Customer Review

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This thing is awesome!, June 28, 2010
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This review is from: PowerFilm 10 Watt F15-600 Foldable Solar Panel Charger (Personal Computers)
I took this item into the woods for 2 weeks, and was able to charge my smartphone enough to keep up with facebook and sms for a few minutes in the evenings. Never got a full charge. What's up with the 5 star rating for something that only charged enough for 20 minutes of data usage? How is that possible?

Easy. No direct sunlight. The best sunlight I could find was dappled. Constant haze in the sky (humid east coast forest), with lots of clouds some days. In other words, horrible conditions for solar panels.

It still worked.

Fantastic product, puts up with a lot of abuse. You can drape it over a bush, or hang it from a tree, or off the side of your tent. It's light, folds up small, and doesn't care about getting damp.

I would recommend getting a charge controller, though. I didn't, and I think my results would have been much better with a decent charge controller. I don't think the blocking diode blocks 100% of the current flow, because the panel would (slowly!) drain the phone's battery if it was in the evening shade for too long.

A 10W panel is WAY OVER CAPACITY for a smart phone (I have the HTC G1, Google's first Android phone). I would NEVER hook this panel directly up to my phone in full, direct, clear sunlight without a charge controller! However, considering the conditions, I just used the car charger for my phone and plugged it directly into the panel and it worked great.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 10, 2011 12:52:16 PM PST
Helen Behd says:
Where do you get a charge controller?

Posted on Mar 11, 2011 5:55:21 AM PST
cej102937 says:
The easiest charge controller would probably be the one put out by PowerFilm themselves, the PowerFilm RA-9 Charge Controller, but you can certainly rig up your own.

Posted on May 17, 2012 12:36:43 PM PDT
I charge my iPhone 4s directly from the 10w powerfilm and never had any issues. If you use the car adapter to USB adapter connected to the powerfilm, why would there be any issue with .6 amp (standard USB power) output?

Posted on Aug 23, 2012 11:19:39 AM PDT
Ed Bender says:
I am a seller of Powerfilm products. Thje RA-9 charge controller should only be used when charging a 12V battery. It will not work if connected to a battery charger. All battery chargers have the charge control circuitry built-in as well as all cell phone, smartphones etc.
You can connect the solar chargers direct to the device using the RA2 female lighter socket.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2012 11:47:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 23, 2012 11:48:58 AM PDT
cjastram says:
Right. My cell phone and laptops are, effectively, a 12V battery, are they not? Why would I not be able to use the RA-9 charge controller to charge the batteries in my electronic devices, using the circuitry of a regular car charger adapter to adjust the voltage from 12V to whatever is needed by the device?

The problem is that I need a charge controller to keep the battery from dumping juice back into the solar panel when the panel in shaded. I read that there is a transistor of some sort to keep that from happening, but from personal experience, it leaks quite a bit.
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