We test the affordable Solar Technology International PV Logic 8W Folding Solar Panel and see if it charges even during a spring sail
For those of us with limited space on deck, a folding solar panel looks very appealing.
After all, if you’re not on shore power, it’s a good idea to have another way of keeping your batteries topped up.
The Solar Technology International PV Logic 8W folding solar panel is an affordable, self-contained solution for trickle charging requiring no installation.
Twin crystalline panels are mounted in a fabric case and can be tied or held in place with suction cups; the unit is fully waterproof and measures 470 x 198 x 7.5mm unfolded.
It has a 3m cable and either a 12V or crocodile clip connectors.
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Rated to maximum 18V and 0.44A, it should average just over 4Ah or 52Wh per day, and with an inbuilt diode it doesn’t need a charger controller on batteries of 60Ah or more.
When we tested on a sunny March afternoon, with the sun 20-30º above the horizon, we measured 0.24A of current, which is fine for trickle charging.
The 12V socket lead has a light to confirm it is providing power, but not on the crocodile clips, and at less than half an amp, your battery monitor may not show its input.
This panel is neat, compact – it folds up into a tiny 230 x 198 x 15mm package – and has everything you need to set it up.
At £35, it’s not going to break the bank either.
It is available to buy here: www.solartechnology.co.uk
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Source: Yachting Monthly