As the recent power outages in Texas have shown us, the grid is far more vulnerable than many of us realize. In this article, we are going to discuss what causes power outages, why solar energy can provide an easy solution, how solar panels don't necessarily equal independence from the grid, and how to build your own personal portable solar generator system.
Solar Panels Don't Automatically Equate to Grid Independence
Power outages are usually due to a disruption that happens somewhere between the homeowner and the electricity supplier. Even if the power plant is still producing electricity, a breach in the system -- like a broken connection or power line -- prevents the electricity from reaching the consumer.
If a home has solar panels, then they can produce their own energy, but that still doesn't mean they are immune from blackouts. That's because they are still connected to the grid. They do contribute to the production of electricity, but if there is no way to store that solar energy that is produced right then and there, the grid has to pick up the slack (this is how net metering works).
When solar panels produce electricity, this power goes into the grid. The production production is monitored, then credited to a homeowner’s account, causing a meter to roll backward. If it rolls back far enough, the power company actually owes you money at the end of the month.
Making Your Own Portable Solar Generator
The only way to keep the lights on during a blackout is to store your solar energy on site. To do so, you need a battery backup system. This lets you keep your home running, even when the rest of the neighborhood has no power whatsoever.
At this point many of your neighbors will fire up their gas generators. But they come with all sorts of problems. They are very loud, produce pollution, and can't be used in confined spaces.
A portable solar generator has a battery or battery pack that gets its power from solar panels. Direct current electricity is made and then goes to a battery. It then goes to an inverter and becomes A/C power. What's great about solar generators is that they can be charged by a wall plug-in, and even a car 12 volt connection (as GoSun's Chill and Powerbank 144 can).
There are all sorts of ways to build your own portable solar generator. We at GoSun offer many products that let you produce your own electricity (the Solar Panel 10, the Solar Panel 30, the Solar Table, the Chill) and store it (the Powerbank). We have different products to meet your different demands.
Scroll down to see GoSun's offerings.
Our SolarPanel 30+ is perfect for charging devices using nothing but sunshine. It's simple: just connect any device and place in the sun. Under full sun, this will charge about at fast as a typical wall outlet charger. It's portable power as you go!
Solar Table 60
Designed to charge the PowerBank+, the SolarTable 60 is our fastest, most powerful solar charger. With it, you can use the sun to charge laptops, tablets, cameras, phones, and lights – or even power the Chill and Fusion at night. With a 60W collapsible solar table, you have a tempered glass table surface and shade to cover the Chill.
By keeping your appliances in the shade, this solar generator lasts longer and provides power that goes practically all day.
Our PowerBank 144 unleashes the freedom of portable power. Capable of charging laptops, tablets, cameras, phones, lights, and other devices - just plug in anywhere, anytime. Or use it to power the Chill or Fusion
Here are tech specs on our Powerbank:
20V 2A ma (AC Adapter)
Max Voc 28Vdc (Solar PV)
Cigarette Lighter (1x)
White LED Lantern
Red LED Lantern
The Chill's Solar Battery Pack
The GoSun Chill is great for many reasons. We've mentioned in other blog posts that it cools better than an ice cooler, holds way more drinks, uses far less power than a car fridge, and never needs ice.
But something that gets overlooked is how great the Chill's portable lithium battery pack is. Beyond powering the Chill, it can also charge your phones (up to three at once), any USB-enabled electrical device, and even power the GoSun Fusion, letting you cook your food and keep it hot while keeping your drinks cool.
With its powerful output of 15 amps at 12 volts, it's essentially one of the only batteries of its kind that can power all 12 volt devices. These include such electrical devices as air compressors and fans.
• Output Interface: DC, Micro USB, Triple USB, USB/DC
• Input Interface: MICRO USB/DC
• LED Lamp Illumination
Video: GoSun's Solar Generator in Action
Want to see how the Powerbank works in action? Check out this video below, and see that solar generators really are the way to go.