Featuring PowerFLEX Technology™
Frequently Asked Questions
Portable Solar Chargers
What is the base technology of Global Solar products?
CIGs (Copper Indium Gallium DiSelenide) photovoltaics.
How thin are Global Solar portable solar chargers?
Encapsulated modules range from 0.3” (0.762mm) to .10” (2.5mm) thick.
How heavy are Global Solar portable solar chargers?
Encapsulated modules range from 4 ounces (113 grams) to 7lbs. (3175 grams).
How efficient are the Global Solar portable solar chargers?
Global Solar cells average 11.8% as of June 2011, and the modules range in efficiency between 7% - 9%. The modules range in output from 2w – 124w’s.
How are Global Solar portable solar chargers designed to operate?
The products were designed for portable charging applications. A portable solar module(s) can be used day after day in all types of weather conditions. However, the portable solar chargers were not designed to be left outside on a full-time basis, exposed 24x7x365. Leaving the solar module outside on a full-time basis may degrade the performance and reduce the lifetime of the module.
How long are Global Solar portable solar chargers designed to last?
Global Solar provides a one-year limited power warranty for consumer modules and a two-year limited power warranty for military solar modules. This warranty (see product warranty for more details) was written with an application of daily, repetitive use in mind for portable charging applications. The module should produce a minimum amount of power according to the technical specifications and warranty if used in accordance with the operating instructions included with the product.
For which applications are Global Solar portable solar chargers suitable?
The product is suitable for a broad range of applications including; Consumer Electronics, Outdoor and Recreation, and Military to name a few.
What is the ideal temperature range in which Global Solar portable solar chargers can be used?
The modules are guaranteed to perform in normal atmospheric conditions. The optimal temperature is 25ºC ambient (outside air temperature) but the solar cells have been rated to operate in extremes from -40ºC to 176ºF. For all solar modules, output drops with increasing temperature and needs to be considered when choosing a product to meet your charging needs.
In what range of voltages do Global Solar portable solar chargers come?
Standard products come in the following nominal voltages: 5v, 12v, 24v.
Can I just plug my solar charger into my devices or do I need a charge controller?
The regulated solar chargers: USB, 6.5w, and 12w modules have a built in regulator and in most cases you can plug directly into a device or charger. The 25w, 30w, 62w, and 124w modules are unregulated and you should always consider the capabilities of your device to accept an unregulated charger before attempting to plug in. In most cases, the unregulated solar charger will require a charge controller or voltage regulator attached to facilitate a charge. Please consult the Global Solar website or your solar professional for a recommendation.
Can solar modules be connected in parallel? Can they be connected in series?
The Global Solar modules can be connected in parallel and we offer a y-cable accessory to make this connection (see accessories listed on the website). Connecting solar modules in parallel effectively doubles the current (amps) and power, keeping the voltage of the individual modules rating. We recommend you parallel connect modules of equal power (a 25w to a 25w) as this will provide the most efficient output from the connected modules. We do not recommend connecting the portable solar modules in series and do not provide cabling to support this configuration. If you require higher voltages, we offer a 62w, 24v version.
How fast will a solar module charge my device?
Please see the solar charging chart listed on the products page.
Can my solar modules be exposed to liquid/moisture? If so, what kind and for how long?
The solar module is designed to withstand the outdoor elements including limited expose to rain/moisture. However, we do not recommend you leave the solar module submerged in water for long period of time as this may degrade the performance and reduce the lifetime of the module. We do not test exposure to other liquids but if your solar module is exposed you should immediately wipe down with a clean damp cloth to remove the liquid/moisture. Important note: The solar module is not intended for use in salt water environments - exposure under such conditions accelerates corrosion and degradation of the module.
Can my solar modules be used to charge a laptop battery?
A solar module by itself is not suitable to charge a laptop battery directly. All laptops require a specific voltage and current to charge and any drop off by the solar module due to low or no light will cause the laptop to operate from its internal battery. Therefore, for laptop charging, we recommend a solar module plus an auxiliary battery pack that is designed for the make/model of laptop. With this configuration, you will be able to charge/operate your laptop from the battery while the solar module provides energy into the battery pack.
Will my solar charger work in partial shade?
The Global Solar portable solar modules will operate down to approximately 20% of a sun which is a gray sky, cloudy day. Below 20%, the voltage drops off significantly and the solar module will not be able to maintain a charge into a battery or device. Keep in mind that at 20% of sunlight the power generated by the solar module will be approximately 20% of the solar modules rating.