What comes to your mind when you think of a solar energy system?
Rows of panels on the roof? Or perhaps a chain of solar arrays on the ground or even the water surface. Let’s introduce another image- of a lightweight solar panel that can be folded and taken along on your next vacation to generate clean energy!
So, what are these foldable solar panels, and are they any good?
What are Foldable Solar Panels?
Foldable or Portable solar panels are innovative structures that allow energy generation on the go. Since they are primarily designed for traveling, it is important to use them with battery backups that can store the generated power. Moreover, foldable solar panels come in many sizes and types, with each having its specific uses.
While these portable solar panels cannot replace traditional modules, they offer very specific benefits due to their portability. They are perfect for outdoor activities, trips, and charging your mobile and laptop devices even when you are on the move.
How Do they Work?
The working for this type of panel is very similar to the conventional system. Similar to traditional panels, they absorb the sunlight to generate DC power which is then converted into usable AC power through a charge controller.
The modules are made of a thin layer of silicon or other semiconductor materials and encased in a protective sheet made of mesh or plastic.
The efficiency of these modules ranges between 21.5% to 23.55%. Further, the power output of these panels is also lower than a traditional system.
Many people wonder whether a portable solar panel can charge an electric car. The answer to that is not yet. Currently, the technology available in the market can only power small appliances.
Are Portable Solar Panels Worth It?
To understand if it’s worth buying these types of panels, let’s look at their pros and cons.
- The biggest advantage offered by the panels is their portability. It is easy to carry them along on long trips and remote locations.
- Unlike traditional panels, foldable solar panels do not require an elaborate setup. They are easy to install over car roofs, or on the ground and equally easy to detach.
- These panels are cheaper than normal solar panels, which makes clean energy generation much more accessible for individuals.
- There is hardly any maintenance involved when it comes to portable solar panels.
- Unlike generators, foldable solar panels are a completely noise-free way of producing energy.
- These panels require adequate energy to generate power. As a result, they do not perform very well in cloudy or stormy conditions.
- As the power output is low, these panels cannot be used for larger appliances. They also take a higher amount of time to charge your devices.
Applications of Foldable Solar Panels
There are many ways to use these solar panels. Here are the top ones:
- Hiking and Camping- The most application of foldable solar panels is during outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. Panels can be taken along on trips to charge devices and power small appliances.
- Charging phone and Laptop- Some portable solar panels are specifically used for charging mobiles and laptops. They are equipped with single or multiple jacks that can easily be connected to various devices.
- Powering small appliances in an apartment- People who live in apartment buildings and do not have roof space or access to the same can use portable panels to generate clean energy from their balconies.
How to Choose the Right Foldable Solar Panels?
- Power requirement: Before you begin searching for the right model, understand what your power needs are. A higher power need would require a solution with more wattage or a higher number of panels.
- Efficiency- As we established, foldable solar panels need ample sunlight to perform well. Thus, choose a product that offers higher efficiency.
- Durability- Pick a device that offers an excellent warranty and is thoroughly tested to perform well in all types of climates.
- Accessories- There are many portable solar panel options in the market. Go for a panel that comes with all the needed accessories such as cables, battery backup, and a carrying case.
About Ornate Solar
Ornate Solar is India’s leading solar company with 8 years of experience. By partnering with the best-in-class global solar brands, we bring the most reputed solar panels, inverters, and solar accessories to you and make your shift to solar cost-effective and easy.
We have also developed India’s first Integrated In-Roof system. Ornate InRoof is a roof made out of solar panels that is fully leak-proof and looks aesthetically pleasing. We deliver projects across Residential, commercial, and industrial segments.
In fact, foldable solar panels are convenient, portable, and practical; therefore, they are worth buying if you want to use solar energy on the road. Thanks for sharing
Good to read.