SolarRolls: Flexible, Portable Solar Power
by Mike D
Admittedly, when I first came across this item on-line I came across this product on-line, I thought it was a quirky toy that may or may not have limited application (or at least would be only useful to hard-core trekkers). The truth is that a portable, lightweight, waterproof, durable solar panel you can roll up into a tube is actually a fantastic idea. Brunton offers the SolarRolls line of flexible solar panels that come in 4.5, 9, and 14 watt sizes and can be custom made for any application. Your device can either plug into the adaptor or you can use one of the universals that comes with the product. When done, it rolls up into a tube for storage (the website asks that you do not roll it any tighter than a 3” diameter – solar panels are not indestructible yet folks). For perspective, the 4.5 W panel is 12” x 22” and retails for $199 – enough to power a cell phone).
All the current retail models supply 15.4 volts (with various mA to achieve the different wattages). The website states that the panels can be linked in series for added power. In theory, you could potentially have enough juice to start a dead car battery (which won’t work, of course, in the subterranean garage where I park). The most obvious use is on treks, at the beach, kayaking trips, or while camping where you might not see a power outlet for weeks.