How to choose the best solar briefcase?

If you are here, it can mean only one thing: you are having troubles or doubts about choosing the best briefcase solar charger. Don’t worry, we are here to give you a helping hand.

There are a few crucial things you need to have in mind when purchasing a briefcase solar charger, so let’s start from the beginning.

1. The Capacity

At the very start, you need to make a decision: what will you use the solar briefcase for?

Solar briefcases are typically designed with 12V box battery charging, so you need to decide if you need more or less power than usual.Solar briefcase capacity

  • More than 12V – if you require the solar briefcase to charge something larger and more demanding it will be necessary to expand the solar briefcase system with additional panels.
  • Equal or less than 12V – if your requirements are equal or less than to what a 12V battery contains, any model of the solar briefcase is suitable.

Pay attention to:

Watt-hours per day and total watts capacity.

Type of battery used (the best solar briefcase models use sealed, gel or the traditional flooded batteries).

2. Solar charge controller

Although it sounds unnecessary, the solar charger controller is very important and every solar Solar charge controllerbriefcase should have a built-in one. But not every one does and this usually reflects the price.

Role of the solar charge controller:

  • It dramatically increases the efficiency of conversion of energy from solar to usable electricity.
  • Protects batteries from overcharging, over discharging, short circuits, over load and reverse connection errors.

It can be bought also separately, but my advice is to simply buy a briefcase solar charger with this component already built-in. Why you wonder? Well first, you will save some money, and second this solar controller is specially configured to work well with that certain solar briefcase. You will avoid potential compatibility issues.

3. The connectivity

You need instant connectivity.

A BIG NO for messy wiring.

  • Look for a solar briefcase with a clip on MC 4 connector. This will make the connecting process to a battery a piece of cake.
  • Also look at the length of the cables – the optimal length is at least 10 to 15 feet.

Some manufacturers tend to make amazing solar briefcases but when you get it you realize that the wires are short and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Monocrystalline cells4. Quality of the solar panel

  • Look for solar briefcase models that contain the monocrystalline cells. They pack in the most density of energy absorbing cells (the ones made in Germany have the highest quality).
  • In low light conditions, the high-end solar panels will provide you with the charging capabilities.
  • Look for a solar charger that uses a low voltage system. This helps avoid and reduce the possibility of having electric shock hazards.

5. Durable construction

Durability is crucial since you will be carrying the solar briefcase around and laying it open in the sun.Goal Zero Boulder 100 solar briefcase

  • Look for briefcases made of aluminum.
  • Look for briefcases resistant to humidity, water and salt corrosion.
  • Look for a waterproof solar briefcase.
  • Look for an adjustable and durable kickstand (allows the adjustment of the angle of the sun).
  • Look for a briefcase that has a durable and heavy duty carrying handle.

6. The space

See the size of the solar briefcase in folded and unfolded forms. This will help you see if it can fit in your car, boat, RV or other place where you are planning to keep it.

7. The Expandability

You can never know for what you will be needing the solar briefcase for. A possibility of different usage always exists, so it is useful to look for a solar briefcase that has expandability option.

Make sure it will be suitable with solar panels of other brands (simple add on connection).

8. The warranty

Look for a good warranty program! Some solar briefcases have a 25 year warranty while other have just a 5 year one.

Now you are armed with information. Go and pick out your solar briefcase!

Check out the best portable solar generator!

Top 3 portable solar generators under 150$

Portable solar generatorThis article will present the best portable solar generators under 150$ available on the current market. This type of solar generators is very useful when you are on the move but you need a stable access to a power supply to charge your devices.

Check out the top 3 models:

1. Paxcess 100

The first portable solar generator to be presented is the Paxcess 100 with the capacity of 40800mAh. This a really light and easy to carry solar generator that can simply fit in your backpack.

Paxcess 100w portable solar generator

Paxcess 100W

This solar generator can be recharged in 3 ways: Using an AC adapter that has the recharge speed of 15V/2.0A and recharges the generator within 7 to 8 hours; Using a car adapter with the recharging speed of 12V/2.0A and recharges within 8 to 9 hours; Solar recharging with the appropriate solar panel – the recharging time depends on the panel and exposure to the sun.

It get’s better

It features a variety of outputs, such as three 12V DC port, two 110V AC outlet inverter and two USB 5V ports which will provide efficient charging to your iPhone, iPad, laptop, camera, or even small appliances, running lights and CPAP machine in case of power outages.

