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Last update on 2021-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
Most riders opt for a solar panel kit or Fuse solar charger when riding. The bigger the panel, the faster your devices will charge and the large devices you will be able to charge.
The Fuse systems have a universal attachment system that lets you clip the charger onto your bike. In the ideal situation, you strap the female clips onto your panniers or another part of your bike and then clip in the male end of the clips and tighten the straps.
The kits come with corner mounts. Use your favorite webbing to secure the kits to your bike. We like the 4 foot extension cord with the kits as this lets you secure the battery inside your panniers. The panels and the connection between the panel and the extension cord are waterproof, but the battery is not.
The three biggest determinants to charge times are the weather (sunny/cloudy), shadows and angle of the panel. You cannot control the weather, but you can control the last two.
Shadows Try to get the panels as far away from your body and seat posts as possible. This will decrease the likelihood that you create a shadow that falls across the panel and decreases output.
Angle The best orientation for the panel is perpendicular to the sun. It depends on your route, time of year and geographic location, but you might want to set up your panels so that you can adjust them over the course of the day. Example: if you are pedaling due West across North Dakota, you would want to tilt them so that they point to the left (South) of the bike. When you stop for a break, make sure to adjust the panels for optimum charging.
From a strictly solar gathering perspective, trailers will typically outperform panniers as you will get fewer shadows on the panel which means more power production. But customers use both setups successfully. We also have seen a number of creative mounting solutions including this one mounted on an Xtracycle with a continuous GoPro recording system.