This is the fifth article in this series regarding the harvesting of the sun’s energy. In other words…solar panels collecting the sun’s rays. When this series of articles is complete you will have a solid understanding if this unit meets your needs and is worth your time and money. And of course you will have my overall “buy” recommendation as well when all is done. Yes, not till then. I will have a chart in the last article that provides a comparison of each unit against each of the other units. It is eye-opening to be sure. And it shows what is the best value for your hard-earned money.
If you haven’t already read the Introduction post to this series I would suggest you do so now.
To make sure we are on the same page let me quickly review two things…
Mission Statement –
“Provide a highly portable way to harvest solar power.”
Requirements & Restrictions –
- Must be reliable.
- Must be portable.
- Must be efficient.
- Shouldn’t be cost prohibitive.
- Should be as compatible with as many power storage options as possible.
The Anker A2421011 –
This was a no frills unit coming out of the box. First hing I noticed was the grommets built into the case vs. nylon or paracord loops. I thought this was an interesting twist. But, after testing it, it is just another way to secure the unit to a backpack, tent, tree, etc. What I did notice though was sound. If you attach this unit to your backpack with metal Carabiners it can make a little bit of noise when the metal Carabiners move around in the metal grommets. It’s really not that big of a deal, just my OCD kicking in.
This unit, like the previously tested Aukey unit, has a good quality feel to it. I liked that the controller/charger unit was undercover. It was well protected tucked inside the case and the flap secured with Velcro.
The panels appear to be really good quality and scratch resistant. And I did notice the higher efficiency rating, nice. The unit tested out as producing the claimed voltage and was easy to position to maximize solar ray harvesting. I did notice that the the max amps was only 3. But, I am starting to wonder if the manufacturers are somehow playing games with their amp ratings. Truly the only way that you could test the units would be side-by-side, charging the same device, with the same everything…and that simply isn’t practical, let alone possible. But, this unit did everything I asked of it and then some.
Technical Specs –
Amps: 3a max (2.4a x 2 ports)
USB Port: 2
Other Port(s): no
Maximum Efficiency: 23.5%
Panel Weather/Water Resistance: water & weather resistant
Weight: .9lbs (yes, less than 1 pound)
Amazon Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Cost per Watt: $2.86
Extra Accessories Provided: 3′ micro USB cable
Product info from manufacturer –
- Fast Charging Technology: PowerIQ delivers the fastest possible charging speed up to 2.4 amps per port or 3 amps overall under direct sunlight. 21 watt SunPower solar array is 21.5-23.5% efficient, providing enough power to charge two devices simultaneously.
- Incredibly Durable: Industrial-strength PET polymer faced solar panels sewn into a rugged polyester canvas offers weather-resistant outdoor durability.
- Highly Portable: Compact size (11.1 × 6.3in folded or 26.4× 11.1in opened) and stainless-steel eye-holes on each corner allow easy attachment to backpacks, trees, or tents. Lightweight (14.7 oz) and ultra-thin design (1.1in folded or 0.2in opened) make it ideal for long treks.
- Industrial-strength PET plastic faced solar panels sewn into high-wear polyester canvas ensure it’s able to withstand the trials of your outdoor adventures.
- Short circuit and surge protection technology keep you and your devices safe.
This is a nice little unit. While it may not be as well padded as the Aukey, it is still plenty durable for field use. The charger/controller is well protected from most elements. When all was said and done I was neither overly impressed or in any way disappointed. It’s just a nice little unit that does the job well. A little on the high side for price per watt but well within the affordable range.
To return to the Introduction page < click here >
Associated articles –
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