Are Portable Solar Panels Worth It? – You Bet They Are

Are Portable Solar Panels Worth It - Featured Image

Are portable solar panels worth it? You bet they are. I say that because they provide inexpensive electricity freedom. Freedom from the power grid and greedy electricity companies. Freedom to go anywhere the sun shines. And generate electricity to power appliances or charge electronics. Even when it is cloudy, admittedly at a reduced rate. 

Yes there are always the bellyachers, whingers and moaners. You can’t generate electricity at night, they say. My answer is you don’t need to because with portable solar panels. Sunlight can be harvested in the day to store the generated energy in a battery. And use the stored power at night. You can’t generate electricity when it is cloudy, they say. Yes you can, it’s just that the panels will not be as efficient. So they will not charge the battery as quickly as in full sunlight. 

Portable Solar Panels Are Worth It For Freedom And Independence

EnergySage say;

While they won’t provide enough energy to power much other than small appliances, a portable solar setup is a great way to use the natural energy of the sun for your on-the-go power needs during a camping trip, hike, or long RV drive.

Source; snergysage.com;

Renogy Say:

Renogy Factory

In short, portable solar panels are a great solution for those that live their lives on the go, have minimal energy needs, and are looking for an affordable way to start using solar energy.

Source; renogy.com

Topnotch Outdoor Say;

If you enjoy camping off-the-grid, portable solar panels will be a handy option for charging up a variety of appliances. With a solar kit, you can be totally independent in any remote location without an energy source.

Source; topnotchoutdoor.com
Off-grid power

Portable solar panels are all about off-grid power. When there isn’t a hook up to the mains available. A portable panel or 2 will sort the job for you. Plus it’s all for free courtesy of our glorious sun. It’s never going to run out. Unlike fossil-fuels like oil and gas which are doomed to become unavailable. 

Portable Solar Panels Worth It - Solar Power

Shale oil and gas (fracking) I hear the solar critics cry. Well if you want to live next to a shale oil and gas production plant. Be my guest, but I doubt you do !!! 

A portable panel will provide enough electricity to power small appliances

Agreed, small appliances can be powered using portable panels when out on the road. I feel the comment that EnergySage made in their article quoted above. Was a bit derogatory towards portable solar panels. 

But think about it. Would you really want to be powering more than that anyway? Can you lug large domestic appliances in a small camper van? I think not. Portable solar panels are perfect for the task of powering a small camper van. So I feel that the comment is actually a compliment. What do you think? Please leave a comment below if you agree or disagree.

Portable Solar Panels Worth It - Camper van
You can be totally independent in any remote location without an energy source

Never a truer set of words written about portable solar panels from Topnotch Outdoor. They most certainly do provide independence and freedom. And not just because there isn’t an energy source available. In this overcrowded world we live in.

The opportunity to escape it all needs to be grabbed with both hands. But I don’t know about you. I don’t want to slip off without some creature comforts. Without having to haul a 41lbs/19kg smelly, dirty, noisy gasoline generator around with me. So a portable solar panel and solar power station sounds much more appealing to me. 

Portable Solar Panels Worth It - Remote Location
Portable panels are a an affordable way to start using solar energy

Ok I know Renogy are a portable solar panel manufacturer so they have a vested interest. But they are right to point out that portable solar panels can start you on the road to energy self-sufficiency. As fossil-fuels start to run out everybody will be turning towards alternative energy sources. Dipping a toe into the water now. Will get us all used to the idea that sun power is here to stay. And portable solar power is a relatively inexpensive way of getting your toes wet.

Portable Solar Panels Worth It - Solar Power

Portable Solar Panels Are Worth It Because Of Climate Change

Recently Joe Biden’s administration announced a pollution reduction target to achieve by 2030. The announcement came during the leaders summit on climate change. This is a greenhouse gas reduction target based on figures from 2005. The President has committed the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By 50 – 52 percent of the levels seen back in 2005.

His decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Can only be a good thing for the whole world.

The video from Aljazeera is a good in depth explanation of climate change
Don’t worry I am not going to go into a doomsday scenario

People who say climate change doesn’t exist haven’t experienced it. YET!! When they do they will be the first to do a 360 and cry wolf. There is no doubt that we are all going to have to get used to alternative power generation. I feel this will not be a bad thing. Because cleaner air can only help with our general health. 

One of the ways that will help with pollution reduction. Is to start to use portable solar panels. When out and about and no obvious power source is available. I know this is only a small thing in the overall reduction of pollution. But every little bit helps. And until governments around the world. Start to give greater financial support to convert houses to solar or wind power. Portable panels are the best and most inexpensive way to help out.

Portable Solar Panels Are Worth It Because Of Power Outages and Emergencies

Portable Solar Panels Worth It - Emergency

With more and more people and communities experiencing power outages and emergencies. The need to produce power during these times has become very important. For many people the cost of installing solar panels to their homes. Is just too expensive even though they really want to. 

Power Cuts

Back in the 70’s in the Uk we had loads of power cuts because of the coal miners striking. I vividly remember sitting in the dark with candles trying to read. We did not have gas so we couldn’t even make a hot drink. Producing homework by candle light was hard and not the greatest experience.

