Difference Between Portable & Built-in Solar

Nevada Solar FAQs
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Residential Vs. Portable solar

The best way to charge a portable solar battery depends on how its use.

A portable solar panel will charge Goal Zero’s Yeti 3000 in roughly a day or more. Potable solar batteries don’t last long and take a while to charge because they’re engineered for emergency backup.

However, in an emergency, waiting for a portable generator to charge defeats the purpose of having it. If you want to power during an outage, consider a residential-solar-powered charging solution. 

Reno Nevada Portable Solar Panels

Portable solar panels usually produce about 100 watts and can be set up wherever the sun shines. They make charging devices and portable generators possible anywhere, especially in the sunny state of Nevada. However, these solar panels don’t supply as quick or enduring a power supply as residential solar.

Why Portable Solar Panels Produce Less

Every solar panel has a wattage rating. Wattage measures the amount of electricity produced or used.

You can determine wattage by multiplying amperage by voltage. A typical residential solar panel will produce between 250 and 365 watts, making it more efficient.

Since portable solar panels need to move, they are smaller. The problem is that when you use smaller portable solar panels, it takes longer to generate electricity.

Portable Solar Panels and Panel Type

One factor that plays a large role in the wattage of the panel is the type of conductive material used. Often because portable solar panels need to be lightweight, they use thin-film technology. However, monocrystalline and polycrystalline portable panels exist.

Each panel type has different efficiency ratings. Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline panels have the highest efficiency ratings on the market. Because portable panels have lower photovoltaic efficiency, they are not ideal for a wide range of situations.

The Best use for Reno, NV Portable Solar Panels

Portable solar panels have their specific niche within the solar industry and the greater Reno, Nevada area. Let’s take a look to see if you fit the mold.

Handheld Solar Panels

One of the most common forms of portable solar panels is a handheld solar panel, frequently used for backpacking in Nevada. These solar panels are small enough they can attach to a backpack or be held in your hand.

If you have a phone that you want to ensure is charged during your adventure, handheld solar is perfect. However, if you need to power anything bigger or a variety of devices during a long outing, these solar panels won’t do much good.

Boondocking and Power hookups

Another great use for portable panels is boondocking. Boondocking, otherwise known as dry camping, is a motor home lifestyle.

Boondockers camp in remote places for several weeks, then they drive to their next camping spot. Often these places don’t have any power hookups.

Portable solar panels are the perfect solution for people living the vagabond or road warrior lifestyle. Just like the rest of the items packed up into the average Nevadan’s motor home/RV, they are not fancy, but they get the job done, providing Nevadans enough wattage to power their essentials.

It helps to balance the need for technology with the choice to live in nature. Most people, however, don’t live this way. Their energy needs are far more complex than a couple of appliances in a camper.

Portable Solar and Batteries in Reno

Portable solar panels can also charge a portable solar battery during longer campouts. These solar panels allow the battery to charge while you enjoy the sun. Then when you come back to camp, you have electricity to recharge a variety of smaller electronics, including your phone, GPS tablet, and rechargeable headlamp.

The problem comes when you need to power something that requires more electricity. For instance, many Reno natives need to power their homes in an outage. A portable solar panel isn’t going to do a homeowner much good in this scenario.

Why Residential Solar with Battery and Backup Options is Better than Portable Solar for Most Reno Citizens

While boondockers or those using solar on an extended trip can get away with portable solar panels, a residential solar array paired with some form of solar backup is the best option for home power.

How Reno Natives Can Safeguard themselves Against Net Metering Rate Reductions with Home Solar Plus Portable Backup

Those who choose to purchase residential solar drastically reduce their electric bill with power from the sun. Residential solar coupled with batteries provide a cheap and dependable source of electricity.

Nevada homeowners who have installed solar with battery backup save thousands. These savings are mainly due to how battery backup plus home solar prevents the homeowner from losing money on below-market-rate value to the utility companies in the area.

Net metering is a policy that credits electricity customers for their excess solar generation, which helps offset the cost of power drawn from the grid at night. In Reno, solar customers can lock themselves into a net metering rate for the next 20 years, meaning they don’t have to worry about electric rate fluctuation.

Don’t limit yourself to portable solar panels. Use solar to its full potential with a residential solar array and home battery backup options.


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