Solar panels used to be thought of as very large panels that were put on roofs of homes and buildings to produce solar energy for heating or power. Today, solar panels come in many shapes and sizes. The latest and greatest in solar panels are portable solar recharging kits.
A company called Goal Zero manufactures and sells several different types of panels. These can be used while camping, a family picnic at a park, or a backyard party. Of course, there are many other ways to use Solar Panels Kits From Goal Zero, but for those on the go or those taking a lot of outdoor trips, they come in handy.
These panels can charge anything from a cell phone to a camping lamp to a mini-fridge. Some of the larger appliances, such as a television or mini-fridge, will need the solar panels kits in combination with a solar powered generator to operate the device.
Review of Solar Panels Kits From Goal Zero
Guide 10 Plus Solar Kit – This solar kit comes with a battery pack and a foldable Nomad 7 solar panel.
With this device, you will be able to charge AA or AAA batteries by plugging the battery pack into the solar panels and leaving the rest up to the sun.
The Guide 10 Plus battery pack can also be charged by any device that has a USB port, like a smartphone. This kit not only recharges batteries, but can also recharge any smaller USB powered device; this includes devices such as an iPod or MP3 player, a cell phone or smartphone, a tablet, an e-reader, a GPS, a camera, or a handheld gaming device. It takes about two hours to charge the battery pack using the solar panels, and about one hour to charge a smartphone.
The Nomad 7 solar panel folds and is easy to carry; the dimensions of the folded panel are 9 in x 1.5 in x 6.5 in. The battery pack is even smaller at 2.5 in x 4 in x .75 in.
Escape 150 Solar Kit with Light – This kit comes with a solar panel, a light, and the Escape 150 Power Pack. The power pack can be charged three different ways:
Plugging it into a wall outlet, which takes about five hours; using a 12V charge from a car, which takes about six hours; or the ultimate choice is plugging it into the Boulder 15 Solar Panel (included with the kit), which takes about 10 hours.
Other solar panels can be used; however the charge time will vary. By charging the device with the Boulder 15 panel, you are using natural sunlight and this can leave you feeling good that you are contributing to being eco-friendly. The Escape 150 is a great thing to take along on a camping trip, for outside parties, or to use if the power goes out in your home.
There is an AC outlet to plug in any electrical device, as well as a USB port on the device for charging a smartphone, tablet, or any other smaller device. The device can also run the light that comes with the kit for approximately 50 hours.
Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit – This kit comes with a Goal Zero Switch 8 recharger and a Nomad 7 solar panel. The Switch 8 can be charged from a USB device, such as a smartphone, or by using the Nomad 7 solar panel and the almighty power of the sun.
The solar panel will charge the device in about four to eight hours and a USB port will charge it in about four hours. The nice thing about the size of this panel is it is portable and folds up making it easy to carry and use. When charged, the Switch 8 can charge or power any smaller USB device, such as an MP3 player, cell phone, smartphone, tablet, an e-reader, and other smaller or handheld devices.
The Switch 8 is only 1 in x 1 in x 5 in so can be easily carried in a pocket or purse.
Solar energy is so accessible and with these kits, it makes it even easier to charge a device such as the Switch 8, Escape 150, or Guide 10 Plus, during the day for use at night. You can do your part in conserving energy by using these contraptions, not to mention how handy they are for the family camping trip or outdoor party.
Traveling Green with Goal Zero Products
There is no better way to travel green than with a trip to the great outdoors. Camping is a great way to get the family together, enjoy hiking and nature, and take in the environment. All of these activities can be done in an environmentally friendly way.
Products from Goal Zero assist families with all the modern camping amenities, but with leaving behind as small of a footprint as possible on the environment. Not to mention, teaching your family at a young age to nurture and care for their planet can be carried on for years to come.Traveling Green with Goal Zero Products
Camping Products Available from Goal Zero
Rather than using a flashlight that must operate on batteries, Goal Zero offers several solar operated flashlights.
These flashlights come in all sizes; from a small keychain to a large spot light. The smaller versions are charged by setting it in an area of direct sunlight during the day for use at night.