Now I have noticed the number of stories about power outages have increased across the world. This can make lives difficult and the nature of power outages are unpredictable. They can happen at any time to anyone. 

Portable solar power can keep you prepared

If you are experiencing frequent power outages you can do something about it. A 100w portable solar panel and 500w power station. Would enable you to: 

  • Charge your electronic devices like a smartphone or laptop
  • Provide some light because you can plug a domestic lamp into it. Or use camping lights
  • Make a warm drink with a heated travel mug
  • Power a mini-cooler providing some refrigeration
  • If it’s cold, power a electric blanket
  • Keep the Wi-Fi going
  • Power a CPAP
Portable Solar Panels Worth It - CPAP

I know what you are thinking. What do I do if an outage or emergency occurs at night. And the power station isn’t fully charged? You can’t use the solar panels to charge the station because it is dark. You can’t charge it with mains power because there is a power cut. This is when those  bellyachers, whingers and moaners I mentioned earlier. Think their unjustified complaints have merit. NOT SO !!!

All you have to do is carry the portable power station out to your car. You can then charge it with your cigarette port. I know this means starting your vehicle engine. Which isn’t very environmentally friendly. But in an emergency anything goes !!! 

Portable Solar Panels Are Worth It Because Of The Cost

I mentioned earlier about the cost of installing solar panels to your residence roof. According to  a survey conducted in 2019 amongst American householders. 46% said they were considering installing solar panels to their residences. 96% of them said they wanted to save on utility bills. And 87% of them said they wanted to help the environment (Source: Pew Research Centre)

According to EnergySage. The cost of installing a 10 kilowatt (KW) system ranges from $17,760 to $23,828 after the federal solar tax credit. And the average cost of a 2 KW system is $4159 after the federal solar tax credit.

Portable Solar Panels Worth It - Home

Currently these costs may be beyond many householders’ reach. Putting people off solar power who want to help the environment. Or want some sort of energy backup for emergencies and power outages. Or want the freedom and independence portable solar power can bring.

Portable Solar Panels the price difference

But there is a big price difference between portable solar panel systems and installed residential systems. As an example; The 100w portable solar panel and 500w solar power station. Bought  through a reputable company like Allpowers would cost $659.98. $159.99 for the portable solar panel and £499.99 for the power station

And If you just wanted to dip your toe into the water. Because you wanted back-up for your smartphone, You could look at the Renogy E.Flex 21 Portable Solar Charger and 20000 mAh power bank. This would cost $119.98 – $79.99 for the portable solar charger and $39.99 for the power bank.

Are Portable Solar Panels Worth It

As you can see the price difference is large between installed residential solar panels and portables. Granted portables are nowhere near as powerful as a residential system. But they do enable you to start to become energy self-sufficient at an affordable cost. 

Why are portable solar panels worth it? – 4 good reasons

Freedom and independence
  • If you’re the adventurous type or love the great outdoors or just a free spirit. Portable solar panels will give you the freedom and independence. To generate your own electricity supply without relying on power companies.
The environment
  • Many people are worried about climate change and want to reduce their carbon footprint. But can’t afford to climb onto the residential installation ladder. Portable solar panels are the answer because you will be able to make a difference. Even if it seems to be in a small way. But remember all greenhouse gas reductions are a help.
Power outages and emergencies
  • The perfect solution to generating electricity during a power outage or emergency. Portable solar panels won’t leave you sitting in the dark. Even with a small portable solar charger you would be able to charge your smartphone.
The cost
  • Portable solar panels are relatively inexpensive compared to their residential counterparts. And represent great value for money for generating electricity off-grid. Once bought, it’s free energy all the way after that.

Portable solar panel critics should note that they are here to stay. Instead of focusing on their shortcomings. They should be focusing on the positive impact they can have. I have yet to come across the perfect product, even an I-Phone has its imperfections.

As an off-grid or emergency power generation solution, portables are perfect. No doubt at some time in the future. A newer more efficient solar cell will be developed. But for now we have to use the current technology. And in my opinion portable solar panels are definitely worth it.

I hope you enjoyed my post and have found it helpful. If you have any questions about portable solar panels. Or want to leave your own personal thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment below

Spread The Solar Love

3 Comments on “Are Portable Solar Panels Worth It? – You Bet They Are”

  1. Hi Steve!

    I totally agree with you in regards to having portable solar panels. Our earth is a blessing to us and we are lucky to be alive and living here. It makes sense why we have to return the favour to mother nature and invest in solar panels. We are damaging the earth with burning fuel and using all the electricity. If there is a way to make our earth a better place, why would we not take the opportunity?

    Thank you very much for sharing this informative article with us and I wish you all the best!

    Amzy 

    1. Hi Amzy

      I wholeheartedly agree why not take the opportunity to give something back. But do not forget. Portables can provide freedom and independence for the electricity companies. Provide some power during power outages and emergencies. And portable solar panels can be really inexpensive.

      Regards

      Steve

  2. Hi Steve. Thank you for very interesting article. To be fair I had no idea that there are portable solar panels available, but I truly believe its great idea. It make you completely independent, and you can use it in your summer house where there is no point to install permanent ones. Definitely I will test this solution in practice.

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