A 45 Watt Solar Panel
The 45 Watt solar panel is like the tween of the solar power world.
It's past the 15 Watt toddler stage but it hasn't yet reached the 80 Watt adolescent level.
The nice thing about a solar panel tween is that it will produce clean power from sunlight instead of just listening to Justin Bieber all the time like a regular tween.
We'll take a look at how much clean power you can expect from a 45 Watt module a little later. This will help you to know what this size of solar panel will be able to do for you.
There's also the little matter of price. How much money will you have to pay to enjoy the benefits of solar power from the tween of the solar panel world? We'll take a look at 45 Watt prices from around the internet to help you get the best deal available.
Let's take care of first things first, however, by taking a look at the benefits of portable solar panels.
Of course portable is a relative term and big time portable convenience will cost you a little extra. Are you wondering just how convenient a solar panel can get?
How about the 45 Watt roll up solar panel from PowerFilm. This panel weighs only 4 pounds and rolls up for compact storage. Now that's convenience. We'll let you know how much you have to pay for this portability in a minute.
First we'll consider another panel that offers the exact same power but in a less portable package. The STP045P from UL Solar is a polycrystalline silicon panel that is 26.2 inches long, 21.1 inches wide, and does not roll up for easy storage. This panel also weighs 11 pounds, which is almost three times as much as the 45 Watt offering from PowerFilm.
Why would anyone choose a solar panel that offers the same power in a less portable package? Because it is a heck of a lot cheaper, of course.
The lesson to be learned here is that you should know exactly what purpose your solar panel will serve before you purchase a 45 Watt solar panel. If you have a small weekend cabin and you are looking to add a rooftop solar panel to charge a couple of lights and your laptop computer, there's no need to pay extra for the convenience of a flexible solar panel. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a panel you can fit in your backpack to charge your satellite phone on top of a mountain, you should shell out the extra money for a truly portable panel.
Now onto the little issue of price. The aforementioned STP045P from UL Solar was spotted on www.ul-solar.com for $119.00 with a free shipping option for those living in the continental United States. The also aforementioned PowerFilm 45 Watt flexible solar panel sells for $899.00 on the Sea Eagle website. That's a spicy meatball!
This $780.00 price difference illustrates how important it is to buy a solar panel that is built to do what you need it to do. Otherwise you could be spending way too much money on your solar power solution.
In between the low price point and the high price point, we have the Solartech SPM045P which sells for $159.99 at GoSolarLiving.com or $180.00 at GoGreenSolar.com. There is also an AZM 45 Watt solar panel kit selling on Amazon.com for $209.99.
Speaking of 45 Watt solar kits, there is one offered by a company called Harbor Freight Tools that seems to receive quite a bit of online attention. This company has been operating for over forty years and it has a "100% satisfaction guarantee" which sounds pretty spiffy. The solar kit offered by Harbor Freight even has its own forum for users to discuss setup and results they are getting from the panels. Definitely worth checking out.
The Harbor Freight kit is actually three 15 Watt solar panels by Chicago Electric. The kit regularly sells for $249.99 but at the time of this writing it is on sale for $179.99. Also, keep an eye out for coupons that bring the price as low as $149.99.
That should be enough information to get you started on your quest to purchase a 45 Watt solar panel. Best of luck, and let us know how you make out.