The larger spot light can be charged with an AC/DC adapter, which can be plugged in to solar panels rather than using electricity. Solar panels are available in various sizes.
These panels can be used in place of electricity. Most have the capability of charging USB powered devices as well as AC/DC powered devices. The smaller solar panels are good for charging cellphones, MP3 players, tablets, gaming devices, or a GPS.
The higher powered panels can be used for charging USB, 12V, and AC powered devices such as laptops, a lantern, or other smaller electrical devices needed while camping.
For those campers that like to hit the trails during the day, there’s nothing more than a little music to add to the enjoyment of the trails and the scenery. Goal Zero’s “Rockout” portable speaker set can be just the thing to help this happen.
The speakers are adaptable to an MP3 player, smartphone, or a tablet. Fully charged, the speakers can last for 20 or more hours. The device is easily rechargeable by plugging into a solar operated panel.
For those longer camping trips or those that need more high powered devices, Goal Zero has a variety of solar generators. These devices can come in handing for crews out filming in the wilderness with a lot of equipment or those that need to stay connected to work through a computer.
One of the larger solar generators can operate an LCD TV for up to 12 hours or a mini fridge for over 20 hours. The device can be recharged by both plugging into a wall or, the better way, by natural sunlight. USB, AC, and 12V devices can be plugged in to the generator.
When planning your next camping trip, think about how much less you have to pack if you were using these solar powered devices. Even better, think about how much you are contributing to protecting your planet and making the environment a better place.
No more using kerosene or propane powered devices, or having to haul gas around for a gas-powered generator–now you can pack a solar panel and a solar-powered generator and have unlimited use of the good old sun.
Goal Zero’s Zero Emissions Rechargeable Electric Mini Generator
Whether you are a camping enthusiast, like to hunt, like to take a fishing expedition, or just want to watch movies in the backyard, chances are you might need some power. Many hunters or fisherman (or woman) head off to camp for a weekend or a week in a tent or a remote cabin and often times, there is not a power source available.
The next best option is a noisy, gas burning generator or a kerosene burning lamp for light. Well those days can be put behind you; Goal Zero has a 1250 watt solar generator that won’t leave you with smelly fumes and loud noises so you can’t hear the bears sneaking up on you.
The Goal Zero Emissions Rechargeable Electric Mini Generator is lightweight and with the handle on top, is also easy to carry. The product has two regular electrical outlets, two USB ports, and three 12V ports for charging.
Although it can’t be used to power large appliances, you will be surprised at what it can power–small appliances like a radio, small television, a lamp, a DVD player, or a laptop and it can keep the item powered for several hours. If you just need the generator to charge smaller things like a cellphone, tablet, or a GPS, the power source can last for multiple days.Goal Zero’s Yeti Solar Generator
Not only does the generator give off zero emissions, but it can be recharged using solar power too. The solar panel needed to do this is not included, but can be purchased separately. Before purchasing any accessories, you will want to reference the instruction manual or check with the manufacturer regarding compatibility.
If you don’t want to power by solar panel, the generator can be recharged by plugging into an AC wall charger. The charging adapter is included when you purchase the generator. Some other specs of the product include: The weight of the generator is about 29 lbs, the dimensions are 10.25 inches long by 8 inches high, by 8 inches wide. The weight and dimensions make it an easy piece of equipment to transport.
I can think of several uses that a camper could use the generator for, such as powering a lamp at the campsite, staying in touch with family by being able to keep your cell phone charged, plugging in a GPS to charge at night so you are good to go for the next day’s adventures, or plugging in a radio so you can listen to some tunes while you sit around the campfire.
Using the generator decreases the need for batteries in a flashlight or kerosene in a lamp. There are both smaller and larger models available depending on your need. If you only need to power a lamp at your campsite, you might want to consider the micro version of the generator.
If you have a hard time justifying the cost of the product, just think about what you spend on batteries, gasoline, or kerosene; and more importantly, think about how you are saving your environment–doesn’t that make it all worth it?