There’s more

Even though it doesn’t have any shockproof reinforcements the Paxcess 100W has a solid built that could survive a light drop on the ground. It also has a system that automatically turns off when the power supply is exceeded.

Dimensions and specifications

The dimensions of this solar generator are 6.5 x 3.15 x 6.89 inches and it weighs 3.3 pounds.

Technical specifications:

  • Capacity: 40.800 mAh
  • USB ports: Each USB port 5V/3.5A
  • AC outlets:  100W modified sine wave
  • DC output: 12V/15A
  • AC Input: 15V/2.0A
  • DC Input: 12V/2.0A
  • Solar Input: 100W 15-20V
  • LED power indicators: LCD display
  • Solar panel: 50W (sold separately)
  • Battery Management System (BMS)
  • Warranty: 12 months

PROS

  • A lot of charging and powering optionsPaxcess 100W solar generator powering options
  • Very portable
  • Low price
  • Good quality
  • AC outlet can be used while recharging
  • Solid structure and great tech on the inside
  • Light and ideal for travelling
  • Quiet operation

CONS

  • AC outlet portion has a 100W output

To conclude

Paxcess 100W – great for emergencies, weekend trips, camping. It light, convenient to carry and stores a large capacity of power which can be used for most of your gadgets and appliances. Let’s not stop there, it is also drop-tested sturdy and fire resistant. A low price, high quality travel companion for you and your family.

2. Suaoki 150 watt 

On the-go power source, the Suaoki 150W, is portable solar generator with a powerful charging station of 150Wh (3.7V 40500mAh/11.1V 13500mAh). The compact size and 2 lift handles make it ideal for camping, travelling or even emergency backup.

Suaoki 150W portable solar generator

Suaoki 150W

As every solar generator, this one also has the option of charging in three ways: AC outlet – fully charged in 8 hours; car 12V socket (car charger included); Solar charging – using the SUAOKI 60W or 100w solar panel which is sold separately.

Various AC/DC/USB outputs make it suitable for powering and charging phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, drones, CPAP machine and small home appliances. The generator also has an integrated double barrel flashlight that has the constant and the flashing mode and can illuminate an entire room.

There’s more

BMS (battery management system) enables control over voltage and temperature, but also nsure ultra safety for you and your devices.

What’s in the box?

This package contains the Suaoki portable solar generator, AC power charger, a 12V car charger, a 12V car power socket adapter, a 10 coaxial power connectors, a connecting cable, an Alligator clip cable and the user manual.

Dimensions and specifications

The dimensions of the Suaoki 150watt are 7.3 x 4.3 x 4.7 inches and the system weighs 4.35 pounds.

Technical specifications:

Input

  • AC Adapter: 15V/2A
  • Car Charger: 12V
  • Solar Panel: 13V~22V (Min 30W) 3.5*1.35mm Ports
    Suaoki 150W portable solar generator ports

    Suaoki 150W ports

Output:

  • 4 x DC Output Ports (12V/10A, Max 15A in total)
  • 2 x AC Outlets (110V)
  • 1 x QC 3.0 USB
  • 3 x USB Ports (5V/2.1A)
  • 2 x Flashing Lights for Emergency
  • 2 x Status Indicators
  • AC Continous Ouput: 100W
  • AC Peak Ouput: 150W

 

  • Battery Capacity: 150Wh

PROS

  • Well-constructed
  • Ample battery power
  • Solar capable
  • Battery Management system (BMS)
  • Integrated flashlight
  • Small and lightweight
  • The solar panel folds into a compact size
  • Charging tips for different computer types
  • Quiet operation
  • Low price

CONS

  • Solar panels not included

To conclude

Suaoki 150W holds enough power to charge a variety of your devices and this makes it the perfect travelling buddy. It doesn’t even need an extra seat in the car, it will easily fit in your backpack. Compact, durable, quiet and it has got your back in every situation.

3. PowerAdd 185

PowerAdd Charger center is a portable solar generator that has the strength of 185W and the capacity of the amazing 50000mAh. This generator can offer your 16 charges to your iPhone 7or 3 charges to your iPad Pro, or up to 8.5 charges to Samsung Galaxy phones and even 3.5 charges to a MacBook. It can also power TVs, fans, lamps and mini fridges. Now that’s a lot of power!

