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Small-Scale Solar 2022

Introduction

There has been a rise of interest in small scale solar power systems. This has evolved in recent years and now we’re likely to see them become more commonplace. Here are a few factors that have driven the increased demand:

  • BATTERY PACKS — Battery power packs have become widely used by those involved in van life, camping, RV enthusiasts, and the tiny house movement. This has allowed companies to develop efficient affordable systems. These battery packs are essential for storing solar produced energy.
  • REMOTE POWER — In the past people would charge their battery packs from the grid. However, with the need to have power in remote locations, and concerns about power outages from rolling blackouts or disruptions due to natural disasters, people are using solar power to charge up their battery power packs.
  • ENVIRONMENT — Gas generators are noisy and smelly. People want power from quiet sources without toxic emissions. There’s an awareness about how our choices impact the environment and people want to choose eco-friendly solutions.
  • SMALLER DEVICES — Smart phones and other small battery-powered electronic devices have evolved to become more energy efficient. This makes battery packs and solar more practical for daily use with smaller devices.
  • PREPPERS — The pepper movement has been around for a while, and having backup off-grid power is something of interest to preppers and survivalists.

All these factors have come together as a wave to produce consumer demand and support an industry that can evolve and improve.

Battery Power Systems

For an in-depth report on small scale solar and battery packs, read, “Battery Backup Power Packs and Solar Panels.” [View]

Solar and Power Pack Products

Amazon is a good place to do some research on products because of the wide variety available and numerous reviews. [View Power Packs | View Solar Panels]

Videos

The curated selection of videos below provide news and information about small scale solar systems. These are listed in chronological order with the most recent at the top.

CNN (10 Sep 2022)

“The Jackery 1000 Pro Helps Make the Case That We All Need a Solar Generator” — It’s not a cheap setup, but if you’re serious about 1,000 watts of portable power that may never need to connect to the grid, this generator has to be on your short list.

Note that the video above states 200w power panels will produce 200w. The actual power provided by solar panels can commonly be about 65% to 70% of what they are rated at. Also, the video refers to “three-prong-grounded outlets.” While the outlets accept a 3-prong plug, there is not a physical ground wire for these like you would have in a home or business commercial wiring. The holes are provided to accommodate three prong plugs.

City Prepping (20 Apr 2022)

“Best Solar Generator for 2022” — With so many options for a solar generator, which is the best for you? By the end of the video, you’ll have a clear picture of which is best for you.

Older Videos

CNET (15 Dec 2021)

“Portable Power Station (Buying Guide)” — These portable power stations can replace a generator in many cases, but to buy the best one you need to understand their capacity and limitations.

This video above is primarily about battery power packs, but solar charging is discussed, and these types of power packs are ideal for portable solar power. Note that there is mention of Lithium-ion batteries being used in these units. Some manufacturers offer LiFePO4 batteries which are more resilient and can be recharged more times than Lithium-ion batteries.

Will Prowse (15 Sep 2021)

“Bluetti AC300: Plug-N-Play Solar Power System, Full Review” — This is an in-depth review of the AC300 by Will Prowse.

Photo Example

Below is a photo showing an example of small scale solar with a battery pack.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com