Let's face it, the term "roughing it" has changed over the years. Camping and other outdoor activities are greatly enhanced by the use of some of our favorite electronic devices. Unfortunately, those devices require recharging and a power source.
Foldable solar panels are the perfect alternative to a generator. A 12 volt battery is great to store the solar energy so you can use small electric items like a small television, or simply just to charge your electronics.
Gas powered generators are simply too loud to use on a camping trip. They scare away the wildlife and make it nearly impossible to get a good night's sleep.
Aside from that, they're constantly expelling fumes into the otherwise fresh air. Good, clean power is the only result of a reliable battery and foldable solar panel combination.
Charging your favorite electronics isn't the only use for these devices. Your ATV or dirt bike likely uses a 12 Volt battery. Having the ability available to charge a backup battery without a cumbersome energy source is absolutely the way to go camping, fishing, or just on a day ride in the wilderness.
Campers are being built with more modern conveniences every year. Many of today's campers come equipped with solar panels, battery backup, small refrigerators, and cook stoves. Enjoy most of the comforts of home while you enjoy the peace, quiet and fresh outdoor air.
Solar Powered Gadgets
Solar is the cleanest power you can take into the woods on a camping trip. Some of the newest solar powered gadgets may help make your next camping trip the best yet. No one ever said camping had to be gadget-free to be considered camping.
Generator: A small, compact generator that creates a good amount of power to use some of your favorite electric items while camping. Most are fitted with a 400W inverter, USB sockets and a 12 volt car socket.
Lantern: Charge your lantern simply by leaving it sitting in the sunlight. Flashlights may also be charged this way. Never worry about your lighting or packing along extra batteries, as long as your sun-powered lighting has been properly charged.
Ovens and Stoves: Cook real meals like a pro and enjoy that morning pot of coffee with a wide array of sun powered camping items. Box cookers are a relatively new invention that greatly benefits those who love camping and good, fresh food. Temperatures may reach as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to bake or fry most any food.
Foldable Solar Panel: Flexible and light weight, this device provides the ability to generate electricity while camping.
Make your next camping trip more elaborate and enjoy the comforts of home with inexpensive sun-powered gadgets and rechargeable 12 Volt batteries. The batteries are a must if you plan to make the most of the power generated by the sun.
More and more scientists today agree that global warming is a serious issue and that the cause of global warming is carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. Politicians, too, are being swayed as they see increases in property damaged, injuries, and even deaths due to natural catastrophes which appear to have gotten worse in recent decades.
Because fossil fuels appear to be the source of worldwide atmospheric change, people have began to look to other methods of producing energy. In addition to causing atmospheric change, there's the reality that we will run out of fossil fuels. The world's economy is based on fossil fuels but they are a finite resource. Eventually we will run out of them. Fossil fuels are not a sustainable resource. Two methods of producing energy which have little impact on the environment and are sustainable are solar and wind power.
First, we'll take a look at solar power. Solar power is, of course, power derived from the energy of the sun's rays. The limitation with this energy source is the sun itself. The sun will never run out, except at night. Solar power sources have been designed to compensate for the downtime of night or cloudy days, but solar power works best in sunny climates.
Solar power is generally used in one of three ways: to generate heat, to generate electricity, and to desalinate salt water. Solar powered heating systems are usually either active or passive in design. An active solar heating system uses pumps to circulate water which has been heated by the sun. Passive solar heating systems use the nature of water to create circulation. This method relies on the fact that heat energy wants to move into areas of lesser heat.
In generating electricity, solar power is harnessed by photovoltaic cells which convert the suns energy into electricity. These cells have been widely used to power calculators for decades. In solar desalination, the power of the sun is used to evaporate water to separate it from the salt and other undesirable minerals.
Another type of clean, renewable power comes from the wind. Wind power, while growing in popularity, still accounts for barely 1% of the world's power supply. This is hard to believe considering how much the wind blows! Wind power is usually harnessed using wind turbines.
A centuries old version of harnessing wind power is the windmill. These lovely structures used the wind to grind grains and pump water. Today's wind turbines are advanced machinery employing the latest technologies.
More and more "wind farms" are sprouting up around the world. These huge arrays of wind turbines can be found on land and offshore. The biggest ones in the US are land-based farms in California, Oregon, and Washington. There are also more and more popping up the Midwest. Because of energy costs and damage done to the environment, alternative energy sources are receiving a great deal of interest. Two of the most promising are solar and wind power.
These days 'renewable energy' and 'solar power' are more than just buzzwords. They demonstrate a worldwide effort to reduce the consumption of and dependence on fossil fuels.
Power from the sun is one of the most common forms of renewable energy. One popular means of harnessing the sun's power is by using foldable solar panels.
These are quickly catching on among people looking to reduce their electricity bills. Like more standard types, these panels are designed to convert UV rays to useable AC energy.
As implied by the name, these products can be folded, making them highly portable. This is one of their more attractive features.
Using Foldable Solar Panels
These products are useful in a number of scenarios. It is wise to ask questions before buying one. In some instances additional accessories may be necessary.
They are ideal for when you are away from power outlets and need to charge the devices you use every day. You can take them on camping trips to ensure that your cell phone won't run low on power. This can be handy if an emergency should arise.
Many people take their laptops everywhere they go. As long as there is sunlight their computer use will be uninterrupted. Other devices like iPods, Smartphones, GPS and small battery chargers can also be connected to these devices.
Some types are sensitive enough to work in low light conditions. For the most part, these products are user-friendly and require little in the way of setting up.
What to Look For
As with any other buying decision there are pointers which indicate that some types offer better value. Some useful features of foldable solar panels are:
* Being weatherproof
* Available in different wattages
* Glare reduction coating
* Water resistant plugs
Finding the Best Products
It is easy to find product reviews online for these products. These products are rated on a number of criteria, usually based on the experiences of users. Independent reviews of these and similar products can also be found on technology websites.
The manufacturing company's reputation is paramount when buying these items. Since they are often connected to expensive equipment which might be sensitive to energy fluctuations, care has to be taken with selection. For the user, durability is just as important as reliability and all of this hinges on the manufacturer's quality standards.
While everyone wants to save money the price is not always the best basis for a good deal. Each type must be evaluated based on what they offer. As a first step you should look at your devices and evaluate your energy needs.
Buying Used Foldable Solar Panels
Many of these products will last for a long time if they are taken care of. Buying them used is not always a gamble but there is some risk involved. This should only be done in cases where these items can be properly inspected for signs of damage.
The cost should also be worth the effort if the plan is to buy them used. If the price difference is not significant it may be better to buy them new. This way you are certain to get all attachments and accessories.
The savings to be had from using renewable energy can never be overstated. Many new homes are constructed with alternative energy solutions. Some homeowners are making changes to their residences to use green energy where possible.
Some people are dissuaded by the initial costs of some brands of foldable solar panels and similar solutions. Admittedly, savings are not immediately realized but they will come in time. Experts in the field have pointed out that these products will more than pay for themselves in relatively short time.