What Can Solar Do?
can you use your portable solar panel system to charge your phone?
One common question about the portable Zamp solar panels, is if they can charge a cell phone, IPad or MP3 player. While the Zamp portable solar panel kits come with a 2 prong plug to plug directly into a pre-wired camper and alligator lead clips to hook directly to a battery, these clips are not designed to hook up directly to your electronic device and Zamp solar does not supply any such connection But Rory has designed an option. He has taken a dual USB port receptacle, ABS tubing, a 2 prong plug and some electrical tape and came up with a unit that looks like this.
It stores inside the panel when closed for travel and costs $25.00 for anyone interested.
The 12v power generated by the Zamp solar portable solar kits is supplied from the controller that delivers the correct amps from the panel to charge on-board batteries in your camper or vehicle. You can also use the 12v receptacles equipped in your rig to charge your electronic devices.
Zamp also offers a surface mount port that can be wired directly to your rig’s battery. This port is perfect if you do not wish to use all of the standard 15’ lead provided to just get to a battery. That 15’ lead can be used to stretch out the full length needed to get the best sun possible all day long. If you set up in heavy shaded areas, they also have 15’ extension leads to give you even more distance if needed.
The portable Zamp solar charging system will charge your battery right out of the box, without any need for inverter's or controllers. The permanent roof mount panels will need have a solar controller to correctly charge a battery. Panels can be linked together to provide additional wattage to a multiple unit battery bank so you can also power an inverter to run 110 appliances off grid.
As we talked about in our previous solar segment about how much solar wattage you truly need, remember that the average battery life of a standard deep cycle battery is between 1-1/2 to 2 years. With the use of solar energy, you can increase your battery life to an additional 3-5 years. This benefit makes a solar panel a wise investment considering a deep cycle battery can cost $90 and the AGM batteries can cost $190. Also, AGM batteries are damaged if drained completely dead. Using Zamp’s solar panels can maintain the batteries for longer life. It also saves you from starting your truck or generator to charge up the batteries as well. Having to start your vehicle or generator only uses precious fuel and creates noise that we are all trying to get away from when we camp.
For those looking for a small portable solar to hook directly into your electronic devices, the Zamp solar portable lithium battery power pack is going to be the best option for you. This is a lightweight portable emergency power source which is powerful yet compact, with a 14-amp hour capacity. It comes standard with many adapters to charge most small electronics such as phones, cameras, MP3 players. It is equipped with 2 high speed USB ports and output sockets with universal tips which allows you to charge any 12, 16 or 19v devices as well. You can even jump-start a vehicle with up to 500 cranking amps! It includes an LED flash light and safety store function as well. These portable power packs are available from us direct for only $150.
Rory has used one on his safari to South Africa. It not only kept things powered up in the bush but also worked in the airports to keep his phone and iPad charged. It would charge his phone multiple times before needing to be recharged itself. It took about an hour plugged into the car’s 12v receptacle to get it back to a full 100%. These power packs work great for emergency situations as part of your backpack and carry on. If you find your car battery dead once you arrive at the airport, no worries, your portable power pack will start your car!