The 100w foldable suitcase is the focus of my Allpowers solar panel review. This polycrystalline 100w portable suitcase is ideal if you have a tight budget. Coming in at $159.99 shipped. I will show in the review, you are not compromising quality for price either.
It’s nice to get out in the fresh air camping in your tent or recreational vehicle. Even better when it is off-grid. With nobody else around (hopefully) to disturb your hard earned break. There is the sticky problem of how to generate power with no hook-up around. But that can be solved quite easily, by using a portable solar power kit. And the clean and free energy of the sun.
Product: Allpowers 100w Foldable Portable Solar Suitcase
Best Place to Buy: Allpowers
Dimensions Folded: 20 × 25.6 × 1.2inch/510 × 650 × 30mm
Dimensions Unfolded: 48 × 25.6 × 0.4inch/1220 × 650 ×10mm
Weight: Weight: 7.9lbs/3.6kg
Warranty: 18 months
This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links
Allpowers 100w Foldable Portable Solar Suitcase Review
I will be reviewing the portable solar panel and comparing it with other similar products. Letting you know about other portable solar suitcases in the Allpowers Range. And matching the panel up with solar power stations to make a solar generator. Which you will be able to use to produce electrical power whenever you are off-grid.
I thought I would let you know a little bit about Allpowers. I am not banging the drum for them by the way. This is so you can see they are not just another fly by night foreign green technology company. They produce quality, well made, worthwhile, eco-friendly products. That do the job they were intended for.
AllPowers was established in 2010 and is based in Guangzhou, China. They manufacture solar power products for customers in over 30 different countries. These include portable foldable and flexible solar panels. Several different portable power stations and various accessories. Specialise in portable solar R&D. And can provide professional OEM and ODM services.
They even produce a solar powered backpack with a built in power bank. Shipping products from the USA, Canada, Europe and the UK. As a major player in the portable solar market their influence is felt worldwide.
How Does The Allpowers 100w Foldable Solar Panel Suitcase Work?
What is the 100w foldable solar panel suitcase
The Allpowers portable Suitcase is made from two 50w solar panels. Sewn into a nylon frame. The two 50w polycrystalline panels make up the final 100w output. Rather than fold on a hinge or bracket. They fold on the nylon forming a durable, lightweight, easily transported unit.
|Folded Size||20 × 25.6 × 1.2inch/510 × 650 × 30mm|
|Unfolded Size||48 × 25.6 × 0.4inch/1220 × 650 ×10mm|
|Open Circuit Voltage||22.4V|
|Short Circuit Current||6.0A|
|Maximum Power Voltage||18V|
|Maximum Power Current||5.4A|
|STC Irradiance||1000W/m² , TC=25℃, AM=1.5|
The portable solar panel has 2 connection types
Solar panels are made from Photovoltaic (PV) cells. These cells react to sunlight and convert its energy into usable direct current (DC) electricity. The cells are encased in a metal or plastic frame to form the solar panel. There are generally three accepted types of solar panels:
Are single (mono) solar cells manufactured from the purest silicon. The solar panels are recognizable by their dark colour
Are manufactured from multiple crystalline solar cells. The solar panels are recognizable by their blue speckled colour
Made by covering a material with one or more thin layers of PV cells. The solar panels are recognizable for their extremely thin and lightweight characteristics.
The Allpowers portable solar panel is made from polycrystalline solar cells. With an official efficiency rating of up to 21%. Currently the solar industry standard solar cell efficiency rate is 17% to 19%. Many people believe Monocrystalline cells are the best to use. But they have a drawback, they are more expensive than polycrystalline. And in reality they generally only produce an up to a 2% increase in efficiency.
I know some of you will say but some monocrystalline panels produce up to 25% efficiency. This is true but look at the cost of them compared to this Allpowers polycrystalline offering.
For example the Zamp solar Legacy Series 90-Watt Portable Solar Panel Kit, costs $649.99. That is a $520.00 difference !!! Admittedly it is a great piece of kit and includes a built in solar controller. There is a big quality difference between the two. The Zamp is made from metal and glass. The Allpowers is made from nylon. But the Zamp still only provides 90 watts of power. And not everybody can afford a $650.00 portable solar panel.
If the Zamp gives you good vibrations, you can buy it from Amazon or look at it here.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The portable solar panel is constructed from rugged nylon. This makes it virtually indestructible. It will survive all normal weather conditions and most knocks and bumps. Even the odd blowing over in high winds. The nylon and solar panels are waterproof. But the solar panel is described as water resistant because of the electrical connections. You don’t want to get these wet. So you are probably best stowing the panel away on a rainy day. And I wouldn’t leave it out overnight under any circumstances for the same reason
The big score with this portable panel is its weight. A monocrystalline 100w solar suitcase made from glass and metal. Like the Acopower 100w Suitcase weighs 25.5lbs and the Allpowers made from nylon weighs 7.9lbs. There isn’t much difference in dimensional size but the Acopower is over twice as thick.