PowerAdd 185 portable solar generator

PowerAdd 185

This alternate power supply is perfect for outdoor, camping trips, field work and emergency cases. It carries the title of the smallest and the lightest power generator on the market and partially due to the highly dense Samsung 18650 battery that ensures safety also.

There’s more

Triple way of charging by the AC input, car charger and solar power. You will also get 10 different adapter plugs to make your charging process much easier. And have no fear in dark and dangerous situations, the PowerAdd will bring you light thanks to the built-in LED flashlight.

What’s in the box?

This package contains: One Poweradd Charger Center, an adapter, a car charger CP10, a DC Cable, a Connector, a Standy Fuze, a Dust- Proof Ring, one user guide, a 24 moths limited warranty.

Dimensions and specifications

The dimensions are 4.76 x 3.93 x 3.93 in, and it weighs only 2.8 pounds! Lightest one yet!

Technical specifications:

PowerAdd 185 portable solar generator ports

PowerAdd 185 ports

  • Battery Type: Samsung Li-ion Battery
  • Capacity: 10.89V 16750mah 182wh 3.7V 50000mAh
  • Input: DC 12-24V
  • Output: DC outputs + USB outputs (Max 100W)
  • DC: (12V/5A*2, 19V/4A) Max 80W
  • DC: 9-12.6V/15A
  • USB: 4 ports Max 56W
  • USB1: 5V/2.4A, USB2: 5V/2.4A,
  • USB3: 5V/2.4A, USB 4: (5V/3A, 9V/2A)

PROS

  • Ultra High Capacity
  • Travel friendly
  • Low price
  • Compact and very lightweight
  • Solar compatible
  • Battery Management system (BMS)

CONS

  • Handle on inappropriate place

To conclude

Imagine you have a lunch box full of power, well that’s PowerAdd 185. High capacity, advanced protection, with voltage and temperature control. It can charge a wide range of devices and is built with only premium components with makes it sturdy and reliable. Pack your energy and you are ready to go!

Quick guide to solar water heaters 

Why use solar water heating?

This venture can be a rewarding one is more than one way. First by using solar energy you can reduce your dependence upon the utility, as well as the fossil fuel companies that supply it. Secondly, there is no environmental impact from making solar energy at our homes. It 100% eco – friendly!

And the best part is

There are significant financial benefits in the form of substantial decrease in your utility bill. Help the environment and your wallet!

solar water heater reviews

photo: amazon.com

 

What you need to know?

Here are the key features you need to consider when shopping for the best solar water heating system for your home.

Size (yes, it matters): Look for a solar water heater than holds enough hot water for your home and water consumption needs as well as how large of a space the unit will take up in your home.

Collectors and circulation systems: A solar water heater holds water in a collector; sunlight provides the heat either directly or through solar panel power. The three most common collector types are batch, flat-plate and vacuum tube.

Certifications: A good indication of performance and quality, look for OG-3000 certification as a standard of excellence.

Most popular solar water heaters

Here are some of the most popular solar water heaters, and also most praised by their users.

Solar water heater Capacity Additional information
Standard Passive Duda Solar Water Heater Attached Pressurized Tank Evacuated Tubes Hot review 300 liters Sun Absorption Efficiency: 93-96%

 

Natural Current NCS220WEHTR Savior Electric Solar Powered Water Heater,220-watt review 200 liters Great for Pools of water, campers, motor homes, toy haulers, hot food carts, catering, portable pressure washers and carpet cleaning machines, make hot water while you drive!
Passive Solar Water Heater 20 Vacuum Tube with Heat Pipe Technology review 200 liters Since the tubes are not filled with the water itself, this passive solar water heater is resistant to temporary freezing temperatures.
Sunchaser 20-tube Solar Hot Water Heater/collector Vacuum Tube review 150 liters A system of interconnected tubes push the hot water to the tank eventually delivering hot water to a home of 4-6 people living in a warm, sunny climate.
Rheem SolPak Solar Systems review 280 liters Its single tank design takes less space making it a perfect choice for homeowners with limited space.

To sum up

Solar water heaters can provide a great way to save on utility costs and make your home more eco-friendly. However, if you purchase the wrong unit this could create more expenses in the long run, therefore it pays to be informed before making a purchase. So, before making the big decision, keep your eyes wide open!

