Review: Blitzwolf Solar Panel BW-L1 (20W 3A Dual Port)

19 posts / 0 new
Last post
Neil_Tennen
Neil_Tennen's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/16/2016 - 09:19
Posts: 103
Location: Italy
Review: Blitzwolf Solar Panel BW-L1 (20W 3A Dual Port)

Hello everyone, today we will see the solar panel Blitzwolf BW-L1 sent for the occasion by Banggood, whom I thank for the opportunity and trust given to me.



CLICK HERE to go and check for it on the official website of Blitzwolf.

I want to clarify that the reviews are done at the amateur level and without the aid of scientific instruments or test in secret Labs therefore, between the lines that will follow, will be my humble impressions.


Official features taken from Blitzwolf:

- Technology: SunPower
- Transition Efficiency: 21.5%- 23.5%
-Output 2: 3Max
-Total Power: 20W
-Weight: 550 g
Size: open-270x675x4mm; close 270x150x28mm



Where to buy it

The solar panel can be purchased from the e-shop Banggood where you can use the discount code "414ede" which was reserved to me. Don't miss the opportunity to buy it at a glutton price.


The packaging and accessories

The solar panel comes in a minimalist paperboard packaging, in fact on the front is written only the name of the brand.



On the back, always to respect the minimalist look, we find the various certifications such as CE, RoHS etc.



to one side was stuck a sticker with the name of the product, a barcode and its SKU that belong to shop Banggood.



By opening this package, we find the contents well sealed in a plastic bag. On the inside of the lid of the packaging lists the thanks for choosing of Blitzwolf.



Once removed everything from the packaging, we should have:

- Solar Panel
- 4 small carabiners (obviously not suitable for climbing but which will be used to attach the Panel with the 4 eyelets predisposed)
- a USB-> micro USB of the length of a little over a meter
- the manual in English
- a slip of paper for warranty (18 months)



To follow, the pages of the manual.




The solar panel

This solar panel is the largest (thinking on  powers/n. panels) from those sold by Blitzwolf House.
The "body" externally consists of cordura, suitable material to resist abrasion and offering minimal protection from water sprays. Being the Panel composed of Electronics material, i advice to minimise the water exposure.
On the body, to the outer sides of the panels, there are 4 eyelets that allow you to attach the carabiners 4 founded in the package, or allow you to let them go in directly the paracord, in order to secure the Panel to the fabric of a tent or a tarp, obviously keeping it always turned towards the Sun.


The Panel will opens up into four sections: three consist of monocrystalline modules, while the fourth has a pocket suitable for the charging cable and/or other small/medium sized objects.
The pocket contains also 2 USB outputs smart port, since it can understand needed current by the device attached and adjust the output.
According to data reported by Blitzwolf, the conversion of solar radiation into electricity has an efficiency of between 21.5 and 23.5% and the current output up to 3A.


The Panel and the inner pocket is kept closed by a well sewn velcro strip.

Here's the Panel completely open. Stand out well the four sections and placement of 4 eyelets.



Below here is the picture of the side flap, inside which there is the pocket, on which is printed the name of the brand and the power of the panel, its technical characteristics with various certifications and drawings that tell you how and when to use the panel, advising against the use of the panel under the rain.



Closeup of doodles. As long as there is Sun or is cloudy, the Panel can be used safely. With the rain it is not recommended the use.
,


Looking the Panel behind, the only things that stand out are the velcro strip that allows the closure and logo and the blue strip with the power of the Panel. There is no additional element that can act as a tripod.



To the left of the first panel there is a small "5th" flap that host two of the four panel's eyelets.



And here's the view inside the little pocket. In addition to the small strip of velcro there is the little box with the 2 USB outputs ports.




The tests performed

Let me start by saying that, due to the solar reflections, pictures of the tester does not come out and then I decided to not include them.

Various tests were performed on sunny days or fleeting cloud and, in the various test, I used only one USB port that both. To measure the values I used two XTAR tester and I put in charge a cellphone and a power bank.

On sunny days the panel, using a single port and depending on the connected device, is able to deliver 1,3A or 0,90A. With both ports exploited, manages to deliver 0,87A in the 1th and 1,10A in the other.

With the fleeting clouds, the value dropped to 0,50A in a test with 2 connected devices. The
charge, if it is decreased or interrupted by a shadow or a cloud a little denser, will resumes automatically after the interruption.

In the single test, I also chargeded an old mobile phone with a battery of 2600mAh nominal. The test lasted for half an hour and I the battery was charged of 10% every 10 minutes.

The benefits provided by the panel are very high, keeping in mind that the panel must be oriented toward the Sun with the most optimal tilting possible.
To demonstrate this, among other tests, I also stuck a last generation phone that can be reloaded with rapid charging. And it let me score the value of 1,3A.

