Has anyone tried the ALLPOWERS 80W foldable solar panel?


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/05/has-anyone-tried-the-allpowers.html


Nope, sorry. I’d love to hear how it turns out.

It seems like the majority of homeowner-grade sustainable power generation stuff that isn’t regularly advertised in Home Power is flimsy, overrated* crap.

* in the numerical sense, like, power output less than half of that claimed.


From the Amazon reviews, it looks like this is designed more to keep a car battery charged during extended periods of non-use; I don’t see any endorsements of how it works under load.

I’m not flagging you off; the people who used it to charge keep their vehicle batteries topped up seem to really like it, but I can’t find an endorsement of it being used in the manner you describe.


the reviews are for like 5 different size panels


My experience of using a similar class of refrigerator was that it used around 14AH a day if it wasn’t called on to cool anything too large. Put a few litres of liquid in it and the consumption would go up till it was chilled. And this was with the heat exchanger discharging at no more than 20C. Under desert conditions at 35C with a load of cans, you could easily see 30-35AH, and it would be difficult to keep your panel at the right angle to the sun long enough to get anywhere near that in a practical rig. At the time my domestic batteries were 330AH and I had a 70A continuous alternator with a 4-stage charger, meaning that if the engine ran an hour a day it would actually supply domestic needs. I worked out that to use a solar panel instead I would need at least a 300W panel.
I hope this helps.


. . . and this panel should deliver (80w/18v) 4.4Amps.

Maximum. Which is to say, at high noon on the equator on a clear day with the panel pointing directly at the sun. Even “haze” cuts this by 30%. (It still looks about as bright to us, because the human eyeball has a logarithmic response to light, but cameras and solar cells see a big difference.)

If you can set it up so that it’s on a rack pointing at where the sun is at solar noon, your actual power will vary from zero to full to zero from sunrise through noon to sunset. Conveniently, through the sunrise-to-sunset cycle, it averages to about half what you’d get if you kept the panel pointing directly at the sun at all times.


Yes, I think a realistic assumption under desert conditions is going to be around 20AH/day, and allowing for charge and discharge battery losses that won’t be enough. Under non-desert conditions things get worse with great rapidity.


way too large and unwieldy. I use this one instead

a totally working design thanks to unobtanium-doped silicon cells


Has anybody had any experience of those 7.2kva Hyundai standby Diesel generators, though? They seem very cheap for what they are but so do their cars, and the people I know who own them speak highly of them (the cars).


There’s a 340W panel for $375 here: SolarWorld SW340 XL Silver Mono Solar Panel. Okay, it’s massive at 21.6 kg and it produces 38V DC, so Mr. Weisberger would also need a DC to DC converter to bring it down to what’s needed-- but at least it’s reasonably priced, and will have enough raw oomph to get the job done.



80W from something that small? I’m not holding my breath.


Has anyone tried the ALLPOWERS 80W foldable solar panel?

“Yeah, I’m sure someone has.”


“Hey, what’d ya do that for?!!”


How much power can you derive from the van’s engine while you’re driving? Enough to charge a second deep cycle battery for use in series/parallel?

I know where good 5k generators can be had, but they’re a little large for your purposes with the Vanagon.

Going inland or Pacific coast side? Oooooohhhhh, the surf. Damn you the surf with good warm sun, cheap beer, roadside tacos de pescado, coastal roads where nobody will bother you, long empty lefthand overhead pointbreaks…sigh


Does it need to be foldable? If just flexible (for mounting on an irregular surface), this looks like a nice alternative with a bit more power:


No that won’t work for your appliaction. Assuming the product is not junk and does indeed put out the 2.2amp 18v it’s advertising (not 4.4amp you claim) that’s a maximum value and 12 hours * 2.2amp = 26.4aH daily max you want to be able to support 24 hours * 1.5amp = 36aH avg daily.

I would recommend a real solar panel or a slightly more expensive flexible solar panel you will also want a solar charge controller to manage the panel, battery and draw. It’s 10-15 bucks and will protect the battery from over charging, also solar panels will drain the battery at night without a blocking diode (included in solar charge controller).

A lot of these “solar chargers” are Chinese junk, I spent the money and bought a similar one and it did not work, engineered so poorly it could have never worked. If a product has more 1 stars reviews than 2 and 3 star reviews, and almost as many 1 stars and 4 stars, that’s is a red flag right there.


Paging @nixiebunny


Fakespot determined that the reviews are accurate (for better or worse), but like others have stated I wouldn’t expect the panel to run a fridge.



Some other possibilities. I’ve bought batteries from these folks, haven’t had any problems…

Charge controllers and foldable solar panels to 180 Watts.