Battery chargers Rollable/foldable/
Solar Panels solid - (s) sale price
Personal Electronics: Portable Solar Power
Note: Most of these require full sun (no shade) to work.
* Battery - All accept solar charge some also have - Wall - charge from wall; USB - charge from USB
|Name ||Watts ||Price ||Notes ||Where to buy
|12 v Car Battery|
|Thunderbolt Solar ||45 ||$140(s) ||3 12.4x36.4 panels. Includes 300W inverter ||Harbor Freight
|GoalZero ||30 ||$180 ||1 panel 18x21" ||Costco
|Sunforce ||60 ||$270 ||4 13.5x42.2" panels, Includes 200 W inverter ||Amazon
A chargeable battery is an advantage in a basecamp trip allowing you to leave it out during the day to charge the battery, then charge your portable electronics at night off the battery.
Solio 1 W - One hour of sun will give you enough juice to play your iPod(TM) for about an hour.
Nomad 7 comments by Ernest Mayer:
No other panel has the output of the Nomad 7. Its closest competitor is the Brunton panel. The Brunton weighs 20% more and is rated to output 30% less than the Nomad 7 (Brunton = 5 watts, Nomad 7 = 7 watts). In my testing the lower output was verified. The off-axis performance of the Nomad 7 is superior. It maintains full output to a greater angle of sun than any other panel I have tested.
The Goal 0 batteries that ship with the Guide 10 are the best of their type I have tested. They are low-discharge, like the Eneloops, but much better. The Eneloops are rated at 2000 mAh, but charge only to about 1900 mAh capacity. The Goal 0 are rated at 2000 mAh, but charge to 2200 mAh.
Review of others:
1. Powerfilm USB + AA: This one has a great form factor, is flexible and very durable, and is the lightest weight and most compact of all the solar chargers. Its fatal flaw is that it simply does not put out enough power to be practical in extended backpacking. It does not fully charge the AA batteries when it indicates a full charge, and is not nearly as flexible as the Nomad 7 for connection. The unit was replaced on warranty, but the replacement performed exactly the same. I tested a total of four of these, and all performed the same. Customer service was good, after spending weeks trying to get their attention, and this happened several times.
2. Solio Classic: This one has a nice form factor, but the unit simply does not charge its internal battery nor a connected device at all adequately. Just in case, I had it replaced on warranty and the replacement performed exactly the same.
3. Xpal Power SP-2000: Same as the Solio. Internal battery rated at 2000 mAh, only charges to about 1100-1300. Not enough power overall to be practical. Very good customer service.
4. Brunton Explorer: A good panel, but not enough overall power. Weighs 20% more than the Nomad 7, output is 30% less.
Types: - Cost and Efficiencies
Efficiency depends on the material and purity of the solar wafer.
There are several types:
Type Efficiency Cost
Crystalline Silicon (first generation) (silicon wafers) (rigid)
Wafer thicknesses in the neighborhood of 200 to 300 µm.
MultiCrystalline (poly-Si or mc-Si): 14-17%
MonoCrystalline (c-Si): 18-24% $2.48 per watt-peak.
Thin Film Technology (second generation) (flexible and rigid) $1.76 per watt-peak
Thin-film technologies reduce cost by reducing the amount of material required
at the cost of some efficiency. Thickness of 1 µm or less.
Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) 10%
Copper Indium Gallium Sulphide (CIGs) 11-14%.- Most potential
Cadmium Indium Selenium (CIS) 11.5-14%
Cadmium Tellurium (Cd-Te) 10-15%
Third generation solar cells - Still in R&D in 2011
Multi-layer ("tandem") cells made of amorphous silicon or gallium arsenide,
plus other technologies to increase efficiencies beyond the
Shockley-Queisser limit of 31-41%.
Efficiency of Solar Cells made of Silicon(Monocrystalline,Multicrystalline) ,Thin Film (CIGS,CIS,aSi,CdTe,CZTS),Multijunction at Green World Investor
Solar panel - Wikipedia
Solar cell - Wikipedia
Thin Film Solar Cell vs Crystalline Silicon Wafers " renewablesales
- c-Si - MonoCrystalline Silicon
- CIGs - Copper Indium Gallium Sulphide
- EVA - Ethylene Vinyl Acetate - transparent layer between PV cells and which binds the layers of a solar panel together.
- PCE - power conversion efficiency
- p-n junction - Junction of p-type and n-type semiconductors. Used in semiconductor electronic devices such as transistors, solar cells, LEDs, integrated circuits, ...
- PV - PhotoVoltaic
Solar Power Systems
Other web sites:
12V Solar Battery Charger Reviews | 12 Volt Solar Panels Blog
SolarPanels at Wind & Sun
HowStuffWorks "How Thin-film Solar Cells Work"
Compact Portable Solar Power Systems at ModernOutPost.com
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last updated 6 June 2011