When it comes to fitting the solar panel into a car along with a portable generator. The Allpowers 100w nylon construction definitely has the edge. It is very easy to store and carry particularly if you have physical limitations. And when hiking in a group, it wouldn’t be too difficult to manage between you all.
The built-in kickstand will allow you to prop the solar panel up so it is lying on the ground. This is because when upright the panel can receive up to 25% more sunlight. Than when lying flat on the ground. The company blurb says the stand can be adjusted for gaining the most efficient angle.
Is the Allpowers 100w portable solar panel versatile?
The solar panel will charge lots of popular power station makes and models. Adapters are included for Jackery, Goal Zero & Suaoki. To be on the safe side. Check the model, size, voltage and power of your original adapter, to ensure compatibility.
Connect in Parallel
Connecting up to 3 x 100w portable solar panels together is a great way to expand a system. Not only will it make the system more powerful. But under cloudy conditions it will help with charging speed. These polycrystalline panels are relatively inexpensive, compared to their monocrystalline counterparts. This could prove really cost effective and the more wattage the better I say.
What’s in the box
Allpowers 100W foldable portable solar panel suitcase
MC4 to 5.5×2.1mm cable
MC4 to Anderson
Various adapters compatible with other makes and models
What Can You Charge With The Allpowers 100w Foldable Solar Panel?
The company says you can use the DC port to directly charge your laptop. Personally I wouldn’t advise this as the solar panel doesn’t have an onboard solar controller. It’s up to you, but without the controller you run the risk of discharge. This is when your laptop battery discharges its charge, back into the solar panel. This can occur in low light conditions and a controller prevents this. You may also run the risk of overcharging, no controller is a disaster waiting to happen. Better to charge your laptop from a solar power station.
Solar power stations
The usual way to power or charge electrical things off-grid is to use a fossil-fuel generator. You have probably seen them being used at a traveling fair. On building sites, roadworks and at outdoor events. They are dirty, smelly, noisy and pollute the atmosphere. But because of relatively recent innovations. You can enjoy the benefits of off-grid electricity generation using portable solar panels. Hooked up to a portable soar power station. This is called a portable solar generator. And is clean, quiet, with no smell and won’t pollute the atmosphere
What is a solar power station?
A solar power station is an electric battery with a built-in solar controller, MPPT and Inverter. They vary in size and weight dependent on their power output. To give you a feeling for the size and weight of a solar power station. Some are the size of a small car battery. These tend to be at the lower end of the power output spectrum. To stations that need wheels to move them around. These are the most powerful stations, capable of powering a domestic fridge freezer.
Allpowers 500w/666Wh portable power station
|Size||10.4 x 5.5 x 7inch/26.3 x14 x 18cm|
|Circuit Protection||Short Circuit, Over Current, Over Power, Overcharge, Over Temperature|
- 2 x AC: 110V/60Hz Pure Sine Wave
- 3 x USB fast charge: 5V/3A
- 1 x Wireless Charging
- 2 x DC: 12v/15A
- 1 x cigarette lighter socket: 12V
- AC Input: 110v/60Hz 5A
- Type-C Input
- Solar Charger:16.6V-24V/5A (Max)
- Anderson Input: 16.6V-24V/5A (Max)
- Car Charger: 12.7V-24V/ 5.0A
4 Ways to Charge
Intelligent CPU Control
Smartphone remote control APP bluetooth enabled
Battery management system
LCD display shows:
- Bluetooth Mode
- Cooling Vent
- In/Out Indicator
- USB Out
- Time to Empty/Full
- In/Out Power Balance
- DC/AC out
1 x Allpowers 100w portable solar panel will charge the 500w power station in 6 hours. It is recommended that 2 solar panels are used. For cloudy weather, 200 watts will charge faster than 100 watts.
What can I power or charge with the Allpowers 500w Solar Power Station
You can power any AC or DC appliance under a 500 watt rating;
- Cooler/Mini Fridge
- Electric Blanket
- Heated Travel Mug
- CPAP and more
You can charge most electronic devices;
- Tablets and more
The power station can also be used in electricity emergencies such as a power outage.
Other power stations available in the Allpowers Range
What other portable solar suitcases are available in the range?
Well it turns out that there are 2 other solar suitcases in the range. A 120w and 200w. I am unable to find much information about the 200w. Not even sure you can buy it. But I will include the little information I have.
