What do I need?
There are three things we need to determine in what you will need for your solar generator:
SIZE OF SOLAR
PANEL & BATTERY
TOTAL WATTS &
TYPE OF USE
Type of Solar Panels
Light Flexibile Solar Panels (Flex)
These are by far the most portable solar panel. They are also very thin, making them great for storing in small spaces. However, they have been reported to be less durable, due to being flexed over and over again (usually when mounted on the roof of an rv, or such), or due to cheap panels that are not UV resistant. If these panels are used, make sure they use a good UV rated surface (Our panels have the best UV resistant ETFE). However even with the best flexible panels, they should not be used in a full time situation as they will not last as long as
rooftop or foldable solar panels.
Use: Portable systems that will only be used occasionally
Foldable Solar Panels (Briefcase)
These are basically a smaller, portable version of roof top panels . They are durable and efficient and can be folded for storage and stand on their own with a built-in metal stand. They are still heavy, and can take a lot of space to store (if you have more than a 200 watts or so). They are also more expensive per-watt than the roof top panels.
Many times these panels are setup with a cheap pwm charge controller and aligator clips to charge a battery. These types of panels are designed to charge a 12V battery directly, and won't work with a solar generator unless you remove the charge controller and use appropriate connectors on the panel. It is best to find a foldable panel that is setup with just mc4 connectors, and no charge controller.
Use: For portable systems that will be used on a regular basis
Rooftop Solar Panels (Rigid)
These are what are usually used in grid tie or off grid systems. They are inexpensive, durable, and usually very efficient. However for portable systems they are very bulky, heavy, and not very portable.
Use: Permanent mounting on roof or stand.