Coming from the sunny state of California, we have seen our share of alternative energy sources. Recently there has been a huge demand for solar powered devices and charging units. Unfortunately the technology is still new and many people are unaware of the uses and limitations. Because this technology is not very inexpensive, it is best to educate yourself prior to making the purchase. Having an understanding of this technology will help you understand how this new era of solar can benefit you, as well avoiding the mistake of buying expensive devices that will not perform as expected.
Will this solar device work for me? This is the question that must be answered prior to buying and installing any of the newly available solar products to avoid headaches. A typical reason a person will seek out a solar charger is to charge small electronic devices. Cell phones, tablets, and even laptops can be charged by a portable solar device. Not all solar devices will charge equally, and some will be much more effective than others. Because small electronics do not require large amounts of energy, a fairly small solar charger will do the trick. Any of the solar devices from Goal Zero will be perfect for these applications because of the high energy output as well as the type of ports available. Bushnell also makes small solar devices that will work for these purposes. These devices can provide enough energy to charge a battery overtime but, you should not expect to run an uncharged device directly from these solar panels.
Another reason many people will seek out a portable solar charger is to keep the battery on the boat or rv charged. This is where many misconceptions of portable solar devices come into play. While many portable solar chargers can effectively maintain a battery, they would not likely provide enough energy to charge a large deep cycle that has been drained. Small portable solar battery chargers such as those produced by Noco, are designed to stop a battery from draining while not in use. They are not designed to charge a deep cycle while using your trolling motor, and will not be effective in any situation where the battery is in use. The size of the solar panel that would be needed to be effective in this scenario, would not ideal, and certainly not portable.
Solar technology continues to play a growing roll in our lives, and it seems it is only getting better. Unfortunately the technology has yet to be good enough for many peoples needs. If you need to stay plugged in with small electronic devices, most of the portable solar chargers on the market will perform perfectly, but if you need to supplement large amounts of power to an rv or boat deepcycle you will find portable solar devices are not quite what you need. Having an understanding of the abilities and limitations of portable solar chargers will save you time and money when looking for ways to add power to the outdoors. To learn more about portable sloar charging products please visit a local Bass Pro marine counter or www.basspro.com.
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