Solar panels convert the energy from sunlight into electricity we can use and store. Their applications range widely, from use on personal rooves to space exploration.
One potentially advantageous application is the use of solar panels on electric cars. When used in this way, they are usually fixed on the roof or the trunk of the vehicle.
To ensure that the solar panel can continuously absorb sunlight, the angle between the solar panel and the sun should be optimized. This article will discuss ten portable solar panels for an electric car.
The Benefits of Solar Panels on Electric Cars
In a world that’s searching for ways to use clean energy and reduce fuel costs, solar panels offer many advantages. Let’s discuss a few of them.
1. Solar Panels Charge Electric Car Batteries Quickly
Because many people who drive electric cars must travel long distances each week, they usually need to charge their cars at night when the sun is down.
This poses a problem since the charging process can take a long time. Fortunately, solar panels can help. They can generate enough electricity to fully recharge an electric car within 30 minutes.
2. Solar Panels Reduce Carbon Emissions
Most portable solar panels are made of recyclable materials. That’s one reason why they are widely considered to be environmentally friendly.
Additionally, by saving energy offered up by sunlight, they reduce the need to burn fossil fuels in your car, thus reducing your carbon emissions.
3. They Increase the Range of Your Electric Car
Another benefit of using portable solar panels for electric cars is that, if you use solar panels to charge your electric car, it will extend its range significantly.
This is because your electric car’s battery will last longer if it is charged using solar power instead of relying solely on conventional charging methods.
4. They Increase Your Safety on the Road
It can often be difficult to spot cars on the road, especially if it is dark or your car’s paint color blends in with the surroundings. However, a solar panel glinting with sunlight makes your vehicle more visible to other drivers, thus ensuring a safer driving experience.
5. They Look Great!
Drivers have always liked to enhance the look of their vehicles, or decorate them with stickers, lights, etc. Installing solar panels is yet another way to add character to your vehicle while sending a sustainable message.
6. Some Even Provide Power On Cloudy or Rainy Days
Certain brands of solar panels work even when clouds and rain are present. Because they are made of unique materials, they can withstand harsh weather conditions and keep charging your vehicle.
7. You Can Connect Them to Form a Larger Panel
One significant advantage of this kind of solar panel is its portability. You can transport them anywhere you go and place them wherever you want.
If you have a large area that needs to be covered, you can connect multiple panels to cover the whole area.
8. They’re Easy to Maintain
Because these solar panels are made of durable plastic, they require hardly any maintenance. Just wipe them off after every use, and they will stay in good condition.
9. They’re Affordable
Compared to other sources of energy, solar energy is extremely cheap. After the initial cost of the panels, solar energy is free!
What to Consider When Buying Solar Panels for Your Car
Before investing in a portable solar panel for your electric car, it is essential to consider these factors:
1. How Much Space Do You Have?
This depends on how big your car is. The bigger your car, the more space you have. If you have a small car, you should buy a smaller panel.
2. Do You Need to Charge Your Electric Vehicle Often?
If your answer is yes, then consider buying a larger panel. Otherwise, a smaller panel will do.
3. Can You Fit the Panel In Your Car?
You should be able to, in case you need to transport your panel anywhere for any reason. If you cannot fit a certain panel into your car, you should consider investing in a different kind.
4. How Do You Choose the Right Size?
Make sure that the size of the panel matches your car’s interior perfectly. This means that you must measure your car’s width, length, and height.
5. How Long Does the Battery Last?
The longer the battery lasts, the less frequently you will need to recharge it. A good-quality battery can last up to 20 years.
10 of the Best Portable Solar Panels for an Electric Car
1. Renogy 200-Watt High-Efficiency Monocrystalline Solar Panel
This is one of the best solar panels available on the market right now. It is highly efficient and the cost per watt is very low.
This solar panel is small, so it will fit almost all types of electric cars. Furthermore, it can produce enough electricity to fully recharge a typical electric car.
- Reliable: Advanced encapsulation material with multi-layered sheet laminations enhance cell performance and provide a long service life. EL-tested solar modules; no hot-spot heating guaranteed. Bypass diodes minimize power drop caused by shade.TPT back sheet ensures smooth performance over a long period of time.
- Durable: Guaranteed positive output tolerance (0-3%); withstands high winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa). Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame allows extended outdoor use; the panels can last for decades. Anti-reflective, high transparency, low iron-tempered glass with enhanced stiffness and impact resistance. IP65 rated junction box provides complete protection against environmental particles and low-pressure water jets.
- Versatile: Can be used for many different applications. Ground mount compatible . Compatible with on-grid and off-grid inverters.
2. Goal Zero Boulder 200-Watt Solar Panel Briefcase
This portable solar panel can generate up to 200 watts of power. The size of this solar panel case is compact, so it can easily fit into briefcases and backpacks. It also comes with carrying straps so you can easily transport it from place to place.
It can also fold up entirely into a briefcase shape. This means you won’t have to waste time searching for a storage space whenever you go somewhere new.
- SOLAR-PANEL CHARGER: Harness the sun’s power anytime and anywhere with this briefcase solar panel. This charging station is easy to transport and comes with everything you need to collect solar input.
- INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: This 200-watt solar-charging system is designed for maximum portability. It includes two 100-watt panels connected with a hinge, integrated kickstands for better angle placement, and a canvas bag with a handle for easy carrying.
- PORTABLE SOLAR PANEL: If you need a solar panel for RV trips or camping, this is perfect for you. An included canvas carrying bag makes transporting your Boulder Briefcase a total breeze. Don’t stop the adventure for low batteries!
