Calculating Your Portable Solar Power Needs

Calculating Your Portable Solar Power Needs

Portable solar panels and generators provide renewable electricity on the go, but how do you determine how much solar power you need? Follow this guide to calculate your solar requirements.

Step 1: Inventory Devices

Make a detailed list of all devices and appliances you want to power with solar. Include the power rating in watts or mAh capacity for each item if possible. Things to consider: phones, tablets, laptops, lights, portable fridge, fan, GPS, radio, speakers etc.

Step 2: Estimate Usage

Calculate the number of hours per day you typically use each item or appliance. Multiply this by the wattage and add up the totals to determine your average daily power consumption.

Step 3: Determine Peak Power

Add up the wattages of items that could be used simultaneously to determine your peak power needs. This is the minimum capacity your solar setup should provide.

Step 4: Add a Usage Buffer

Add at least 20% to your calculated daily and peak power totals as a buffer. This covers increased usage and solar efficiency reductions from things like battery ageing, dusty panels, partial sun etc.

Step 5: Factor in Days of Autonomy

Consider the average number of sunny versus cloudy days in your location monthly or seasonally. Calculate the backup days of power storage needed to cover an average stretch of inclement weather.

Step 6: Select Your Portable Solar Setup

Use your detailed power usage calculations to select suitable portable solar panels, charge controllers, batteries and generators from for your needs.

Determining your specific power requirements makes it easier to pick the ideal off-grid solar power solution. Visit our solar sizing tool page for additional help with your calculations.

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