Portable Solar Devices - Instant Electricity!

Imagine fishing, camping, hiking - going to the beach for extended periods of time without having to worry about losing your cellphone charge, or worrying about when your mp3 player battery might be going dead. Portable solar chargers and PV panel strip generators now make these trips possible. New solar powered equipment can be as small as your fist, and can easily be plugged into any small electronic device to generate instant power or electricity.

As photovoltaic cell technology gets better, easier, and cheaper than ever before, exciting advances have recently been made in portable solar power. From something as simple as flipping open a small tri-paneled device to provide power for an IPoD or cellphone to a more elaborate full-sized solar-powered generator, the freedom given by these products is enormous. Wilderness and desert settings far from any power source can suddenly generate sun-given power through foldable, portable solar panels. Campers can operate blowers, water pumps, and even power tools in the middle of nowhere. Electric lighting can be provided hundreds of miles from the nearest outlet. Larger-scale generators can store the day's solar energy to be used later on in the evening, powering laptops, phones, radios, and more. The possibilities themselves are as endless as the sun's unlimited energy.

Portable Folding Solar PV Panels - Lightweight, Transportable Electricity for Anywhere

One of the coolest new technologies for portable solar energy is the folding PV panel array. A lightweight, weather-resistant material is usually used to house a number of photovoltaic cell panels linked in series. Upon arriving at the destination, the camper or hiker unfolds the array like a blanket, angling it into direct sunlight to achieve maximum charge. Folding solar panels come in various sizes to produce different levels of wattage and power output.

The lightweight material is easy to carry, and in some cases is even made waterproof. The pre-made folds fall between the solar arrays to allow for a fully collapsable storable system, one that can be packed up and set up in just minutes for instant portability. These systems usually require a separate case to house the rest of the components needed for photovoltaic energy. The DC current must still be converted into usable AC electricity, and extra sunlight energy still needs to be stored for later use. Therefore the contents of the case usually include the deep cycle solar battery, the charge controller, the inverter, and whatever wiring is required. These protective cases are meant to be portable as well as waterproof and crushproof. In essence, they are the only requirement for power other than the foldable solar panel itself.

Aviation, Marine, and Other Portable Solar Power Applications

In today's world, the presence of electronic devices is ever increasing. Cellphones, IPoD's, GPS systems and digital cameras are all as much a part of daily life as the morning commute to work. In most cases a power outlet is never far away, and these devices receive constant charge and attention. But in some applications, where power outlets are simply not available, using the sun's free renewable energy to charge such equipment is a clean, convenient, and environmentally-friendly solution.

Solar folding panels
 
 

For example, marine and boating applications are perfect for portable solar power. Many boaters find themselves in the middle of a lake, bay, or even the ocean with no electronic power other than the boat's own battery. Opening a fold-out portable solar panel is not only a great solution, but the increased exposure to sunlight (and reflected sunlight) offered by being centered in a body of water only adds to the energy produced by the PV array. Ham radios< GPS systems, and other emergency equipment could easily be powered by the sun in the event of a marine battery outage or total power failure. Potential disasters can be averted through the use of such devices.

Alternative Home Energy

The general aviation industry can also benefit from the portability of instant solar power. Folding solar arrays can be draped over the plane's wing to power up airplane avionics without ever having to start the engine of the aircraft.

As for camping and hiking, the applications are even greater. Electric lamps and stoves can be flipped on using the power of the sun's rays. Laptops can be powered up long after their battery would have normally ceased working. Lighting systems draped around camp for safety can be powered through solar batteries charged by these portable systems.

Excursions into the wilderness can also be made deeper and safer knowing that any phone or GPS battery outage can be corrected through charging those devices with easily accessible solar energy. Portable PV power is also invaluable to off-grid homes and cabins where no electrical hookup is possible.


Create Your Own Free Home Energy