a Foldable Solar Panel?


solar panels


A typical portable panel is typically enclosed in a protective sleeve composed of mesh cloth or plastic, as opposed to a solar panel that you might install on your roof, which is mounted in a fixed, rigid frame and sealed beneath the glass. A typical rooftop solar panel produces 300 watts or more, whereas smaller, less priced (under $50) panels only produce 5 to 50 watts. While bigger panels may include two or three panels in a folding casing, smaller panels are frequently made of a single sheet of silicon solar cells.

The panels have a straightforward jack or group of jacks to supply electricity to various devices. A USB port and a DC output connection are likely to be present, enabling customers to directly charge their smartphones or laptops. Portable lithium-ion batteries are most frequently used in conjunction with portable solar panels to ensure that their energy can be used in any environment. (While it is in use, the battery cannot be charged.) The battery can have a wider variety of output devices, including DC output jacks and common household 120-volt AC outlets.

Although some of the larger panels' output can be comparable to that of a typical rooftop solar panel, portable solar panels are not intended to take the place of rooftop solar panels. They lack the voltage regulation and structural integrity of a properly built rooftop solar system by design.

In contrast, installing a portable solar panel only takes a few minutes, requires no permits or inspections, and poses no risk to your roof.

Crystalline silicon wafers, which absorb sunlight, are used in the construction of all solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The word "photovoltaic" refers to a system in which sunlight's photons dislodge electrons from silicon material to produce a current along the electrical conductors in the cells. Direct current, or DC, leaves the cells in one direction and travels either directly into a device that can use DC electricity (such as a battery) or indirectly through an inverter to produce alternating current (AC), which is used for the majority of household uses.




1. Versatility


Portable solar panels can be configured for various tasks or activities. For instance, a solar panel can be used both when stationary and while moving.

Portable solar panels used for fixed use are typically placed on the roofs of houses, buildings, and automobiles. When using solar panels for these uses, a complete portable power system is typically created by combining the solar panels with a battery and other components.


2. Water Resistant


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 can 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 a torrential downpour if you get them.


3. Overcharge Defense


Charge controllers are included with certain portable solar panels. These charge controllers provide overcharge protection as a result.

Additionally, some of these charge controllers offer capabilities like quick charging. In essence, they regulate the rate at which batteries' electric current flows. Devices may suffer harm if charge controllers are not used.

Charge controllers may also guard against overvoltage in addition to overcharging. The performance of the battery may drastically decline when overvoltage occurs. Please be aware that overvoltage and overcurrent. 




1. Reliability


The usual electricity consumption cannot be satisfied by portable solar panels since they are unreliable and inefficient. This is mostly because they rely on numerous motivating elements. For instance, they will be less dependable under poor weather conditions.

They won't perform at their best on a day that is overcast, wet, or stormy. Compared to the potential output energy, the actual output energy is substantially lower.


2. Pollution


A particularly clean form of energy is solar energy. In other words, it has little impact on the immediate environment.

The production process is the issue. In the Process of making solar panels, a tonne of harmful waste is often generated. Unfortunately, the ecology is severely damaged by these hazardous wastes.

There are currently large amounts of lead and cadmium everywhere. Additionally, industrial byproducts like silicon tetrachloride aren't handled properly. The environment's presence of silicon tetrachloride can gradually irritate the eyes and upper airways. Sadly, cadmium in the environment can harm a person's liver, kidneys, or bones. Cadmium can be a very harmful substance to plants.


3. Demands Space


Although most portable solar panels do not have this issue, the majority of suitcase-style portable solar panels do because they are large, even when folded.

Space is crucial wherever you plan to install your solar panels. Your solar panels wouldn't function if you didn't have somewhere to mount them.

If you live in an urban setting with limited access to sunlight, space will be an issue for suitcase solar panels.


The Conclusion


What types of portable solar chargers should you buy, and are they worthwhile? Again, that solely depends on your preferences, requirements, surroundings, or financial situation. Having said that, I believe a portable solar charger is an excellent investment to have in case of an emergency and is worth every penny for quick weekend camping vacations or going off-grid.

Having a solar charger could be essential for charging phones so you can contact loved ones during a natural catastrophe or for charging a battery so you can operate some LED lights at night.

A hiker will want something light and portable, whereas someone who wants to power daily necessities from an RV or campsite may want a large panel. For those who are interested, there are numerous great options linked throughout. Read more about creating safe spaces online here


We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the best content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. So, do share them in the comment section below.

Writing has been my natural get-away and peace-place. Eventually, I have been drawn to the depths of the world of writing with numerous topics which have fascinated me through time like -
- Business and Finance
- Professional Communication and Skill Development

Through writing, I hope to find the bigger and better purpose of our lives beyond the work-life bitter banter and truly feel worth living in every breath.


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14th Aug'23 09:37:06 AM

Hi Shriya, Thanks for the article about Portable Solar Panels. It is very informative and useful. I also have a similar blog Hope it helps to those people who are still confused about solar panels.