One thing that is needed, actually one of many things that are needed, during emergencies, disasters, and grid-down events is power. That includes power for radios, flashlights, and weapons’ optics. For people with specialized medical needs power may be essential for life itself. You can only store so much power conventionally, at some point you have to be able to generate new power. Well, technically you are not generating “new” power, you are converting one form/state of energy into another form/state.
You can always use a fuel powered generator to do power generation. But, how long will your fuel last? Gasoline has a limited shelf life, even with stabilizer additives. Propane and natural gas have an almost unlimited shelf life but bulk storage has its problems as well, including portability. And the fuel will eventually run out. And generators have a inherent real potential downside…attracting unwanted attention.
You can use wind to generate power but you have some real serious limitations with the mechanics of it. And you wanna talk about attracting attention…put a windmill up somewhere, like the roof of your house. And realistically, how much wind comes through your area to produce enough power to actually use, let alone store?
But, there is one source that isn’t going away anytime soon…the sun. The sun is this huge ball of energy that is begging to create power for humans to use. Nature already figured it out, virtually every living thing on earth harvests the sun’s power to generate life. So, we mere humans might as well get in on it. Hence, the purpose of this series of articles.
So here is what you have coming at you…a series of articles that will show you some options on how to “harvest” the sun’s rays. Then, I will post another series of articles on how to store that energy for use later. All the articles will be geared towards mobile-field operations vs. fixed-location operations. I look forward to any and all feedback that you care to share. There’s a lot of knowledge out there and I want to make sure we take advantage of all of it. Together we do more than just survive…we can thrive!
Mission Statement –
“Provide a highly portable way to harvest solar power.”
Requirements & Restrictions –
- Must be reliable.
- Must be portable.
- Must be efficient.
- Must be weather (water) resistant.
- Shouldn’t be cost prohibitive (i.e. should be affordable).
- Should be as compatible with as many power storage options as possible.
- Should be waterproof.
- Can’t be weather/water intolerant.
Test Units –
For this series of articles I am going to be comparing six units –
- SolPad 7
- Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel
- Aukey BP-P4
- Anker A2421011
- Sunkingdom AMTCS19.5_B000046
- Eco-Worthy AM-L02SC30W-1
When I am done reviewing all the units I will have them compared to each other on a nice chart showing which unit rated in comparison to each of the other units. And of course, I will give my personal recommendation as to which is best for use in emergencies, disasters, and grid-down based on the Mission Statement and Requirements & Restrictions.
Now, please note…I am not including any recommendation in this series of articles on how to store the harvested solar power. That information will come in another series of articles that is also in the works. And you will be amazed at the options, what you think is the best vs. what the testing shows to be the best, and how to avoid wasting a whole lot of money. So, I would suggest that you wait until all of the articles have been published to avoid buying something too quickly and not getting the best value for your hard earned money.
Read the next article in this series where I review each test unit < click here to read >
Related Articles –
- Portable Solar Power Harvesting – Part #2 (SolPad 7)
- Portable Solar Power Harvesting – Part #3 (Goalzero Nomad 7)
- Portable Solar Power Harvesting – Part #4 (Aukey PB-P4)
- Portable Solar Power Harvesting – Part #5 (Anker A2421011 )
- Portable Solar Power Harvesting – Part #6 (Sunkingdom AMTCS19.5)
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