Go Power DuraLite Portable Solar Panel Review

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Review of the Go Power DuraLite Portable Solar Panel


Hi everyone, it's Evangelina here at etrailer. And today we are looking at our Go Power DuraLite Portable Solar Panel with a Digital Solar Controller here at etrailer. It's the start of the day, so we're gonna start with mounting our solar panel and setting it up. So first we're just gonna release it from the magnets and just unfold our panels. We have these legs in the back. So those are just going to come out and the panel will sit on them and face the sun.

Then we're going to set up our solar controller. So your solar controller's going to have a red and a black plug. Those are going to match the ports on your solar panel. So just plug that in. Next, we're gonna connect our solar controller to our camper or to whatever battery you're trying to charge up.

So you have here, these plugs, they go together. I'm using the 12 foot extension but you can use the 30 foot extra extension if you need to. The 12 one comes with the kit and this makes it really easy to line up. You get your positive to your positive and your negative to your negative, and just plug those in. There's gonna be a hook and loop patch on the back of your solar controller, and that's really useful because then you can hook it up to your solar panel itself, just put it on those legs.

And it's nice because then it is shaded by the panel itself. And now, you're gonna connect your solar controller through the extension cable, to your camper. So on this camper, we have an SAE plug and that's the one I'm using right now. It also comes with some different plugs depending on what you're plugging into. So just get those lined up and plug that in and now you're charging.

