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Top 4 best emergency solar panels

Top 4 Best Emergency Solar Panels

 

Short on Time? Here’s The Article Summary

The article discusses the importance of emergency solar power and presents the top 4 emergency solar panels for 2022. It highlights the benefits of portable solar panels for powering devices during emergencies, explaining how solar panels work and their compatibility with solar generators. The article also provides tips on what to look for in an emergency solar panel, such as capacity, efficiency, and compatibility.

It then reviews four top-rated emergency solar panels, including folding and rigid options, detailing their features, compatibility, and pricing. Additionally, it suggests considering solar kits for a complete backup power solution. The article concludes by emphasizing the importance of being prepared for power outages and recommending seeking advice from experts for the right solar power solution.

Introduction

The average American experienced around seven hours of blackouts in 2022, but during the winter storm in 2021, rural Texans suffered a power outage that lasted nearly a week. That's well beyond the time when the outage stops being an inconvenience and starts becoming a crisis.

A power crisis can happen anywhere, at any time, and as every Boy Scout knows it pays to be prepared. Emergency solar power is the answer, and the right solar panel is critical to proper emergency preparation. That’s why we’ve assembled the 4 best emergency solar panels on the market, ideal for being properly prepared for home power outages and emergency situations.

If you aren't familiar with solar power for emergencies you can check out our quick emergency solar power FAQ or download our comprehensive Emergency Solar Power 101 guide to become an expert in how to keep the lights on when the power goes out.

What is emergency solar power and why is it so awesome?

Most people associate solar panels with larger installations on the ground or the roofs of buildings. In reality, solar panels come in all shapes and sizes — and don't need to be fixed to a building or structure in order to work. You can buy a portable solar panel to take along on your weekend camping trip or boat or to keep your devices powered during an emergency.

Panels can be either rigid or foldable. We’re all familiar with rigid solar panels; they’re the ones you see everywhere. A foldable solar panel is a convenient, portable, and highly efficient way to generate solar power on the go. They contain the same photovoltaic cells you’d find in a rigid panel, only they’re in a casing with a folding mechanism to compact them. 

Any solar panel, fixed or portable, can be linked together and connected to a battery to store energy you can use to power your essential devices during an emergency.

Solar panels vary in size and can easily charge your most crucial personal or medical devices. While they are typically smaller than the panels you see on roofs and in gardens used to generate electricity all the time, solar panels used for emergencies are still pretty impressive and can provide the electricity you need to keep going in a disaster situation when the grid goes down.

How does a solar panel work?

Solar panels capture sunlight and convert that energy from the sun into electrical power that can be stored in a solar battery or used immediately.

Without getting too technical, each panel is made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are essentially semiconductors that absorb photons from the sun and release electrons, generating a flow of electricity. When sunlight hits the surface of a solar panel, the energy from the photons knocks electrons in the PV cells loose, which creates an electric current. This current is collected by wires and sent to an inverter, which converts the direct current (DC) power into alternating current (AC) power that can be used to power your home. (Well ok, maybe that is pretty technical. Oops.)

You may have also seen solar panels described as being some think like 100W or 200W. The wattage rating of a solar panel refers to the amount of power it can produce. The higher the wattage rating, the more power the panel can generate. For example, a 300-watt solar panel can produce 300 watts of power under optimal conditions.

What do you need besides panels for emergency backup solar power?

To be ready for an emergency situation you need more than just panels. A solar generator is the ideal partner for your panels. 

A solar generator is a device that combines:

  • A battery to store the energy generated by your solar panels
  • A charge controller to manage the flow of electricity from the panels to the generator
  • An inverter which converts the DC power from the battery pack into AC power that can be used to power your appliances or devices

When you need power you plug your devices into the generator. This type of setup is especially useful during power outages or natural disasters as it provides a reliable source of electricity completely independent from the grid.

We’ve also got a handy guide to the best solar generators for emergencies as well. (You’re very welcome.)

What to look for in an emergency solar panel

If you want to get solar panels to provide emergency power you have to consider how much energy you'll need to power the devices you want to keep running. The size of the panel array is going to impact how much energy it can generate. Larger panels have a higher capacity, but they'll be bulkier and harder to carry around. Smaller panels are  lighter and more portable–especially the folding panels–but don't generate as much power.

The next thing to take a look at is the efficiency of the panel. Basically, this refers to the amount of energy converted from sunlight into electricity. The higher the efficiency of the panel, the more power it can generate.

Finally, consider the compatibility of the solar panel with the rest of your system. Some panels work better with certain solar generators or batteries.

