Portable Solar Power Harvesting – Part #7 (Eco-Worthy AM-L02SC30W-1)

PortableSolarHarvestingSuningdom-700This is the seventh 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.

< Portable Solar Power Harvesting – Part #1 >

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.
  • 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.
The Eco-Worthy AM-L02SC30W-1 –

Portable Solar Harvesting Eco-Worthy 28wFirst thing I noticed right off the bat is the bulk and weight of this unit. It is way larger (i.e. fatter) and heavier (i.e. up to 3-times the weight) of the other units by a large margin. But, 3lbs for the ability to generate power can be a modest price to pay.

What really drew my attention to the Eco-Worthy unit was not the weight, it was not the size, it was not the 28w capability…it was the 12vDC option. Remember the Goalzero unit also has a 12vDC option on it…but at 1/4 of the wattage. That means the Eco-Worthy unit can push four times more power than the Goalzero unit at virtually the same over price. That is a significant difference and advantage that easily makes the Eco-Worthy unit far superior to the Goal zero unit.Eco-Worthy 12vDC & 5vDC USB

As I inspected the Eco-Worthy unit I found it to be very well constructed. The case was quality material, loops well attached to the case, panels well protected, and overall just and solid piece of gear. Then I noticed one of my pet peeves…the charger/controller unit…it was exposed. I would much rather it be protected in some fashion but it isn’t. When using this piece of gear you would have to find a way to ensure that you aren’t going to get rained on. Also, in the southwest it is common to have blowing dust, protection from this PortableSolarHarvestingEco-Worthy-705menace will have to be figured out. And finally, this is not a sling on the outside of your backpack portable solar harvesting unit. Well, technically it could be. But, it has a much larger footprint than the other units, at least double. I could see this unit being more appropriate for in-camp use.

As I kept looking over the unit I had neglected to recognize the remaining contents of the box. There were the Eco-Worthy 28w accessoriescustomary four Carabiners in there which is nice but not mandatory. And there was a 3′ USB cable as well, nice. And, there was a 40″ 12vDC power cable as well. Remember, this unit has 12vDC capability. And then there was the final surprise…10 adapter plugs for various devices to help ensure that your 12vDC device is compatible with the 12vDC cable that comes with the Eco-Worthy unit. SWEET!12vDC vehicle power socket adapater

Here is a “con” that I wish the Eco-Worthy folks would have thought about…a vehicle power socket with a DC5521 plug. Now please, don’t let your eyes roll back in your head, there is method to my madness. I want options to utilize the 12vDC capability of the Eco-Worthy unit. The most common 12vDC power delivery system at this point it the vehicle adapter socket and plug. That gives me a serious range of power options with the Eco-Worthy unit.

So why the 12vDC option? I want to be able to charge my Baofeng radio batteries with the standard charger base Eco-Worthy 28w testingand the 12vDC power cable w/adapter. So why not go direct into the unit’s 12vDC plug? I did try that and I am not sure it is truly compatible with what I am trying to accomplish. I used a USB cable Eco-Worthy testing 12vDCand my Baofeng charger base. I plugged in the unit and saw the correct voltage in the charger base. But, when I placed the battery in the charger base I didn’t get the steady red light indicating charging. What I got was a flashing red light, actually more light a spasmodic red light that I believe indicates that I am not getting a good charge.

So I went back into my shop and started digging around, 30 minutes later I have my vehicle adapter cable all ready to go. I repeat my test with the right cable, adapter, socket, and BINGO! I am in business. It works just as I wanted it to. Now I have a way to charge my Baofeng radio batteries from a highly solar panel unit. That is one of the big goals I wanted to meet.

Here’s how that test went…

I the cable I made worked perfectly and shows the panel putting out 18.27vDC just as advertised.

I the cable I made worked perfectly and shows the panel putting out 18.27vDC just as advertised.

 

I attached the vehicle power outlet to my new cable.

I attached the vehicle power outlet to my new cable.

 

Next came the 12vDC power adapter.

Next came the 12vDC power adapter.

 

The adapter turns 12 - 24vDC into 5vDC.

The adapter turns 12 – 24vDC into 5vDC.

 

I attached the DROK USB 2.0 Digital Multimeter and my regular multimeter to that the power cable now turned the 5vDC into

I attached the DROK USB 2.0 Digital Multimeter and my regular multimeter to that the power cable now turned the 5vDC into 10vDC (+/- 1vDC) to power the Beofeng charging cradle.

 

The Baofeng charging cradle shows the correct voltage in the cradle to charge the battery.

The Baofeng charging cradle shows the correct voltage in the cradle to charge the battery.

 

I slipped the battery into the Baofeng charger and the light immediately turned solid red indicating that it was charging the battery. Seeral hours later I had a battery ready to go to work.

I slipped the battery into the Baofeng charger and the light immediately turned solid red indicating that it was charging the battery. Several hours later I had a battery ready to go to work.

If you are interested here in the guts of the charger cable. The little circuit board is what turns the 5vDC into the 9 - 11vDC power for the charger.

If you are interested here in the guts of the charger cable. The little circuit board is what turns the 5vDC into the 9 – 11vDC power for the charger.

Another interesting thing happened while I was doing my research on this unit…Eco-Worthy is big time into solar power. They make a wide range of solar equipment all the way to complete systems. And all of their stuff gets really good reviews. But, let’s take a challenging approach to this unit…Are there other 12vDC solar units out here comparable to the Eco-Worthy? Yes.

