These portable panels are green products that can convert direct sunlight into electricity. This power output source is a technological advancement on the more popular roof-mounted system.
The typical portable solar panel is budget-friendly and efficiently produces watts of power that enable you to power electrical appliances with ease under ideal conditions. These portable systems are now available for camping trips and even home use.
The increasing popularity of this type of solar panel system has prompted many people to ask: how do portable solar panels work?
Portable Solar Panels – The Basics
At the core of every portable solar panel is a coordinated assembly of photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells are energy-harvesting mechanisms that, through exposure to sunlight, can convert radiation into electrical power.
In the past, solar panel systems were bulky and heavy, causing them to be permanently installed. However, thanks to advancements in solar panel cell technology, that’s no longer the case.
With this new age of emission-free power generation, hard-frame panels and other larger panels are being replaced with portable solar panels that provide maximum power output that rivals their predecessors.
How Do Portable Solar Power Station Generators Work?
The surface of portable solar panels is divided into numerous small cells known as photovoltaic cells. These photovoltaic cells each consist of two thin layers of silicone.
In the presence of direct sunlight under ideal weather conditions, an electric field is created between those two layers by photons. The electric current generated is then transported by thin, metallic strips known as busbars.
The busbars channel the flow of electricity into any available battery or power bank where it is stored. This source provides the wattage power necessary to fuel basic appliances and electronic devices like your cell phone.
A portable solar panel setup is usually smaller than the larger panels specifically designed for home or commercial use. These solar systems generally feature special designs like a foldable design, flexible panels, a kickstand, and in some instances, a carry case.
Beyond this, portable solar panel systems are no different than your standard roof-mounted system in that they also require additional tools to properly produce and store the generated solar power.
For example, even with portable solar panel kits, you still need a solid solar battery charge controller. The solar charger controller is necessary to regulate the electric field produced by these solar setups.
Naturally, you’ll also need an energy-efficient battery and an inverter, as these are essential if you want to use portable solar setups with your regular household appliances.
What Is Included in a Complete Portable Solar Panel Setup?
A complete portable solar panel setup includes a solar charger controller, a battery bank with strong battery life, and an inverter. If you are using portable RV solar panels, you also need to bring certain camping appliances.
Each of the following components are necessary for establishing a complete portable solar panel.
- Solar Charge Controllers
While solar panels generate electric current, this isn’t usable power in its purest form. You need a charge controller to ensure that the electrical power provided from this setup is readily and safely available to you.
To that end, one of the functions of the solar charge controller is to prevent the reversal of the electric current from the battery to the portable solar panel. Another key function of this device is preventing battery overcharge.
Lastly, some solar charge controllers come with built-in memory. This memory records certain events and alarms with a time and date stamp, making them perfect tools for troubleshooting.
- Battery Pack
Portable solar panels are incomplete without this fixture. A good deep-cycle battery is essential to power devices when out on a camping trip.
Choosing a quality battery is important, as these batteries are constantly being charged and discharged. A cheaper battery construction won’t be able to handle this strain and will ultimately give out on you.
This is a tool used for converting direct current (DC power) into alternating current (AC power). Solar battery storage will only provide electrical power in DC. The electric current isn’t useful to household appliances and most basic appliances.
With your inverter, you can make the solar energy that’s been converted and stored in the battery pack readily accessible to power devices.
- Camping Appliances
If you’re on the road and solely relying on emission-free power generation, then you want to have appliances like coolers, cookers, and lights that are energy-efficient.
How Much Power Can Portable Solar Products Generate?
These portable panels can generate anywhere from 210 to 320 watts of power in standard test conditions. However, not all portable systems and setups are capable of this feat at all times.
Some of the variables that influence how much power you can get from a portable solar panel include:
- The efficiency level of the flexible panels or film panels
- The size of the solar panels, as larger panels will usually get more direct sunlight, ensuring that they generate more power
- The level of exposure to sunlight available, since efficient solar generators cannot do much in adverse weather conditions
Reports show that the average household consumes roughly 40 kilowatt-hours of electric power each day. Provided you have an efficient battery, choosing the best portable solar panel systems can give you about 10% of your electrical power requirements.
So how do portable solar panels work? They work by converting direct sunlight into electricity.
You don’t have to go dry camping anymore. With the right solar panel setup, you can get all the DC and AC power you need to have that downtime you want on the road.
The one thing left to do is learn how to maintain solar panels, and you’re good to go!