3. Renogy 100 Watt Eclipse Mono Solar Suitcase
This powerful little panel comes with a solar controller, and power leads to hook up. They are also waterproof so you don’t need to worry about the rain.
It comes with a carry case so that you can set it up whenever you need to. These solar panels also boast a high-efficiency rating of 24%.
- 【SMALLEST IN SIZE】The Renogy Eclipse solar panels using SunPower solar cells, allows higher efficiency and minimized panel size, provides more flexibility for outdoor and off-grid use, easy to carry, store and set up.
- 【Plug and play solar kit 】complete kit includes a 100W solar suitcase, a 20A waterproof charge controller, and alligator clips. Compatible with multiple kinds of 12V batteries, easily add to your existing system.
- 【Incomparable efficiency】Renogy Eclipse solar panels using SunPower solar cells with high efficiency of up to 24% compared with the majority of solar panels falling in the 18% to 21% efficiency range.
4. EcoFlow 160 Watt Solar Panel and Battery Bank
Charge your car within less than 6 hours with this solar kit and power bank. This flexible option will allow you to charge your devices when you don’t need them for your car battery.
Charge the power bank up to 80% within just 1 hour! This kit is a great addition for those who love road trips, camping, and days out. You just need to hook it up and it will be charging within no time.
- ⚡[3 x AC OUTLETS AND 720Wh CAPACITY]: The RIVER Pro as a generator can power up to 10 devices simultaneously with multiple outlet options, including 3 pure sine wave AC outlets. Note that the total rated wattage of the AC outlets should be under 600W (surge 1200W). It offers up to 720Wh power and it weighs just 16.8lbs, which makes it a portable power station for adventure on the go.
- ⚡[RECHARGE FROM 0-80% WITHIN 1 HOUR]: The patented EcoFlow X-Stream technology enables you to charge the RIVER Pro from 0-80% within one hour and offers a full charge in just 1.6 hours. Use the EcoFlow 160W Solar Panel to charge RIVER Pro in 7.5-15 hours at a charging rate of 10-25V/12A max, 200W max input.
- ⚡[POWER A WIDE RANGE OF APPLIANCES]: With a built-in 600W inverter, the RIVER Pro can power some devices up to 1800W with the X-Boost mode on, which lets you power about 80% of essential devices like kitchen appliances and DIY tools. Please conduct full test on a case-by-case basis to see if the X-Boost feature can work with your appliances. Use devices below 1200W for the best product use.
6. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Mono Solar Panel
This portable solar panel is ideal for people who want to charge their electric vehicle anytime, anywhere. It is flexible and lightweight as well as foldable and waterproof. This 10” portable solar panel is also easy to install.
- [Extremely Flexible] This flexible solar panel is capable of meeting a wide range of applications where standard panels can be inconvenient to mount, such as on the curved roof of an airstream
- [Ultra Lightweigh] Thanks to advanced polymer materials, these flexible solar panels weighs 70% less than conventional solar panels, making transportation and installation a breeze
- [Super Thin Lamination] Hardly noticeable, the Renogy flexible solar panel 100 watt laid flat is only a tenth of an inch tall! Approximately 95% thinner than its rigid counterpart, this panel is ideal for a stealthy solar setup
8. 28 Watt BigBlue Portable Solar Charger
This is an excellent portable solar panel that is foldable and lightweight, making it easier to carry around. It is also waterproof and can be installed quickly.
For anyone who’s unsure whether to get a full system, this option is cheap, effective, and ready to charge your portable devices via USB ports.
- 【Upgraded Triple USB-A Ports】Each maximum output is 5V/2.4A and total maximum current of 3 USB is at 5V/4.8A. BigBlue 28w solar charger allows you to charge multiple devices at once. It comes with smart charge technology which can recognize your device smartly then providing optimal charging speed vary with different devices. BigBlue ensure 100% safe charging with overcurrent, overheating and short-circuit protection.
- 【Higher Solar Conversion】Highly efficient SunPower solar panel convert up to 24% of solar power into free energy in enough sunlight, which is the most durable panels at present, standing up to elements and wear and tear better than conventional panels. This special PET polymer surface protects solar panel from occasional rain or wet fog and three ports are covered with rubber cover to protect them from dust or water damage.
- 【Portable Camping Solar Panel】BigBlue solar charger is a great option if you’re taking an extended camping trip or if you’re traveling somewhere with an unreliable power grid. With compact size (11.6 × 6.3× 1.3in folded) and lightweight (20.5 oz) design, it is portable and light enough to fit into any camping backpack or hiking daypack. It is also a must have for stashing in an emergency kit.
Car Solar FAQs
1. Are These Solar Panels Safe?
Yes, these solar panels are specially designed from quality materials to be safe as well as effective. These include antistatic material, anti-corrosion coating, and high-temperature insulation.
2. Can I Install These on My Car Roof?
Yes, you can place them on any flat surface. Be aware that any panel’s effectiveness will decrease if there is any shading of its surface.
3. How Many Hours Will These Panels Produce Energy?
It depends on a variety of factors including weather and the placement of the panel, but generally speaking, portable solar panels produce enough electricity for 8 hours.
4. Are They Effective?
As long as there is direct sunlight, they are very effective. Even on cloudy days, solar panels can produce enough electricity to enable you to drive your electric car for periods.
5. What Do I Have to Know to Install a Solar Panel?
You need to know how to fix and remove your panel when not in use. Otherwise, you might damage the solar panel during installation or removal.