If you know your science, then you know that solar radiation or energy from the sun is the primary energy source for most systems on Earth.
Myriad devices need charging these days, from phones to cameras and GPS trackers to smart watches.
On extended trips, outdoors community members bring along spare batteries and several power banks, but instead of being saddled with spare gear, portable solar panels might just be the right solution.
Some adventurers will benefit from it more than others.
Cyclists on long distance tours can hook up the solar panels on their backpacks and charge power banks and devices while they clock in the kilometres. Hikers on open terrains can do the same.
Anglers venturing into the wild blue yonder for multi-day trips in search of specimen-size fish can lay the solar panels on the roof of their boats to charge their gear. This is especially good on boats with weak generators that churn out just enough juice for the boats’ night lights.
But campers entering dense tropical jungles will have trouble finding sufficient sunlight on the jungle floor.
For those who expect to get a lot of “fun in the sun”, or for those who just want the satisfaction of being able to use solar energy, portable solar panels are good, and on cloudless days, you’ll be surprised by how much electricity you can get from the sun.
To ensure you have the right solar panel for your outdoor adventures, consider factors like power output, size, durability, solar panel type, charging time, and brand reputation.
Assess the energy requirements of your devices. Choose a solar panel with sufficient wattage output to match the combined power needs of your devices. Consider the merits of solar panels with built-in power banks too.
Prioritise portability by selecting a lightweight, compact yet powerful solar panel that fits easily into your backpack. If it is powerful but large, you might be better off carrying several power banks in the first place.
Outdoor environments can be harsh, so opt for sturdy solar panels with reinforced frames and tempered glass. Look for weather-resistant panels with an IP65 or higher rating to protect against water and dust.
Evaluate the solar panel’s charging time and efficiency. A more efficient panel converts more sunlight into energy, providing faster charging and better performance.
Look for solar panels with features like various USB ports, LED indicators, and built-in charge controllers. USB ports enable direct device charging, LED indicators show the charging status, and charge controllers protect your devices from damage.
Before buying, research the brand’s reputation and read user reviews to get a feel of the real-world performance, durability, and customer satisfaction. There are cheap knock-offs out there, so be wary when a deal looks too good to be true.
By considering power output, size, durability, charging time, efficiency, features, and brand reputation, you can find the perfect portable solar panel so that even when you run out of power, you know that the sun is always going to rise.