The 120w is a solar charger as well, with a built in controller with a couple of USB ports.
|Specs||120w Solar Suitcase||200w Solar Suitcase|
|2 x USB-A Ports||5V/2.4A||N/A|
|2 x DC Ports||5525 & 5521||N/A|
|Dimensions Folded||22 x 14.2 x 0.2inch/36 x 65 x 3cm||65 x 51.5cm|
|Dimensions Unfolded||158 x 65 x 0.5cm||223 x 65cm|
|Open Circuit Voltage||23.5V||N/A|
|Short Circuit Current||6.7A||N/A|
|Maximum Power Voltage||19.5V||N/A|
|Maximum Power Current||6.2A||N/A|
|STC Irradiance||1000W/m² , TC=25℃, AM=1.5||N/A|
If you feel the 120w version would suit you better. You can buy it here from Allpowers
What’s Good About The Allpowers Portable Solar Panel
I don’t think there are many 100w solar suitcases out there. That would beat this one on price. If you were thinking about buying a second hand portable panel. Think again. You can buy second hand mono panels for around this price. But you might be buying something that has significant cell degradation. To the point that the panel’s efficiency is not that good. Buying cheap portable solar panels second hand isn’t always a good idea. I will leave you to think about that.
The Allpowers 100w portable solar panel is really easy to transport and store. It’s super lightweight will not trouble you, if you find carrying weight a chore. Or if you have a bad back or physical disability. And if your car or camper is small you will be able to find a space for it.
Not only is the Allpowers portable solar panel compatible with many solar power stations. If you add a solar controller you can;
- Trickle charge your 12v vehicle batteries
- Charge your RV, camper or caravan/trailer leisure batteries
But because of higher winds, it may be too lightweight for a boat or yacht.
What’s Not So Good About The Allpowers Portable Solar Panel
No USB ports
Allpowers haven’t built a USB charging unit into it. This means it doesn’t have the facility to directly charge small electronic devices.. I think this is because it is meant to be used as a portable solar panel only. To charge power stations and by adding a controller vehicle leisure batteries.
The trade off between weight, portability and nylon construction may appear to make it flimsy. Sure I wouldn’t use it in high winds. But for use in normal weather conditions it will be fine. And I think the trade off is worth the weight and portability gain.
Polycrystalline solar cells
Many people believe that it has to be monocrystalline solar cells and nothing else will do. If that’s you that’s fine, this portable solar panel isn’t for you. But if you are tied to a budget. And looking for an easily transported, lightweight panel the Allpowers suitcase is for you. There isn’t a great deal of difference in efficiency. The loss of a few percent efficiency may still provide value for money.
Allpowers 100w Portable Suitcase V Rich Solar 100w Portable Suitcase
|Specs||Allpowers 100w Suitcase||Rich Solar 100w Suitcase|
|Efficiency||21%||Up to 23%|
|Construction||Nylon||Metal & Glass|
|Folded Size||20 × 25.6 × 1.2inch/510 × 650 × 30mm||27 x 22 x 2.8inch|
|Unfolded Size||48 × 25.6 × 0.4inch/1220 × 650 ×10mm||43.3 x 27 x 1.4inch|
|Warranty||18 Months||5 Year Workmanship and Materials|
The big difference here is the weight and price. This is because of the different construction and solar cell types. It is true that the Rich Solar will be a much sturdier unit. And because it has monocrystalline cells it should perform better. But if your budget is tight the Allpowers performance will be nearly just as good. The weight and size of the Allpowers makes it far easier to transport. Particularly if you have a small vehicle or lots of passengers.
If Rich Solars portable solar suitcase floats your boat. You can buy it from Rich Solar or take a closer look at it here
Solar Power Has Some Limitations
Solar power is fantastic, because it provides an environmentally friendly energy source. Let’s be honest. Without solar panels the world would be relying on smelly, noisy gasoline generators. You just need to be aware of a few things.
When it is overcast, the PV cells will receive less light. Reducing the rate of charge, meaning it will take longer to charge your batteries. This isn’t a major problem. Until full sunlight returns, limit the number of devices you are planning to power or charge .
Shade will stop charging altogether. Keep an eye out for this now and again and move the Allpowers 100w solar panel back into the sunlight if necessary. This is important if you are near an overhang or obstruction such as in and around a forest. You will need to check for shade more often.
Is The Allpowers Portable Solar Suitcase Any Good?
Let’s take a look at the facts. This portable 100w solar panel is lightweight. very portable, has a reasonable efficiency rating. It is a relatively inexpensive alternative to a monocrystalline panel. Allpowers produce great solar products. And by the look of the online reviews this is a good portable suitcase. . All this means it’s an easily moved around, efficient, value for money unit. And It’s going to do what it says on the tin.
I hope you enjoyed this review and have found it helpful. If you have any questions about the Allpowers 100w portable solar suitcase. Or want to leave your own personal review, please feel free to leave a comment below.