If you aim to generate your electricity while out camping this summer, then it is highly likely you have been looking into camping solar panels.
In fact, it is almost a certainty, as what other portable technology can assist you in creating clean energy? Non, that's the answer.
And if you were thinking: "but what about a gas generator?" I am here to tell you that that is not clean energy. That's noisy, polluted energy.
Anyway, back to the topic of solar panels.
There are several things you will need to take into consideration before making your purchase. This article will serve as your guide and point out 8 things you need to consider before buying any camping solar panels.
1. What is a camping solar panel made from?
What defines a camping solar panel? I mean, don't they use the same technology as "normal" solar panels?
The answer here is, yes, they do. The only significant difference is that they are often portable, foldable, and able to connect to a solar generator quickly.
Most high-quality solar panels use monocrystalline solar cells. So be sure the product you are looking at uses this type of technology.
FYI Bluetti only sells solar panels using monocrystalline solar cell technology. This is why our solar panels have such a high efficiency.
2. Look at the wattage.
The next most important factor to consider when purchasing camping solar panels is their power rating.
The power rating is directly responsible for the amount of energy generated. The higher the camping solar panel power rating, the higher potential for increased electricity production.
Therefore, if you want your appliances to recharge quickly, a solar panel with higher wattage is recommended.
3. Consider the size and weight of the camping solar panel.
Generally, the size of a solar panel directly results from the power rating. The higher the wattage, the more area the panel needs to store the solar cells.
This, in turn, impacts the total weight of your panel.
Keep in mind that solar panels above 200 watts can start to become somewhat heavy.
So if you aim to go hiking while bringing along your panel, we would recommend choosing a much smaller panel, perhaps something in the 100 watts range.
4. Consider its durability
By its very nature, camping is generally considered a rough recreational activity. It's not like you are heading out to the supermarket down the road.
Sometimes gravel roads that lead to campsites can be riddled with potholes, not to mention the constant opening and closing your panel will do when charging your appliances on the go.
For these reasons, it makes sense that you should take note of the durability, make sure you don't get a camping solar panel built with fragile materials. You want the seams to be strong and the carry handles to be robust.
5. Take a look at the costs involved.
Of course, price matters. there are some outrageous brands out there mimicking high-quality companies selling their solar panels at a premium when really their product is subpar.
Make sure you get what you pay for, that means the efficiency percentage (which we will cover in the next point) must be high, and the solar technology must be the latest non the market.
Another point to take note of, would be the cost per watt price. Simply take the total price tag of the solar panel, and divide it by the total power rating (wattage) to get the cost per watt.
A low cost per watt is what we are after. Just keep in mind that portable solar panels generally have a higher cost per watt than say rooftop solar panels.
6. What is the efficiency of the camping solar panel
The efficiency rate at which your camping solar panel can convert solar radiation into useable electricity is important.
The average efficiency percentage for monocrystalline solar panels is 15-20%.
The efficiency rate determines the power produced per square foot. The higher the efficiency, the more space-efficient.
Just FYI, Bluetti solar panels have an efficiency rating of up to 23.4%!
7. Warranty consideration
As quoted by The Classroom: "A warranty is a guarantee provided by the manufacturer of a product. It assures you the things you buy are of good quality and don't contain manufacturing defects. Warranties give consumers the right to ask the manufacturer to deal with any issues according to their terms and conditions. The federal government requires companies to make a warranty easily accessible to prospective buyers and the product brochure must contain complete details of its warranty terms."
Warranties are vital, and they show the consumer how much trust the manufacturer has in their own product.
If you are purchasing a camping solar panel without a warranty, you are asking for trouble. Obviously the longer the warranty period, the more trust the manufacturers has in their product.
8. Make sure to buy from a trusted brand.
The last tip goes hand in hand with the warranty consideration. Choosing a trusted brand like Bluetti Power Inc. means you know you will get quality.
How do you know this? Well, just start doing searches online, there are thousands of customers who have bought and re-bought Bluetti products and spoken of their build quality.
Not to mention the plethora of tech influencers on YouTube who reviews our products.
For example, check out the HoboTech channel below, where they reviewed one of our latest solar generators:
At the time of writing, Bluetti sells 3 different solar panels which you can use for camping.
With all that being said, portable solar panels are revolutionising the way we generate electricity whilst on the move.
We are now able to reach more off-grid locations, those that were once inaccessible to us due to lack of grid-powered solutions.
2022 and beyond is the age in which we as consumers can become energy independent through the power of solar.