In today’s advancing society, there is little doubt that we are becoming more responsible to protect society while witnessing the harmful effects of climate change. This has a positive influence on our product purchases, leading us to demand new and innovative products which were previously uncommon.
One such product is solar paneling. It is something which is becoming ever more popular, more affordable and most importantly, more portable. It is now easier than ever before to combine your portable generator with solar paneling.
This means you are both watching your carbon footprint, positively effecting change in the world around you, and all the while providing yourself with power through the most efficient source. A true win/win situation.
In this review, we take a look at a few of the key players in the solar panel market, providing you with the best possible choices in your quest to find the most suitable solar panel.
1. Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panel
Beginning with a well-known name in the power generator industry, the Goal Zero Nomad 20 solar panel often accompanies the models of the Goal Yeti series. It makes an ideal partner for any of the Yeti series, most commonly the Yeti 150.
The Nomad 20 features a smart, built-in junction box. This allows you to power handheld USB and 12V devices using the power of the sun. With its 20W output ensuring that your devices and portable generators receive a fast charge, its size means it can also retain maximum portability.
Being entirely foldable and weighing in at less than 3 pounds, it means that the nomad is suitable for exactly that, being a nomad. Whether it be hiking, camping, escaping for a weekend in the RV or any other adventure, the Nomad 20 makes an ideal traveling partner.
It is comprised of mono-crystalline, making it highly efficient and able to deliver more power per square inch than many of its rivals. This combined with the fact that it is also connectable with other Goal Zero solar panels to boost output and it is, of course, compatible with most of the Goal Zero generator range makes the Nomad a very logical and productive choice. If you already possess a power generator from the brand, the choice is made even clearer.
- Battery capacity: 11Wh, 2300mAh (4.8V)
- Solar capacity: 7W (8-9v)
- Nomad 7 Plus includes removable pouch and kickstand for optimizing angle to the sun, as well as a junction box with LED solar indicator lights to help with an efficient charging experience
- Guide 10 Plus comes with AA batteries and a AAA insert. Rechargeable Goal Zero AAA batteries are sold separately
- Kit includes: Guide 10 Plus Recharger, AA batteries, AAA insert, USB cable, Nomad 7 Plus solar panel
1. HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Poly-Crystalline Solar Panel
Next up in our solar panel review series is the 100 Watt HQST panel. This unit, being more powerful on the output end is naturally a little more rigid in structure and although less convenient to transport, it still weighs in at only 16 pounds and can be ground mounted to provide ample power for your home or workplace generator.
Its anti-reflective, high transparency glass is as sturdy as they come, allowing this model to withstand high wind speed and heavy weight loads which may come as a result of snowfall. This model also comes with pre-drilled holes in the back of the unit, allowing for easy, efficient, and secure mounting above ground level.
The portability, ease of connectivity and the fact it can be ground mounted, means that the HQST is perfect for traveling with an RV or as an attachment to your trailer. It has the ability to provide fast charging to any generator as well as sufficient direct power to run a variety of appliances.
The fact that there is a 5yr material and a 25yr power output guarantee on the HQST serves to heighten consumer confidence in the product.
- Anti-reflective, high transparency, low iron-tempered glass with enhanced stiffness and impact resistance, Withstand high winds (2400 Pa) and snow loads (5400 Pa). IP65 rated junction box provides complete protection against environmental particles and low pressure water jets.
- Pre-drilled holes on the back of the panel allow for fast mounting and securing. Compatible with different mounting systems such as Z-brackets, Pole Mounts, and Tilt Mounts.
- High module conversion efficiency. Ideal output: 500Wh per day (depending on the availability of sunlight). Bypass diodes minimize power drop caused by shade and ensure excellent performance in low-light environments.
- Advanced encapsulation material with multilayered sheet laminations to enhance cell performance and provide a long service life. Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use, allowing the panels to last for decades
- 5 years material and workmanship warranty
3. Goal Zero Boulder 50 Watt Mono-Crystalline Solar Panel
The second Goal Zero model to feature in our solar generator review is the Boulder 50. This ultra-portable model is a common companion and fantastic match for the Goal Zero Yeti 400 portable generator.
Weighing in at 12.5 pounds, it is highly portable with a folding kick stand attached at the rear. This means it is essentially a plug and play device, perfect for use at any place at any time. If you want it to settle down on a more permanent basis, the kickstand is detachable and the model can be mounted in a fixed spot.
Like the other Goal Zero solar panels and generators, the Boulder 50 is chainable to an output of 150 Watts if you need that extra power boost. Its mono-crystalline power means that it is highly efficient and productive with its power supply. This makes it ideal for off-grid camping or travel.
It has a highly durable, anodized aluminum frame and tempered glass which make it both weatherproof in the toughest of conditions, and lightweight when it needs to be moved quickly. The product also comes with a one year guarantee, therefore, any defects can be resolved without a problem. This advantage is further assisted by the US-based service team, providing extensive support to customers.
4. Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Mono-Crystalline Solar Panel
Yet another big name in the power generation industry and next up in our review is Renogy. With their 100 Watt portable panel offering, they have served up a powerful treatment to meet out solar energy needs.
Weighing in at 16.5 pounds, it is similar in design and purpose to the HQST. It can be both ground and roof mounted and comes with pre-drilled holes for roof mounting which help provide maximum safety and stability.
Delivering 100 Watts of power from its mono-crystalline solar cells, it again provides ample and efficient power to meet the majority of power needs, especially in the case of a traveler. This model is perfect for those who enjoy boating, taking an isolated caravan or RV vacation or just going off the beaten track.
The IP65 rated junction box of the Renogy model provides complete protection against environmental issues and low-pressure water jets, whilst the anti-reflective, high transparency, low iron-tempered glass provides for the power to stand up to inclement conditions and unexpected encounters.
100 Watts is more than enough power to charge your batteries and other appliances on the go. Due to its versatility, this model may be best suited to RV travelers with its roof mounting option and powerful weather resistance.
5. Dokio 200 Watts 12 Volts Mono-Crystalline Solar Panel with Charge Controller
The final solar panel featured in our review is the fantastic and all-powerful Dokio. This model produces a whopping 200 Watts of output power and is certainly not for the faint of heart.
Being foldable and a remarkable thin 0.23 inches means that the Dokio is superb in terms of maneuverability for such a powerful panel. This is not to mention that it weighs only 10.5 pounds. Also, given the fact that the paneling is sewn into a durable, protective fabric make the Dokio a perfect traveling partner, from hiking to camping and other all-terrain affairs, this is the model to have by your side.
Like the other models which we have reviewed, the monocrystalline composition of the solar cell also means that you benefit from maximum efficiency. This device also comes with a free solar controller, both saving you money and meaning that you can charge all of your different voltage devices safely.
The eminently portable design of the Dokio makes it perfect for the regular traveler or someone who just wants to use solar power sporadically, be it in the front yard or to show off at the neighbors’ barbeque.