I love going to Starbucks. One of the reasons I hang out there is for the good coffee and also for the free wi-fi. I get to look at people walking around and do my work there. It’s a great experience.
Sometimes I would spend a whole day there working on my laptop.
If you think about it, our laptop has become as common as our cell phone. With broadband wireless signal available free in most area, we can now use our notebook to work from anywhere we choose to.
There is one drawback though and it is the battery lifespan. We can only work on your laptop as long as the battery can last. Sooner or later, we will need to use our power cable to recharge the battery.
Starbucks realize this and they prepare power outlets for their customers. At some other places, it will be quite challenging to find a power outlet to recharge.
All of our mobile devices are held back by its battery life. How do we overcome this? One good solution to the battery life issue is with a portable solar panel.
If you are planning to shop for a personal solar power generator, the following are 6 factors you may want to consider.
1) Light Weight.
Weight is sexy, or rather the lack of weight is sexy. Just look at the Apple MacBook Air. It weights practically nothing.
If you are looking for a personal solar panel, why not get the lightest product. Hauling a notebook plus other accessories in your backpack can be quite heavy. You want to minimize weight as much as possible.
2) Water resistant.
I live in a country where it rains most of the time. Sometimes, I do get caught in a thunderstorm and get myself drenched. As a safety precaution, get a solar panel which is water proof. You don’t know when you’ll be caught in a heavy rain or even snow. If it is water proof, you don’t have to worry even if you were accidentally spill coffee on it.
Durability is an important factor. A flimsy solar panel may break if you were to pack it in a suitcase or stuff it in an airplane overhead compartment. You want it to be able to handle all the bumps and shocks of executive travel.
4) Reverse flow protection.
Reverse flow is a technical aspect of the solar film. When the sun is shining, the solar cells will generate power and charge the battery unit.
Without the reverse flow protection, the power from the battery will flow back into the solar cells when the sun is out.
Get a solar panel which is foldable. This feature makes the panel very easy to be packed into a bag or briefcase. The panel can be either folded like an origami or rolled into a tube for easy storage.
6) Amorphous solar cells.
Again, this is another technical aspect of the solar panel. Amorphous solar cells works even under low sun light. You will get a constant power output even if the panel is under cloud cover.
Related web pages:
1) Brunton Flexible Solar Module from Amazon.com
2) Powertraveller SM-GREY Gray Solarmonkey Solar Power Charger – Suitable for cell Phone, iPod, PDA, MP3 player and many other digital devices.
3) Ambigrid Review – Reviewing The Ambigrid E-book.