We're back after an hour out in the sun and looking through the solar controller menu, you can see that our battery is now full and we're just in float mode now. We don't see any energy generated because we are at full. So now it's just maintaining that battery. We're here looking at the different settings on our menu. So you can just press menu or set to go through it. So right now this is the battery temperature. This is the PV or the solar panel voltage. This is the current, this is the energy generated. And then this is the battery voltage. Some situations you might encounter that will get you interested into a solar panel like this which is super portable is maybe you only dry camp every now and then. And you want something that's quick and easy to set up as well as to tear down. And you don't really want anything permanent just yet on your camper or maybe you don't always bring out a camper. Sometimes you bring out your car or your truck or your family takes their own vehicles. This is really quick and easy to share amongst yourselves and set up as the situation calls for it. Go Power has some different solar panels that you can add to your camping experience but this is their portable version. So what's special about this, is how light it is as well as how easy it is to set up all by itself. I have had it out here for about an hour and even those really windy, really sunny, lots of stuff blowing up, it stayed strong. On the legs, you are gonna have these grommets and these holes. These are super useful because even though I've had it out in the wind and I haven't noticed them lifting up any, if you want to be super sure they are mounted to the ground, you can put tent pegs in there and that will keep them secure. This is a hundred Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel which uses the sun to charge your RV's batteries. And what that means is this is a more efficient type of solar panel. We have Monocrystalline versus Polycrystalline. The Monocrystalline here, takes a bit more of the sun and converts more of the sun into energy, making for a more efficient experience. When I have solar panels, a big thing for me is to protect my investment and that's to make sure they don't break so easily. So when we did have this out all day, I was slightly concerned about having leaves or like stones and pebbles hit it and take up with the wind. And this is made of impact resistant panel which is great because then you don't have to worry about them breaking so quickly when you have it outside. Now let's talk about portability. So the main thing about this is how portable it is. Cause you can just fold it up like that and you have magnets on the end and that will hold it together. And this is not going to affect your panel at all in terms of efficiency but it's just going to help it, keep it close. We have a handle here on one end that's to make it easier to carry around. And we also have some ports right here on top. So let's take a closer look at what this comes with. Here, we have our DC 18 volt port, and this is what we're gonna use to connect our solar controller to. On this side, we have our LED, USB 1, USB 2 ports, and this is what you're going to connect your phone, your tablet, your electronics too, if you wanna get straight from the source. That little light right there is going to help you see if you actually are getting any sun as this is out, that light will shine up to show that you are drawing in energy. On the outside of the case are these stands. And these are going to have a hook and loop patch to keep them attached or to unattached them. You also have some tie-down points on both the solar panel as well as the stands, just to keep them in place, in case you are worried about the wind. Now, one of the downsides of this being so portable is that it's also so easy to steal. So when you do have this out, I recommend not leaving this unattended and making sure that you are in the area to keep this in sight. Let's take a look at the case it comes in. So we do have this really nice case. It's strong, it's durable. It's also stuffed, which means you don't have to worry about a hard shell case taking up space inside your vehicle as you store it. Let's open it up to see what's inside. On the inside of the main pouch, you have the pouch for your solar panel and it is slightly padded, slightly thick padding, not too much, but this will help protect your panel as it's in there. That way, if you do accidentally bump up against it or knock it over, it shouldn't do too much damage to your panel. In the back, you have another pocket and that has a zipper. So when you open it up, that's where you will put your solar connector as well as your extension cord. This is the 12 foot extension cord with the Anderson style plugs. The plugs that are included with this kit are the ring terminal plugs, the SAE solar plug, the XLR style solar plug, the battery clamps as well as extra quick connectors. Now, if you are plugging straight into an RV which has its plug on this side, I highly recommend starting at the RV point, and then just going out from there, all the way to your panel that is the best and safest way to connect your system. This is a hundred Watts, and if you do need a little bit more juice for your camping setup, you can pick up the expansion kit. It looks exactly the same, but it comes with plugs, just to get up to 300 Watts to your system. We have this system connected to our Mantis which is already really energy efficient. We have a refrigerator, some AC plugged in as well as some phones and electronics charging. And you can see here how this helps maintain our battery. We do have some extra solar energy coming through and keeping our battery topped up. Now for those with larger RVs or larger camping equipment. And that need a lot more energy. I hope you do understand, as well as you've done your research with how much energy you actually need. This is ideal for something like our Mantis camper here or someone who just dry camps every now and then. If you do need to upgrade, we have some other options from Go Power that might work better for you. Now depending on your battery charge, as well as what kind of batteries you have this connected to. There are 4 different modes to charging. The first mode is bulk mode and that's where it takes all the energy it can and puts that all into your battery. It's your fully loaded charging mode. And that will work all the way until you get up to 80% charge. Once you get to 80 to 90%, you've been entered into the absorption mode. So this will last for about 30 minutes and it's just to kind of top you off and control the voltage from full load to absorption mode. Just to get you to a full charge. And once you reach full charge, it's going to turn into the float mode. So this will be a lower voltage, just to compensate for self discharge, and that will just maintain your battery and reduce the battery stress. And then there's a fourth mode called equalization mode. And this is used or is activated when you have flooded or wet cell batteries. This is to prevent battery damage caused by acid or sulfides. And it's really helpful, especially if you have your battery in this use or in storage for a long time because that will prevent damage happening to that battery. Right now, it's pretty overcast. It's not as sunny as it was earlier, but you can see here that we still have the green LED light showing that we are still drawing power. It comes with different plugs and also works with different types of batteries. So some of the batteries this can handle is sealed, gel, AGM, flooded, or wet cell batteries and lithium batteries. Now the solar panel has an output of 5.06 amps. And what that means is that's how much energy it can push out of the panel. For example, if you have your phone directly connected to it, you're gonna get a lot faster charging speed. Your quick, fast charging cable usually draws about 2.1 amps. So you can see how fast that can be. My final thoughts about this solar panel is I really like how portable it is rather than having to commit to installing a solar panel onto my RV. This is really nice, quick and easy to set up. Also, I can follow the sun. I don't have to worry about always facing south for the maximum sun efficiency. Rather, I can move it as the sun moves and that way I'm getting the most out of my solar panel. So all in all, it works really well. I really like the controller that comes with it. I like all the plugs that come with it and it's a really good panel. And that was a look here at our Go Power DuraLite Portable Solar Panel with a Digital Solar Controller here at etrailer..


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Employee Michael B
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Employee Evangeline M
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