Portable solar energy power stations may sound, to some, like a dream. They can think of many places where portable solar would be useful, such as the RV they love to take camping, or the boat they use for long fishing trips. They cannot imagine, though, that portable solar energy power stations actually do exist.
Portable solar energy power stations have many practical uses, which we will discuss later, but what is portable solar power?
Description of Portable Solar Power
Portable solar power is energy generated from sunlight, the generator being of a size and form that can be moved readily from place to place.
Most portable solar power units use photovoltaic panels (PV panels) in one way or another. Some are amazingly small, and can be carried in a pocket, while others must be moved on a flat-bed trailer or truck.
Examples of Portable Solar Power
You may already be using portable solar power without realizing it. The following are examples of different sizes and styles of portable solar power.
1. Pocket calculators have been using portable solar power for years. Expose the calculator to sunlight, and it stores solar power for use. You can then carry this solar power into a field or up a mountain track.
2. Garden lights, or lights around a swimming pool now use portable solar power. If you want to rearrange your lights, or you decide to carry one as a flashlight, the portable solar power goes with you.
3. A multipurpose portable solar power unit is the fold-out solar panel that can be carried in a case the size of your day planner. Wherever you take it, you can open the panel to charge your cell phone battery, GPS, or other similar “gadget” you carry.
4. “Powerfilm” products are paper-thin PV panels – further examples of portable solar power. These products can be easily carried to charge almost all Lithium, NiCad or NiMH batteries. You can recharge batteries for boom boxes at the beach or while camping. You can recharge your digital camera or camcorder while on a hike. As long as you have sunlight, you have portable solar power.
5. Flexible PV panels, rugged and durable, give portable solar power for hikers and campers. This portable solar power can be rolled up like a sleeping bag, and then set up anywhere. You can drop it, step on it, dampen it while crossing a stream – and it will still give you power.
6. Larger portable solar energy power stations can consist of one or more photovoltaic panels (PV panels), simple wiring for the input jack, and a battery – sometimes referred to as a power pack. A commercially-produced portable solar power unit like this may also include a small fluorescent light, and a connection to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter plug.
Examples of Innovative Portable Solar Power
Portable solar energy can, as we said, be carried with you. It can provide electrical energy when you travel to a remote third world village on business. It can provide military units with necessary electrical energy while they are on the move. It can power a small heater in a winter camping tent, or provide a reading light for campers. It is valuable and convenient.
As our demand for that value and convenience increases, portable solar power is becoming more innovative. Portable solar power is being added to clothing and backpacks. It is being added to handbags. You need never worry about cell phones, laptops or other electronics going dead again. Portable solar power is yours to use, anywhere, free.
Did you know about these products? Some are experimental, but others area on the market.
1. If you want “lady-like” portable solar power, you might choose the “Power Purse” as a lovely accessory. This purse is more than an accessory, though. It can power up small electronics. Designed by Joe Hynek in a handbag competition, this little black bag is covered with laminated portable solar power panels. It has a short plastic handle, and can easily be carried anywhere. Imagine the possibilities.
2. But a purse is not always appropriate. If you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a field, you might be happy to have the “Juice Bag” backpack on your shoulders. A Juice Bag is a worldwide patented portable solar power backpack. Flexible ballistic nylon solar panels make it lighter than solar bags with stiff glass solar panels. Take off your Juice Bag when you need to recharge items such as cameras, cell phones, or GPS units. It generates electricity in both direct and indirect sunlight.
3. Portable solar power is also available in a cozy jacket with multiple pockets. Hikers, military personnel, and travelers can fill the pockets with cell phone, GPS, laptop, camera, and other electronic devices. Then slip the 3 ounce portable solar power panel into a special holder on the back of the jacket, and you can generate energy for your electronics.
Portable solar energy power stations make use of these ideas and more. They may be large enough to generate sufficient electrical power for a small village, or small enough to be carried by a child. Whichever it is, portable solar power is definitely “on the go” in many places and in many ways.