Part 2 on Portable Power: Plugging into the Sun

December 20, 2010

In an era when an abundance of items requires electrical or battery power to operate, what happens when you aren’t near the grid or – heaven forbid! – the power goes out?

We continue this series by looking at portable solar power systems — this time solar. We start at Powerenz, Inc. On its website, the company says it “designs and assembles portable solar power systems for applications ranging from military to adventure to environmental consciousness. Our systems are easy to carry and perfect when you need a portable off-grid power system.”

The Powerenz LFP200 is a silent, lightweight, portable solar power generator (shown in the photo at the left). The system uses Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry that is manufactured using no toxic ingredients. Powerenz says the system will not ignite or explode, and weighs 50% less than lead acid batteries of comparable charge capacity. Additionally, the battery has an estimated lifespan of 3,000 days.

The list of possible portable power uses ranges from camping to photography or emergency survival. It has also served various military needs. Of note, Powerenz provides three portable solar power case studies that are worth reading – from a pilot, a hunter, and a missionary working in the mountains of the Philippines.

Elsewhere, SUNRNR of Virginia offers non-gasoline portable generator and rechargeable energy storage systems, which store up to 2000 watts. The portable solar panel is shown in the photo on the left. On its website, an informative video is also provided.

These are just two companies among many that provide portable power options for generating and storing electricity off the grid.

For anybody wishing to look at these portable power alternatives, time should be allocated to study all options on pricing and capacity. While the solutions are very attractive, the technology behind them is not simple and the prices aren’t cheap. Understanding how to gather electricity from the sun, how panels function, the use of inverters and generators are important, plus knowing the basic differences between things like watts and watt-hours is important.

Next, we will look at other portable power systems.

If you missed the series. Take a look at part 1, “Generating Portable Power by Bicycle“.



Glenn Meyers

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.