Solar Suitcase: Self-Contained Portable Solar Power Station

Portable Solar Panels: Solar Suitcase
Portable Solar Power Station: Solar Suitcase

I’m a huge fan of solar power systems, in particular, those you can build yourself. But, I understand if you want something that’s already done for you. Enter the portable solar power station in the form of the Solar Suitcase.

This is a complete portable solar power kit where you can use both an DC and AC plug and get power out. They have kits that range anywhere from 10 watts output up to 500 watts output. This is important to understand because it’s NOT the same thing as a 10 or 500 watt solar panel.

Be sure to read the product descriptions to understand exactly what you’re getting with each particular solar suitcase before buying. For example, it seems the smallest 10-watt unit (PSK10) only outputs DC but also has a USB plug and even a radio whereas all other units output both DC and AC. They also have a 20-watt suitcase that boasts a lithium battery; it costs significantly more but lithiums are quite durable and hold a charge very well.

In addition, pay particular attention to the solar panel and battery capacity numbers as they differ a bit from unit to unit. Last, be sure to purchase one of the actual suitcases and not one of the multifunction generators kits if you want it all to be self-contained, which I think you would.

In my opinion, the featured 200 watt solar suitcase (currently on sale for $349) should be plenty to charge cell phones, a tablet, or run a laptop. Depending on your equipment you could also easily run some DC lighting or a radio too without any trouble. The largest solar suitcase option–at 500 watts power output–probably isn’t necessary for most situations.

The downsides to most of these suitcases is that you will have to drag it out every few months and recharge the battery because they will drain down. After all, the last thing you want is to expect to rely a piece of gear when you need it the most only to find it’s out of charge. Fortunately, it seems that some of the solar suitcases have the ability to accept AC input to charge the battery but not all of them.

Regardless, these solar suitcases look to be a reliable portable solar power station that will last for years to come.

Author: Damian Brindle

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9 thoughts on “Solar Suitcase: Self-Contained Portable Solar Power Station”

  1. Hi,i am so much interested in the product.i live in Ghana and we are currently experiencing severe power crisis i need one for my business and for my country people.I want to know how i can purchase some.thank you

  2. Before you order one, you might want to read the reviews on Amazon’s website. That’s where I found this:

    Corey Ramsdell says:
    damit i wish i would have seen this before i orderd mine witch just got here yesterday but i sent all the coments to antigravity. whats also funny is that it comes in what looks like an authentic box an everything!!!! do you suggest i try to use it or send it back? as a matter of fact looking at wen you wrote this i orderd mine on the following weekend!
    SIDE NOTE CALLED ANTIGRAVITY THIS MORNING AN THEY CONFERMD ALL THE PRODUCTS ON AMAZON AN EBAY THAT SAY ARE SOLD BY ANTIGRAVITY ARE FAKE!!! BUYERS BE WARE THEY DO NOT AND NEVER HAVE SOLD TO THEM THE LIST OF RETAILERS IS ON ANTIGRAVITYBATTERIES.COM
    Reply to this post

    1. Well, that sucks! I would have been surprised that the antigravity batteries on Amazon were fakes since they tended to get good ratings.

      I did choose to visit the manufacturer’s website and in their FAQ they state: “I SEE SIMILAR UNIT THAT LOOK JUST LIKE THE MICRO-STARTS, AND THEY ARE MUCH CHEAPER, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
      The Antigravity Batteries MICRO-START was the first and original mini-jump starter on the market. We are the world’s best selling mini-jump starter and within 6 months our the release of our product, we started seeing COPY CAT products. But the fact remains that the copy-cat product is a low priced inferior copy of the MICRO-START. Just because it looks the same does not mean it is remotely similar in quality. There are many important factors involved with making a quality product of this type. Lithium Cells are the heart of the unit and a quality “A-Grade” lithium cell is quite expensive as is a quality circuit board. And the use of inferior and low quality parts are how these copy cat products are made so cheaply. They use recycled lithium cell packs or a low grade cell that will work for a few month then die or lose performance, and they use a lower quality circuit board.”

      Seems you may be getting what you paid for in this case. Thanks.

  3. I go primitive camping and am looking for a system to run my c-pap breathing machine. The unit is 24v dc 1.25A(FG)3.75A (Sys).I have been doing this for a number of years without my c-pap but it’s getting challenging (I’m76).I need the smallest most economical unit (on Social Security).Thanx and God bless, Bob

    1. Hi Bob. If by primitive camping you mean that you hike in and hike out with your equipment on your back, I’m afraid you may be out of luck for a solution.

      Although there are folding solar panels that may be able to power your c-pap unit (say a 60-watt panel) what you really need is a battery that can hold enough power to run your unit all night, which means you need about 10 amps of power for a night (1.25 amps x 8 hours assumed).

      Typically, deep cycle batteries that would be used for this purpose are VERY heavy and there’s no way I would consider hauling one of those around on my back, no less.

      A possible idea would be to use an antigravity battery that I’ve seen on the market (here’s one: http://www.amazon.com/Antigravity-Batteries-AG-XP-10-USB/dp/B00MQ5Z5F2/). These are marketed for starting a vehicle but can be used to power other equipment, such as a laptop.

      The problem is that the unit doesn’t have a 24 volt output, but does have 12 volt and even 19 volt for laptops so I’m not sure how/if it would work for your situation. The good news is that it’s relatively lightweight at only two pounds and holds 18 amps (possibly enough for two nights of use).

      If you’re going to look into this idea then please contact the manufacturer and ask them if it’s possible to use it to run your c-pap or if there’s another option on the market that might work out better.

  4. I do primitive camping and am looking for a small compact that will run a c-pap machine for about 6-7 hours. The system is 24 v dc 1.25A(FG)3.75A (Sys)

  5. The 200 watt (output) unit would work well for charging netbooks, laptops, phones, flashlights etc. However with only a 20ahr battery, it won’t do it very long. If you started plugging in lighting and other heavy draw appliances, it would go fast. I managed to put together a 2000 watt system for about the same price with a 255ahr battery I picked up surplus. Don’t be afraid of surplus SLA batteries, if they have been maintained well, they will last along time. Mine was ten years old when I bought it ($130) and it has lasted another 6 so far.

    Tex

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