As more and more hurricanes, floods, tornados, snowstorms, are leaving us without power, it’s more important than ever to be self sufficient when necessary. Most people in today’s society go crazy the minute our cell phones run out of battery and we’re constantly reminded of how much we are reliant on the plug in the wall. Portable solar panels at this point aren’t anything new, but you’re starting to see some of the large companies such as Energizer getting into renewable energies. Energizer, a long time veteran in the world of batteries has recently come out with a line of portable solar panels with rechargeable power sources to keep themselves in play because so many of our electronic devices are moving from powering their devices with disposable batteries to rechargeable internal batteries.
The Energizer Powerkeep 36 bundle includes a flexible weather resistant 4 panel solar power grid with a 5 volt output and a rechargeable power source that can provide 4 cell phone charges before it needs to be recharged itself. Through my testing of the solar panels, I found them to be pretty user friendly because there aren’t a bunch of confusing directions and cords. It’s pretty intuitive in that it could be used by a child, an adult, or some of the elderly people who tend to get confused by technology.
On the solar panel, there is one USB port in which you can plug in a micro USB cord to charge the powerbank or you can use it to charge other micro USB compatible electronic devices. For devices that don’t use the this type of device, all you need to do is swap out and use the cord you typically use for charging your device. Example, an iPhone charging cord. For when you’re not using the solar panels to charge your power bank or other devices, there is a rubber cover to help prevent debris and water from getting into the USB port.
Solar Panels Size
The panels fold into themselves, so if you only have room for 1,2,3 or 4 of the panels to be used, all you need to do is fold each panel under the other and you’re set. There are metal rivets on all 4 corners of the solar panel that allows you to secure the device with strings, bungees, zip ties, etc. Each solar panel is connected by a smaller piece of plastic without a lot of material between each solar panel. This allows the panels to easily fold together when storing. It also allows you to fold them in small increments which allows them to stand up on their own or if you would like them to contour to a rounded rock, side of a car, they are able to flex.
Solar Panel Dimensions
- Solar panel open (LxWxH): 774 x 185 x 2 mm (30.5 x 7.3 x 0.08 in)
- Solar panel folded (LxWxH): 225 x 186 x 18 mm (8.8 x 7.3 x 0.71 in)
Solar Panel Weight
- Solar panel weight: 293 g (0.65 lb)
One great benefit to the solar panels is that they pack down small and don’t weigh a lot. This makes them great for traveling, whether it’s a backpacking adventure on the appalachian trail or a month long international trip. On a recent road trip, I found this to slide into a daypack with ease, leaving plenty of room for other gear.
Energizer PK10K Powerbank
The PK10K Powerbank Powerbank is powerful 10000mAh portable charger that can charge two devices at once. It comes with a USB cable with a micro USB plug. This cable can be used for charging your devices, but it’s mainly intended for charging the device. This device has four tiny blue lights that indicate how much power is left in the powerbank. The shell of the PK10K powerbank has a hard glossy shell which makes it easy to slide in and out of a backpack or briefcase, but it’s slippery when on a standard surfaces such as wood and rock. I’d like to see some small rubber features on the powerbank to keep it from sliding around.
To charge the device, all you need to do is use a USB wall plug, solar panel, or your computer.
- (LxWxH): 147 x 76 x 15 mm (5.78 x 2.9 x 0.59 in)
- PK10K power bank: 240 g (0.53 lb)
PK10K Powerbank Specs
- Battery capacity: 3.7V/10000mAh; 37Wh
- Battery cell type: Lithium Polymer
- Input/recharge port: 5V/2.0A, micro-USB
- Output ports: Dual 5V/2A per port, 2.4A combined
- USB charge: PK10K is fully charged in 6.7 hours @ 2A
- Solar charge: PK10K is fully charged in 10-20 hours*
Device Charge Times per Energizer Website
- Time to charge smartphone from PK10K (avg): 2.5 hours**
- Time to charge tablet from PK10K (avg): 4 hours**
- Smartphone recharge(s) (avg): 4**
- Tablet recharge(s) (avg): 1*
*Solar charge time is dependent on angle and intensity of the sun.
**Results vary depending on model and device type.
The Energizer Powerkeep 36 bundle is a great option for those who are on the go all the time or for people who want to have a secondary power source in case of emergencies. Visit energizersolar.com for more information.