I believe that, with more "energy hungry" devices and in better light situation than mine, the panel can deliver more current. Of course, in the worst condition than tested mine (keeping in mind that at the time of writing it's summer) the panel output will be less.


How does that work

The only operations needed to use the solar panel are to open it completely, exposing the three panels directly toward the Sun, taking care to adjust the angle in the most optimal way possible and link the device that you want to charge.
As this model does not have parts that act as tripod, the ideal would be to find a trunk of a tree, a fence, a slope, a rock or a small wall in favor of the Sun and leave it resting for as long as necessary.
If you must stay in a given area for a long time, remember to have the foresight to rearrange the panel every 20-30 minutes since the Sun will change angle.




Dimensions: dimensions and weight

The Blitzwolf BW-L1 when open measure 66.8x26, 5x2* cm. When closed it measures 26.5x16,3x4* cm. The single panel measures 24x12, 5x0.4 cm.
Weighs 510 grams and a single carabiner weighs 7grams.

*= into the thickest part

To follow the dimensional comparison Aukey PB-P3.



The length of the shorter part of the Panel is very much the same.



Something that cannot be said of the length of the longest part. The longest is the Blitzwolf and with another panel in addition, but the size of the single panel is lower.




Personal considerations

The Blitzwolf BW-L1 is a solar panel with right proportion size/performance and I find it very suitable for the outdoors use. As a simple campsite as for a several days outgo to explore the various trails that span the mountains just as an example.
It may also be a valuable ally for those who plan to build from scratch a BOB or for those looking for a product to be able to be integrated to a BOB that already exists.


In my view, it must be joined to a power bank that you can charge and store the energy produced. This because, charging directly a device that being used, you risk the damaging of the battery for current rushes.
Since both USB outputs ports have good performance (> to 0,80A in good conditions), you can even consider buying a power bank of 20.000 mAh with two microUSB input so you could charge it as quickly as possible and dispose of it during the night if is necessary.

I remain fixed on my thought that the Panel should be used while stationary in order to take full advantage of its power but, if you can't stand still and the only solution is to attach it to your backpack, know that the charge will suffer because of the many interruptions.

I have not found serious faults on this model. The materials give a feeling of strength and the placement of the 2 USB connectors is not uncomfortable.
I enjoyed the presence of the charging cable in the box, so with one purchase you are operative. But I still  recommend to buy some high-performance cables (I'm  not saying that one issued is less performing) with a good thickness and at least 2 meters long and with the outer sheath reinforced, so that it can put the devices in charge far enough away from the Panel leaving them in shade and avoiding unnecessary overheating.


What do you think about? The would you buy? Write It here below Smile

Links are with my referral, so thanks if you’ll purchase through them Love

derfyled
derfyled's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: 04/16/2013 - 07:51
Posts: 204
Location: Canada

Good review !

Like you have pointed, one of the best feature of this panel is its ability to reset a device if a cloud block the sun for a while. Older or cheaper panel would stop charging, then the device plugged would not restart charging when the sun is back. You always have to unplug and replug to reset the charging process. So basically, if you are not right beside to manually reset it, your device would not charge on a cloudy day. This problem is solved with this Blitzwolf charger.

Also, you suggest a 2 meter USB cable. That can be handy to put the phone (or anything else…) in a cooler place than direct sunlight but remember that the longer is the cable, less efficient it is.

dodge_911
dodge_911's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 02/18/2016 - 15:07
Posts: 219
Location: DodgeReviews HQ

Nice review.

I agree with you about the addition of a powerbank for continuously capturing and storing the energy from the sun.

Did some videos on it last year, check my Youtube channel for them. Also did a little write-up of it.
I'll share the one I did of a whole day using the two ports here :

On average, I guess I got a little more than 0.8A per channel.

 

:: YouTube ::
http://bit.ly/dodgereviewsyt
:: Discord ::
http://discord.gg/fqJEDyy
:: Join the Discord ::
we need more BLF'ers!
Phlogiston
Phlogiston's picture
Offline
Last seen: 29 min 40 sec ago
Joined: 10/27/2016 - 16:57
Posts: 911
Location: Scotland

A good review; I like the way you’ve thought about the panel’s usability in practice.

Neil_Tennen wrote:
In my view, it must be joined to a power bank that you can charge and store the energy produced. This because, charging directly a device that being used, you risk the damaging of the battery for current rushes.

This is a very important point, which I feel merits repeating. Some devices really don’t like repeatedly jumping back and forth between “charging” and “not charging” as the intensity of sunlight changes. iPhones are known to be particularly fussy about it.