Top 4 best emergency panels

Now that you know what to look for, you can start shopping around. Luckily you don’t have to spend a lot of time doing that because we've chosen four of the best panels on the market for emergencies, ones with high efficiency and that will connect to all the major brands of solar batteries and generators. Rich Solar is one of the top brands in the solar business, so it’s no wonder that all of our top choices come from them.

For convenience, we’ve separated them out into two categories: folding and rigid. (Again, you’re welcome.) If you are looking for portable emergency power at a reasonable price, you can't go wrong with these options.

Folding Panels

RICH Solar 200 Watt Folding Solar Panel Suitcase

200 Watt Folding Solar Panel Suitcase

If you are looking for backup power on the go, this little guy is a fantastic option. This 200W solar power suitcase folds up to the size of a briefcase so you can easily store it or take it along with you whenever you need it. It comes with PV connectors, a kickstand, and a carrying case. 200W is just enough capacity to power a mini fridge for several hours; link a few of then together and you can keep all your essential appliances and devices running during an emergency.

The 200-watt monocrystalline solar panel is compatible with the Bluetti, EcoFlow, and Jackery solar generators we recommend and is fully weatherproof. It also comes with a decent 5-year warranty.

What do we really love about it, though? The price. You can pick one up for just under $400. Other 200W folding solar panels run well over $600, so getting one here really is a steal. Honestly, this panel is the perfect option for your portable power bank, solar generator, or emergency backup.

RICH Solar 100 Watt Folding Solar Panel Suitcase

100-Watt Folding Solar Panel Suitcase

This nifty little solar panel comes with enough production capacity to power your cell phones, laptop, light source, or other devices. Like its 200W big sibling it's fully weatherproof and compatible with leading solar generators, including EcoFlow, Bluetti, Jackery, and can be linked with other panels to crank up the output. It's lightweight at just over 20 lbs and foldable. Coming in at just under $200 it’s a no-brainer to get more than one to produce more power.

Rigid Panels

RICH Solar 200 Watt Solar Panel

200 Watt 12V Solar Panel

This rigid panel isn't as compact as the foldable option but it's still lightweight enough to handle. It's highly efficient and comes with an impressive 25-year power output warranty. The panel is also certified to withstand challenging environmental conditions and is known for its excellent low-light performance — even on cloudy days. 

This panel comes with pre-drilled holes to make installation with ground, pole, and tilt mounts or Z brackets easy and convenient, perfect for any emergency panel setup. If you need emergency power at an affordable price, this is a good option.

RICH Solar 100 Watt Folding Solar Panel Suitcase

100 Watt 12V Solar Panel

Aside from the wattage this panel comes with all of the same bells, whistles, and benefits as the 200-watt solar panel above. Sure, 100W won't effectively power your bigger appliances, but it will keep your cell phone, laptop, and router going if you need to work during an outage and because it’s smaller and lighter it’s easier to store and set up when you need itl. Plus it’s less expensive: if you get it here for just under $120 you’re getting terrific value with one of the most affordable options on the market.

Solar kits: the best way to get solar panels

If you want reliable emergency power, the simple and affordable way, you can’t go wrong with a solar kit. An emergency solar kit contains everything you need to prepare yourself for the types of power emergencies you're likely to face.

This kind of specialized solar kit is a package that includes everything you need to set up a solar power system for emergencies. It contains the solar panels that capture the energy from the sun, as well as a solar generator that stores that energy in a battery and a bevy of outlets where you can plug in any type of device you wish to power. The kit also comes with cables to connect everything together, guidance on how to set it up and use it, and lifetime customer service to keep you up and running for as long as you own the system.

This is a simple and affordable way to get a backup power system that meets your needs. You don't have to worry about buying all the pieces separately or figuring out how to put them together. With an emergency solar kit you have everything you need to create a reliable source of electricity during an emergency or power outage.

Know what? We have an article on the best emergency solar kits too.

Conclusion

No one wants to be left without power in an emergency. And thanks to solar, you don't have to be. There are portable, affordable solutions that will keep the lights on even when the grid goes down.

Speak to the experts at shopsolar.com about a quote. They will help you find the right solar power solution for your needs, offer unbiased advice, and work within your budget so that you are never left in the dark, literally, or figuratively.

Still feeling a little lost? Learn how to use solar power to be prepared for any emergency with our comprehensive guide to emergency solar power.

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Article by

Alex S

Alex is a co-founder of Shop Solar, a company that he established in 2018 to revolutionize the solar industry by simplifying the process and making it more simple and cost-effective. Under his strategic leadership, Shop Solar has grown into a comprehensive one-stop-shop, empowering over 40,000+ customers to access top-quality solar and storage solutions, comprehensive information, intuitive tools, and professional installation services.

With a passion for innovation and sustainable energy, Alex has successfully expanded the business's reach and impact, serving as a driving force in the company's growth and development. You can browse best seller's here.

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