I looked them over, five other units in all. They were all over $100 with the exception of one, which was over $90 (16% more expensive). None of them rated as highly as the Eco-Worthy unit. So why test units that are significantly more money with poorer initial ratings? Well, coz I am a dummy. I will be ordering one of those $92 units from Sunkingdom to make sure I am getting you the best info possible.

Technical Specs –

Watts: 28
Amps: 2.1a
Voltage: 5vDC
USB Port: 1
Other Port(s):  1 12vDC (DC5521)
Maximum Efficiency: >17%
Panel Weather/Water Resistance: at least water & weather resistant ( I think it is waterproof but I can’t actually verify it)
Weight: 3.1lb
Amazon Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Warranty: 2yrs
Price: $53.99
Cost per Watt: $2.57
Extra Accessories Provided: 1x USB Cable, 1x DC cable,10x Laptop/Device connectors, 4 Carabiners

Product info from manufacturer –
  • Automatically adjust the current and voltage to achieve maximum power.
  • Dual Output: Standard USB output fit for 5V device, 18V DC&5521 output for 9-18V laptop and 12V car battery.
  • Scratch resistant monocrystalline solar cells. Made of PET laminated, PVC waterproof fabric.
  • ECO-WORTHY solar panel will fully charge a smart phone, iPhone, GPS, or e-Reader in about 2 hours.
  • With Sun Track Technology you never have to worry about clouds or shade disrupting the charging connection or displaying error messages on your device.
  • Strong Volt solar chargers can charge all of your USB powered device such as phones, Go Pro’s, cameras, battery packs and Power banks almost as fast as a wall outlet.
  • It’s super lightweight, foldable and includes convenient grommet holes and carabineers clips so you can hang it from backpacks, chairs, tents, trees and more.
  • Features: Auto-Reconnect, LED Power Indicator Lights, Device Selection Switch, Wallet Size Design, Lightweight, Grommets for Hanging.
Summary –

Due to the 12vDC option on this unit I really like it. It sure gives you a lot more capability than simple 5vDC USB units. And the price per watt absolutely crushes Goalzero…and with just as good of quality, if not better, than Goalzero. This Eco-Worthy is a prized piece of equipment for my preparedness cache!

Note: There is one other aspect to this panel that really impressed me. But, you will have to wait until I write the articles about storing the harvested solar power. Yes, it will be worth the wait.

 

To return to the Introduction page < click here >

Associated articles –

 

2016 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Portable Solar Power Harvesting – Part #7 (Eco-Worthy AM-L02SC30W-1)

  1. Pingback: Storing Harvested Solar Power (Part #2) | A.H. Trimble - Emergency preparedness information for disasters and grid-down

  2. Pingback: Storing Harvested Solar Power (Part #1) | A.H. Trimble - Emergency preparedness information for disasters and grid-down

  3. Nope, Only solar panel I have is a 14 Watt Vinsic, which from everything really seems to be an anker clone. Same warranty, etc. I think it is the same company et. al. But the Vinsic is great. I pumps out the power through either of 2 usb ports. I want at least one panel that can provide 12DC, but also at least one more Vinsic, that is how pleased I am with mine. BTW, I’m really enjoying Escape from Tucson. Also I’ve just been reading all about the Red Rover Sling Bag which you wrote about. Looks like a keeper. Thanks for all that you are doing. I know that it takes a great deal of your time. Also you should take a look at the Hot Ash rocket stove. It sacrifices a bit of speed, but it drops the insulation and cuts the weight to just a smidge over 3 pounds, for a steel stove that should last a lifetime and with just a bit of teeth gnashing can go into a back pack. Folded up it fits easily into a Condor H20 pack. Another stove you might check out is the SoLoMan, especially the larger one. Gives SoloStove a run for its money Thanks for a prompt reply about the Instapark. I waffled on it for a year and now I’ll wait until you finish the comparison you mentioned to the Eco-Worthy, and when you have finished with the panels and storage devices, I’ll get onto your store and pull the trigger on something

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey NG, Great info…thank you 🙂 I just put the Vinsic in my Amazon cart on your recommendation. I will test it and add it into the mix next month. The Summary article comes out later this morning. I appreciate you going through the Amazon “buy” icons on AHTrimble.co when I do recommend a product. I make a very small % and that money goes right back into testing more gear. When I get back from Labor Day at the BOL I will look at the stoves you mentioned. Thanks again! AH

      Like

  4. Hey NG, thanks for the feedback. The Eco-Worthy comes with the battery alligator clamps. They’re not heavy-duty but they get the job done. I looked really hard at the Instapark Mercury27 to include it in the test units. I decided against it because the Eco-Worthy simply outperformed the Instapark Mercury27 from a technical perspective and the Eco-Worthy was considerably higher rated than the Instapark Mercury27. Also, there were some fairly negative input on its performance. I stuck with just the Eco-Worthy for testing. DO you have any first-hand experience with the Instapark Mercury27? AH

    Like

  5. Please checkout the Instapark Mercury27 27 watt solar panel. Online for anywhere from $60-109. I think the price fluctuates like a windmill. Now lists for $139 but a year ago it listed for $199. Includes cables that have one with Pos/Neg Alligator clamps. Any way of getting Alligator Clamps for the Eco-Worthy

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s