Portable solar panels are changing lives. This exciting technology makes the impossible – possible. People, organizations, and businesses can go off grid, away from the constraints of an electrical outlet and explore new possibilities. Better yet, solar technologies are becoming more affordable, making them accessible to people from all walks of life.
But there’s one problem. There’s many features and components to consider before you make a purchase. It’s a problem compounded by manufacturers who often give scant product descriptions. This article solves that problem by giving you 13 expert tips for buying the right solar panels for your situation.
How to Choose the Best Portable Solar Panel System
1. Invest in a Higher-Efficiency Solar Panel
Portable solar panels are an excellent option for off-grid applications, emergency power, or backup power. However, you will want to invest in a higher-efficiency model to get the best value and performance out of your portable solar panel.
A higher-efficiency portable solar panel will produce more power per square foot of surface area than a lower-efficiency model. The efficiency rating shows how much energy your panel can generate from the sun's rays. A 100-watt panel with an efficiency rating of 20% can produce up to 20 watts under full sunlight. A 100-watt panel with an efficiency rating of 25% can produce up to 25 watts under full sunlight.
2. Find out What the Manufacturer's Warranty Includes
The best portable solar panels should come with a good warranty from the manufacturer. This will help to give you extra peace of mind that your investment is protected and you can use it for many years to come.
Most manufacturers offer two types of coverage: product and component warranties. Product warranties cover all aspects of your portable solar panel system, including any damage caused by shipping errors or accidents during installation or use. Component warranties cover parts such as batteries or inverters that fail within their specified service life, usually three to five years.
The best portable solar panels will come with a warranty covering the product and component. The length of this warranty should be at least five years for all materials and parts that are expected to need replacement. If the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty on any part of their product, this is a good sign that their product is high quality and built to last. That is why it is vital to always look for companies that offer more extended warranties, as this shows that they have confidence in their products and want customers to be satisfied with them for years after purchasing them.
3. Look for a Durable and Weatherproof Construction
The construction of your portable solar panel is one of the most important things to consider when buying them. The better quality it is, the longer it will last, so you would not have to replace it anytime soon. Some solar panels have a very flimsy construction, so they can easily break if dropped or bumped into something else. The best portable solar power panels are made from durable materials like aluminum or plastic that can withstand a lot of wear and tear without getting damaged too quickly.
4. Check the Portability Features
A good portable solar panel should come with features that make it easier to store and transport around without worrying about breaking or damaging it during transportation. These features include retractable handles, foldable designs, and wheels so that you can quickly move them around whenever needed without straining yourself too much in the process.
For example, some products come with straps that allow them to be hung onto backpacks or suitcases quickly and safely. Others have been designed so that they can stand independently without any support from other materials such as tables or chairs.
5. Consider Your Needs
You must consider your specific needs when looking for a portable solar panel. For example, if you want to use it while camping or hiking, you may want something light and easy to carry in a backpack or bag. However, if you plan on leaving it at home while charging, then the weight is not as much of an issue as long as it has enough wattage to meet your needs. You also need to think about what type of weather conditions you will be using it in. If you live in a place where there is snow or rain during certain times of the year, look for something that can withstand these conditions without getting damaged quickly.
6. Determine the Weight
One of the most critical factors determining how portable a solar panel is its weight. The lighter your solar panel is, the easier it will be for you to carry around. However, as with any other product, weight, and energy output are trade-offs. For instance, if you want a high-output solar panel that can provide enough power for all your needs, it will be heavier than those designed for camping trips or day hikes. So before buying any portable solar panel, make sure that it meets your weight and power output needs.
7. Buy the Right Size
Solar panels come in different sizes, so choose one that fits your needs and budget. If you need something small and portable to charge up your phone while camping, then buying a large, high-powered model would be unnecessary and wasteful of both time and money.
8. Look at the Battery Storage Capability
When buying the best portable solar panels, consider the battery storage capability. This is a significant factor to consider when purchasing your portable solar panel system. You want to ensure that the system you buy has enough storage capability to get all the power you need out of it.
In addition, you will also want to consider the kind of batteries included with your portable solar panel kit. The batteries with these kits will determine how long they last and how much power they can store before recharging.
The more powerful your batteries are, the longer you can use them between charges, and the more power they can store up at once. Most portable solar kits include lithium-ion batteries because these have become very popular in recent years due to their high energy density and low weight compared with other types of batteries such as lead acid ones.
For example, some portable solar panels come with batteries that can store up to 100 watts of power, whereas others have batteries that can only hold 15 watts or less. You should consider buying a portable solar panel with a battery that can store as much power as possible if you want to enjoy uninterrupted use of your devices for many days or weeks.
9. Check the Compatibility with Your Devices
If you want to be sure that your device will work with a particular portable solar panel, then you must find out about its compatibility beforehand. This way, you will not have to go through any trouble later on since there will be no compatibility issues between your device and the panel itself. Always check if they have similar voltage requirements and wattage demands as well as other technical specifications like amperage or maximum power output or input current USB ports for charging purposes and all necessary compatibility needs.
If you want to charge multiple devices simultaneously, you should also consider getting a model with various ports so that all your devices can be charged simultaneously.
10. Check the Customer Feedback
It is always a good idea to check customer feedback before buying any product. The customer feedback gives you an overall view of the product and its usefulness for people who have actually bought it. You can find out whether it is worth spending your money on.
Regarding portable solar panels, you need to be very careful about what you buy because there are so many options available in the market today. So go through some of the best portable solar panel reviews and then decide which one suits your needs best.
11. Check if It Comes with a Built-in Battery
When deciding what portable solar panel to buy, check if it comes with a built-in battery. This is important because it allows you to charge your devices directly from the solar panel. If you have an external battery, you can also use that to store energy and then charge your devices later.
The best portable solar panels will come with a built-in battery, but not all of them do. An external battery can also be used if it has the same voltage as your device. Some of the best portable solar panels come with an internal and external battery so that you can charge both at once or separately if needed.
Battery-less portable solar panels are usually cheaper and lighter in weight, but they require you to carry extra batteries when you go on camping or hiking trips. Portable solar panels with built-in batteries are ideal for campers as they come with a built-in battery storage capacity which can be used to charge your gadgets. You do not need to carry an extra battery pack for charging your devices.
12. Buy from a Reputable Manufacturer or Retailer
The best thing you can do when buying portable solar panels is to make sure you buy them from a reputable seller or manufacturer. This means that they have been inspected by a government agency and approved for sale in the state.
You should also see how long they have been selling these products and how many people have purchased them in the past year alone. If they have been in business for over five years and have an official-looking website, then chances are that they are an established company that cares about customer service.
13. Look out for Mounting Hardware
Mounting hardware is one of the least important things to consider but significant when you are looking for a good portable solar panel. It will determine whether or not you can install your portable panels in different places and how easily it can be done. You must buy a pair of easy-to-install mounting hardware if you want to use your portable solar panels in many other places and locations. The last thing you need is to spend hours figuring out how to put up your portable solar panels.
You should also look for accessories like the extension cord and fuse holders if they are available when buying portable solar panels. These additional accessories will allow you to use your portable solar panels anywhere. The best bang for your buck on a portable solar panel is at Bluetti. Your solar panel or solar generator purchase comes with a two-year warranty. Check out what we have to offer and feel free to contact us if you have questions.