Although you do lose some energy (about 30%) by first charging a powerbank, then using the powerbank to charge your device, it does reduce stress on your device and give a more reliable end result. Given the choice, I’d rather thrash a $20 powerbank with intermittent power than a $200 phone.

dodge_911
dodge_911's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 02/18/2016 - 15:07
Posts: 219
Location: DodgeReviews HQ

Phlogiston wrote:
This is a very important point, which I feel merits repeating. Some devices _really_ don't like repeatedly jumping back and forth between "charging" and "not charging" as the intensity of sunlight changes. iPhones are known to be particularly fussy about it. Although you do lose some energy (about 30%) by first charging a powerbank, then using the powerbank to charge your device, it does reduce stress on your device and give a more reliable end result. Given the choice, I'd rather thrash a $20 powerbank with intermittent power than a $200 $800 phone.

And that's exactly why I recommend using a powerbank in combo with your solar panel Smile

 

:: YouTube ::
http://bit.ly/dodgereviewsyt
:: Discord ::
http://discord.gg/fqJEDyy
:: Join the Discord ::
we need more BLF'ers!
Neil_Tennen
Neil_Tennen's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/16/2016 - 09:19
Posts: 103
Location: Italy

Thank you very much for your congratulations, I’m glad that you enjoyed it Love

derfyled wrote:
Also, you suggest a 2 meter USB cable. That can be handy to put the phone (or anything else…) in a cooler place than direct sunlight but remember that the longer is the cable, less efficient it is.
I used a 2 meters high quality cable from Blitzwolf that yielded those good results. If you use cheap cable, it is obvious that it won’t be so good over a certain length because of the dispersion Wink
dodge_911 wrote:
On average, I guess I got a little more than 0.8A per channel.

In my test condition, I got 1,1A and 0,9A in both port at the same moment. So I think that the power consumption depends from the connected devices as well as from sun exposure Smile

Phlogiston wrote:
Although you do lose some energy (about 30%) by first charging a powerbank, then using the powerbank to charge your device, it does reduce stress on your device and give a more reliable end result. Given the choice, I’d rather thrash a $20 powerbank with intermittent power than a $200 phone.

Exactly Silly

dodge_911 wrote:
And that’s exactly why I recommend using a powerbank in combo with your solar panel Smile

Yes, it is a great combo! Wink

JPLight
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:56
Posts: 238
Location: Germany

Nice sunny (blue sky) day here today. So I put my BW-L1 outside for some more testing.
Charging current on my old Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is 1.0 A lying horizontally on a terrace wall, using a good charging cable.
I tested a lot of cables to find the good ones. Smile
It does the same on 3A charging adapter.

When charging my new Xiaomi redmi note 3 pro the current is 1.5 A permanently until the smartphone starts down-regulating.
Usually it does up to 1.8 A on the charging adapter.

I agree with Neil_Tennen at all points. The BW-L1 does a good job.

As well I definitely agree to using a power-bank like e.g. my EC-Technology with 22.400 mAh capacity (18650 inside) which is performing fine for two years now. Great combo !

Paul321
Paul321's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 6 hours ago
Joined: 03/07/2015 - 09:44
Posts: 688
Location: Hawleyville, USA

This would make a good gift for my daughters this Christmas thanks for the review and recommendation about using a powerbank. So I’ll combine a powerbank , solar panel, and low resistance usb cable into a bundle,. Thanks for the idea!

Oh I can’t forget about my wife she’ll sit on the beach for hours, a perfect place to recharge a powerbank .

Paul-

yasenf
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 02/10/2017 - 14:33
Posts: 235
Location: Bulgaria

Does anybody know a powerbank, that will charge from the solar panel and charge a device at the same time? Would be interesting combo with the panel.

maukka
maukka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 32 sec ago
Joined: 12/31/2015 - 04:15
Posts: 2027
Location: Finland

This Xiaomi is one that will work as an UPS between the panel and the device you’re charging:
https://www.banggood.com/Original-Xiaomi-10000mAh-Bothway-QC2_0-Quick-Ch...

SIGShooter
SIGShooter's picture
Offline
Last seen: 39 min 59 sec ago
Joined: 07/14/2013 - 02:10
Posts: 1858
Location: northern california

I bought 2 of these several months ago; 1 to give to a daughter for backpacking trips and the other is for my earthquake supplies (I live in the SF bay area). They seem well made and as others have stated put out about 1.5A in direct sunlight. When testing them I used at various times a Goal Zero NiMh powerbank, a Miller ML-102 charger, and a LiitoKala 100 charger in-between the panel and the device (phone, gps unit, etc) I was charging without any issues.

