September 18, 2008 Portable solar panels are popping up at an increasing rate in campgrounds and caravan parks where they are an environmentally friendly and mercifully silent alternative to fuel burning generators. This example from Solar Stik offers rugged solution that can be used in conjunction with a wind generator and adapted for a variety of applications on land and water.
Three systems are available: the Solar Stik Marine for use on boats (which has a different mount set-up); the land-based Solar Stik 100 Terra; and the Pro-Series Solar Stik Breeze, which combines solar and wind power generation. Solar Stik can also be interfaced to work in conjunction with other traditional power sources such as fuel-driven generators or even the local power grid.
The basic system comprises a 100 Watt solar panel producing an average maximum daily power production of around 80 Amp-hours - enough to completely replace a traditional fossil-fuel power generator in some scenarios. The Stik has three axis of rotation and three panel adjustments per day are recommended to yield the best results. Full assembled, it weighs less than 80 lbs and the construction The Terra system is primarily constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel and weighs around 80 lbs when assembled, so you won't carry it up a mountain but its still a portable unit. The set-up is “plug and play” for easy transport and rapid deployment and no tools are required for assembly. Every removable component is leashed to prevent loss - a good idea when you're on the road.
The Solar Stik System can be operated as a stand-alone power generator by using the Solar Stik Power Pak, or adapted to any application where there is a 12-Volt battery. It's designed to support medical, logistical and tactical equipment, computers, small refrigerators, televisions, radios, fans, rechargeable devices, lights... lets say its very useful.
The briefcase-like Power Paks are available in two battery configurations and serve as mobile power platforms providing both DC and AC power. For more power, the systems can be expanded so that multiple Solar Stiks are daisy-chained together to create a large power generator for heavy duty applications.
Optional accessories are also available that will allow the Solar Stik System to support additional equipment such as wind generators, radar domes, TV antennas or satellite dishes, GPS, and other devices.
Prices start in the USD5K range - so it is an investment - and the The Solar Stik™ Terra bundled with a Power Pak 50 System and accessories costs USD$7,500.