Backpack Solar panels can be a great idea for a gadget-savvy person who loves the outdoors. Spending a lot of time out of the home or office can increase your reliance on wireless, battery-powered devices, so having the means to power them while you are out can be a problem. Having solar panels on your everyday backpack might be the solution to this technology conundrum.
The trouble lies in finding a tough and durable backpack capable of withstanding your outdoor ventures, as well as solar panels which are effective in absorbing sun rays. You will often be faced with buying cheaply made solar backpacks that end up fraying and tearing apart. Staying away from cheaper solar panel mechanisms will also prevent your devices from electrical harm that will leave your valuable gadgets broken and worthless.
Backpack Solar Panels, So What’s The Deal?
If the name of the object wasn’t already a clear indicator of its function, a backpack with solar panels is just that. Solar panels are weaved and mounted into the largest exterior portions of the backpack, and are wired into the bag’s compartments in order to provide power to nearly any gadget you carry on a daily basis.
Solar panels today are thin and lightweight enough to be mounted nearly anywhere, and that includes your backpack. While their reflective coating may seem to reflect sunlight rather than absorb it, the solar cell is coated with a thin, anti-reflective treatment that will prevent energy loss. These thin solar sheets also have a protective coating to protect them from the elements.
Solar panels inside a backpack can also be wired up into an internal battery, which stores all of the solar power gathered. If you end up indoors after being out in the sun for a long time, then this means your devices can still draw power from the internal battery. However, the battery will run out of power eventually, unless you go outside and charge it up with solar power again.
Some internal batteries can be hooked up to other power sources, such as a wall outlet, or your car. This makes having a backpack solar panel with a built-in battery even more useful, giving you the capability to draw power from more power sources than the sun.
[box_alert]The only downside of backpack solar panels is that they do not produce nearly as much power as larger solar power sources, or common wall outlets. On average, an hour of solar power will only be enough to power a cellular phone for about an hour or two. If you have more than one device hooked up to your backpack battery, then this time may decrease, or your backpack battery will use up more power to charge each of your devices equally.[/box_alert]
If you are an avid outdoorsman, then here are some gadgets you may take with you into the wilderness that will eventually need charging:
- GPS Devices, so that you don’t get lost when trekking into the woods.
- A cell phone, to contact people if you do end up lost or without a means of navigation.
- Flashlights, especially if you plan to venture out into the wild at night.
- Entertainment gadgets, like a music player or portable gaming device, will also need to be recharged after constant use.
Gadgets like these are used especially in large urban areas. You may carry devices like these on a daily basis, and sometimes you can be forgetful when charging them. Taking along all of your chargers can also take up valuable bag space, so having chargers built into your bag might literally take a load off.
What Should I Look For?
While you may not have heard of backpack solar panels, the market for them is now saturated with both great and poor quality products. How will you be able to find a one well worth your money, that will last long, as well as charge your devices safely and effectively? Here are a few tips you can take into stride when you start window shopping.
- Determine the kind of gadgets you have, as well as how often each gadget will need charging.
- The amount of time you spend in open sunlight should also affect your decision to buy backpack solar panels. If you spend a lot of time indoors far away from sunlight, then perhaps you should just bring your standard device chargers with you.
- You might also need to determine how many gadgets you carry along with you on a regular basis. This will also help you decide on the size of your backpack.
- The size of your backpack might also dictate the size or the amount of solar panels that can be mounted on a bag. Larger panels do not necessarily equate to more power for your devices.
- Of course, you should always put aside a portion of your budget to make sure you get a good-quality solar-powered backpack. If you don’t have much to spend, then you can try making your own backpack solar panels.
Environmentally conscious gadget lovers aren’t the only ones who can get a kick out of this hybrid invention. People who simply carry around a lot of technology on a daily basis might find backpack solar panels an interesting solution to a common problem: Power for each and every device.