Hopefully I’ll never have to make use of the solar panel Smile

9mm/40cal/45cal bullets and large/small pistol primers available for sale in San Francisco Bay area

Beachlogger
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/04/2013 - 23:08
Posts: 991
Location: S.E. Alaska

Thanks for the great review, I’ve had good luck with blitz wolf products so far. Now all I need is some sunshine LOL

Neil_Tennen
Neil_Tennen's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/16/2016 - 09:19
Posts: 103
Location: Italy

SIGShooter, JPLight, Beachlogger nice choice Wink

Paul321 wrote:
This would make a good gift for my daughters this Christmas thanks for the review and recommendation about using a powerbank. So I’ll combine a powerbank , solar panel, and low resistance usb cable into a bundle,. Thanks for the idea!

Oh I can’t forget about my wife she’ll sit on the beach for hours, a perfect place to recharge a powerbank .

Don’t miss the deal code Wink

yasenf wrote:
Does anybody know a powerbank, that will charge from the solar panel and charge a device at the same time? Would be interesting combo with the panel.

I bought, and I’m waiting it for tomorrow, this https://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerCore-Portable-20000mah-Recharging/dp/B... 20000mAh, 2 micro USB (20W) input (fast recharging), 3 USB (30W) iQ output, flat advanced battery Silly

@Maukka the Xiaomi’s products are good, but have only one input port.

Paul321
Paul321's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 6 hours ago
Joined: 03/07/2015 - 09:44
Posts: 688
Location: Hawleyville, USA

I’ll have to wait. I’m on vacation now, will return home Saturday , I don’t want to purchase through the hotel wifi. Hope the the code lasts… I did add to the “wish list “ on the vendor’s website..

Paul-

JPLight
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:56
Posts: 238
Location: Germany

Just to let you know:

BW-L1 is pushing up to 1.9 A into my Offgridtec C03 11000 mAh Powerbank, still lying horizontally. Nice job !

Keep in mind that the charge current is very much dependent on the device being charged !
Most devices take over control on the charge-current, but sometimes show a strange behaviour regulating it properly.
Unplugging and plugging in again usually helps.

yasenf
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 02/10/2017 - 14:33
Posts: 235
Location: Bulgaria
maukka wrote:
This Xiaomi is one that will work as an UPS between the panel and the device you’re charging: https://www.banggood.com/Original-Xiaomi-10000mAh-Bothway-QC2_0-Quick-Ch...

Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I ordered Xiaomi pro, but link shows the old model, turns out there is a new one with QC3.0/Huawei fast charge added features and ID: plm03zm – if anybody is interested.

dodge_911
dodge_911's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 02/18/2016 - 15:07
Posts: 219
Location: DodgeReviews HQ

yasenf wrote:
Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I ordered Xiaomi pro, but link shows the old model, turns out there is a new one with QC3.0/Huawei fast charge added features and ID: plm03zm - if anybody is interested.

I recently reviewed that. It's quite good. Check my YT channel in the sig below.

:: YouTube ::
http://bit.ly/dodgereviewsyt
:: Discord ::
http://discord.gg/fqJEDyy
:: Join the Discord ::
we need more BLF'ers!
Ronin42
Ronin42's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/17/2014 - 22:17
Posts: 1760
Location: Alameda, CA

Things I have learned about “personal” solar panels.

Size matters.

There is no magic pill that makes smaller “low end” panels out perform larger ones (of the same technology)(see exception at end).

Buy all the watts you can afford ($ or Weight) The vaugeries of “low end” solar panels are many.

Many are made in the same factory, the similarities are not just a co-incidence.

The next step larger in the same style is the BIG BLUE 28W (5v only).

In the 28W size I did a study and more then a little research and the winner is the AUKEY 28W (has built in legs to have it stand at an angle toward the sun out on flat ground) Very Cool, followed by the RAVPOWER 24W three wire.

My definition for “low end” is that I have learned that the military “Powerfilm” type of panels are crazy expensive but they really do perform to spec. For Chinese panels assume 50% of stated spec is what you will see (on average).

So depending on the budget restrictions one may be better then the other for you. On an actual gram or sq area basis there is no comparison.

Also note that there are 12v-18v personal sized units. Obviously with the increase in voltage the amperage takes a beating. both because of the known electrical relationship but also because a 5v usb is often wired in and allocated power even when not in use. Personal solar panel controllers are just not that sophisticated to switch 100%. So before trying to “run” or even charge a “Laptop” from one, know that these variables maybe/are in play.

For laptops see the 50% rule above. Take your laptops demand and double it then look for a “laptop” solar panel at least that large (and preferable without a 5v usb outlet), to “Run” your laptop other wise all you can do is charge the battery i.e. (slow the rate of depletion).

(“It’s good that most people can’t remember their previous lives. Otherwise
things would be a lot more complicated than they already are.”
Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo)

hank
hank's picture
Online
Last seen: 7 min 9 sec ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 8534
Location: Berkeley, California

Thanks Ronin42

I’m also in the SF Bay area and looking for earthquake supply gear.
This is helpful information.