Goal Zero 11803 Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel
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- Charge USB devices directly from the sun
- Detachable kickstand for ideal angulation to the sun
- Power-flow indicator helps ensure maximum solar efficiency
- Weatherproof layering easily sheds rain and snow
- Lightweight and highly portable
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From the manufacturer
Easy-to-read LED indicator displays intensity of solar conditions. Receive immediate feedback on panel-to-sun placement to improve solar charging experience.
Intelligent Charging Technology
Dynamic auto-restart automatically adapts charging output to fit every device. Charge phones directly from the panel with this pantent-pending technology and USB port
Rugged And Modular
Detachable Kickstand provides optimum 45° placement and allows for a vented pocket and natural shade for device. Built with a more durable and robust assembly method to improve ruggedness.
Reengineered to be lighter and smarter, the Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel has the innovative technology to charge USB devices directly from the sun. Detachable kickstand for modularity and power-flow indicator ensure the best solar charging experience.
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These panels are a bit more sensitive to directional light, and the solar-strength LED gauge on this model was a game-changer in my understanding of directional placement of a panel to capture optimal placement. E.g., oblique light is good, but the LED readout gives clear indication for optimal sunlight.
As a pilot -- long before the days of GPS -- I'm accustomed to direction-finding instruments that provide a 'bearing' to get a general direction of where you want to end up. Sometimes you have to guess and trust your eyes. The LED strength-indicator on the Nomad 7+ takes the guesswork out of optimal placement to capture the maximum charging potential. Within a few degrees of movement, you can easily establish the best placement to the sun. I know some will say "How hard can it be?! It's sunlight, and it's a solar panel -- it should be able to collect solar energy at whatever angle, as long as it is in direct sunlight".
To that, I say 'Bah !!'; Without getting into the physics, light behaves as both particle and wave. We don't yet -- as far as I'm aware -- have a theory that explains why. However, directional sunlight -- particularly for a solar panel -- is critical.
As an admittedly crude but scientific-method test, on a sunny day, using the directional LEDs of the 7+, I charged 3 identical 2500 mA/h USB batteries that were equally depleted (e.g., 0% charge). Each battery had a digital charge-indicator. I used a 'control' of a 5v / 2.1A electric charging adaptor. I placed the 2 Nomad 7+ panels in different orientations; one with a 4-LED indicator, the other with a 1-LED indicator. Starting all charging within 30s of one another, the Nomad 7+ with the 4-LED charge-strength fully charged the battery in 2.1 hours. The 5v/2.1A USB charger yielded a full charge in 2.7 hours. The 'single-LED' Nomad 7+ yielded only a 20% charge in 4 hours.
So then, yes, direction to the sunlight particles (or waves, if you prefer) is important, and the directional strength indicator of the Nomad 7+ provides a much-needed capability to get the max effect out of a solar panel -- particularly one of this size. I have put 2 Nomad 7+ panels in my 'go bag'. Until someone else comes up with a better mousetrap, I'm convinced.
Also the first one I got was completely non functional & had a hole in the pouch but Amazon set a new one without hesitation. I've always thought that good customer service is an indication of a quality product, and the service was excellent.