Solar panels are designed for mobile users who need a light power supply to charge or directly power their various electrical and electronic devices such as cell phones, satellite phones, digital cameras, camcorders, GPS, lantern, laptops, digital tablets, or electric razors… With a rather small footprint,some solar panels bend to better integrate with backpacks and other packages.
Make the best use of your solar panel
Solar panels mustbe placed outdoors; composed of a semiconductor material that absorbs light energy and transforms it directly into electric current,they must absolutely be exposed to direct natural sunlight,and in no case to artificial light. The panel will therefore always be positioned towards the sun, facing south to ensure optimal permanent operation. The ideal is to position them in such a way that the sun's rays hit the surface perpendicularly. Even if a solar panel is likely to produce energy all day, it is considered in France that the real duration of productive sunshine is 5 hours on average per day, this duration has increased the more we go to the South and decreasing towards theNorth.
Be careful, a solar panel is sensitive to temperature and loses about 20% of its efficiency at a temperature of 60 ° C. So avoid putting the solar panel directly on a hot surface such as a stone floor or a car body, and try to find a ventilated position, such as a stretcher for example, or the roof of a tent.
Choosing your solar panel
Solar panels must be chosen resistant, efficient, lightweight, foldable or rollable. The more suitable panelsmake it possible to be autonomous: energy is collected and stored to power the devices. The built-in interconnect ports must be able to chain multiple batteries.
At the output, it is possible on some solar chargers to use rechargeable batteries, and to power a device by USB port. The powers vary from 7W for the base models to 30W. Batteries can also be used as energy storage. It takes from 6am to 10am to charge a 150Wh battery,which can also be charged on a cigarette lighter socket or on a 220V power supply. There are up to 350Whof them. The power delivered and the voltage must correspond to your needs,for this carefully consult the technical descriptions.
For use to directly charge your devices,be sure to choose a smart charging model, equipped with a circuit breaker, overload protection, and an inverter to avoid pressure drops or losses. Waterproofing is a plus, as the device stays outdoors all day.
Price: for a solar chargers, count from 150 € to 700 € depending on the power and size required.
A complementary alternative: storage batteries
You can find all kinds of storage batteries, which can power any device of small consumptions, and which is recharged for example by USB port or directly on a cigarette lighter socket or 220V.The batteries are chainable to accumulate more power. Particularly light, they are very useful in extreme trek.
Price: about 50€ per battery unit.