Make your garden solar!

You finally decided to take action and decorate your garden. The right choice for making your garden a warm and welcoming place are precisely solar lights. Solar lighting is a very popular alternative to conventional and costly electric lights, plus it’s an eco-friendly one.

And that’s not all:

Solar lights are simple and safe install by yourself (no need for expensive electricians) and they are very affordable. Not to mention the variety of different attractive garden light models.

photo: reshdesignpedia.com

photo: reshdesignpedia.com

Pay attention to

When picking solar lights you have to pay attention to the type of light (path lights, security lights, decoration lights, spotlights, accent lights etc.), the quality of course, the ease of use and value. Another important thing is the battery life. One that wear out after two, three years are probably not offsetting their environmental cost through the solar energy it generates.

Closer look at types

Solar garden accent lights

These light have a relatively low level of illumination and they add an enjoyable glow to your garden. Because of this low light level, they tend have a long lifespan, which makes they very affordable. They usually use efficient multi-crystalline solar cells which can be charged even on cloudy days.

Solar garden path lights

best solar lightThey are made to light paths, walkways or driveways. Here, the user has a wide choice of positioning options in the form of ground stakes, flange mounts, hanging hooks etc. Some models may offer options such as high-low power, colored lenses, or timers.

Solar spotlights

These lights are the class of solar lights which shines the brightest, which normally leads to a high price. They can be mounted in a variety of ways and adjusted to shine in different directions. Another advantage is that they are the most durable solar lights.

Security solar lights

These lights require a solar panel which you will get in the security solar lights kit. Extremely easy to install! You just need to attach the unit on to the wall and put the solar panel in the appropriate place, and the motion sensor will do the rest.

Easy installation

The ground which you have chosen as the bearer of light, may have to be watered first to make sure the stake can be driven in easily. Installing most solar garden lights usually just involves pushing or screwing the lantern into the upright post and then inserting the whole assembly in the ground.

This is one piece of cake. In no time, you will have a beautiful garden which all of your friends will admire.

Top 5 solar panels for your home

The WHY?

I bet that every time you open you electricity bill you suffer a small stroke, but you manage to recover, take out your wallet and donate your money to the local power company. This is one of the main reasons why people are deciding to buy solar panels and make their home solar. This long term investment will cost you a lot at first, but is totally worth the expenses. But first you must check several things.

best solar panels for homeHere’s what you need to know

First, you have to think about how much you save by using solar panels, and that greatly depends on the area where you live. Putting solar panels is not suitable for houses in rainy England of course. After you have established your sun exposure, you need to see what kind of solar system you require.

Power

1.5 kW – Powers lights, TV, sound system, all kitchen appliances, computer.
2.25 kW – All of the above plus everything else found in an average 3 bedroom home, except air conditioning.
3-5 kW- All of the above including air conditioning.

Solar system components

Making a residential solar system is not just buying a solar panel. Sure, selecting the right photovoltaic (PV) panel is essential, but you also need to have a controller, batteries which store electricity for later use and an inverter which converts energy stored in a battery to voltage needed to run your electrical equipment.
Also look for:

Efficiency and durability of your residential solar panels. You can’t just buy any cheap panel that comes in your way. Solar panels must be able to maintain a high performance level through a longer period of time, otherwise your investment will be a failure. Solar panels which are made of high quality materials can increase a larger percentage of the sun’s rays into electricity which will provide your humble home with electricity.

Top 5 solar panels for your home

If you are tired of having strokes every month, and you know that you can have a solar system installed, you don’t need to think further. Pick a solar power system and a proper solar panel. Going solar is the future, you might as well join the ride.

Solar panel model Efficiency Durability
 

HSL 60 Mono Module

Placed in a standard testing environment: 16% efficiency Extremely durable, can withstand the most harsh weather conditions.
JAC M6SF-3 (Cypress2) Module In optimal conditions: 19%

(the best on the market today)

Less sturdy than the one above.
Kyocera KD315GX-LPB Top Module Placed in a standard testing environment: 16% efficiency Built to last, has a 25 year warranty and can withstand most weather conditions.
ReneSola 275W Monocrystalline Solar Panels Placed in a standard testing environment: under 17% efficiency It is lighter but durable.
First Solar Series 4 Panel Placed in a standard testing environment: 8% more efficient Extremely durable.