Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2019
The Solar Sega is the latest component added to our emergency preparedness schematic, which also includes the Jackery 160 and 240 Power Stations, as well as a host of power banks, etc. During short term power outages (which don’t necessitate cranking up the generator), the 160 and 240 each have a primary job addressing design flaws in our personal weather station, and our fixed wireless internet. I purchased the Solar Sega for use during longer term outages due to hurricanes, ice storms, etc.

After the hurricanes and severe summer thunderstorms blow through and knock the power out, the weather is always clear and sunny. So the Solar Sega’s job will be to keep the Jackery Power Stations up and running, so that they in turn can keep the weather station and internet, as well as all of our devises and battery banks, up and running without having to string more extensions cords to the generator. This can be a real pain and a danger as well. Cords, splitters, more cords… . Now, thanks to Jackery, we are able to set up two “charging stations”-- one for wifi, husband’s computer, and his devises, and one for weather station monitor and all of my stuff.

Before I provide the details of how my test run went, I’d like to address a comment a video reviewer had about the pouch on the back of the folded panel which holds the 9’ extension cord. The reviewer thinks this is a design flaw and I agree, to a degree. The issue is that when the 3-section panel is opened, and laid on the ground, the bulge in the middle (pouch on back of center panel) makes it impossible for the panel to lay flat. This is true. But it does not take into consideration that there are only three places on earth (and for each, only twice a year) where this matters-- where the panel would properly be flat-- 0° angle-- for optimal absorption of the sun’s energy. Here in the deep south, my angle of incidence for summer-- the smallest it will be all year-- is 6°. As you can see from the photograph, I did some improvisation with a piece of cardboard to get the correct tilt. At 6° the pouch is just barely was off the ground except at the middle. At all other, greater angles, it will be above the surface. So for folks who determine what angles of incidence are optimal at their latitudes, this isn’t that big a deal. If you just pitch the thing out the on the ground, it is. All that said, I would have liked to see the panel with a fourth section at one end, i.e., the pouch section. This would also allow the extension cord to be connected without the panel resting on it.

How did it go? Good and bad. In the end it was fine, though I have some general questions for Jackery. The panel arrived just before noon on a day that started out with 25% scattered high clouds, and 102k LUX in full sun. I gathered up a white sheet upon which to lay the panel and deflect the heat, a piece of cardboard to get a tilt close to optimal, the Jackery 160 which was down to 63%, and had it set up and running by 12:15. Started off slowly but jumped up to 35W input in just a few seconds. (Maximum input to the station is 42W.)

At 12:54 curiosity got the better of me and I’m glad it did. The Jackery 160 was in full critical mode! Lots of warning lights, and about 1/3 of the display was solid black. Hot as blazes-- this is not good-- unplugged it and took it inside. I just happened to have a lazar thermometer: the front was 110°; sides, about 100; back 90; top measured 122° and that’s after a couple of minutes inside. Took it out to the shop and put it in front of a window unit A/C. Within 10 minutes it had cooled to less than 80, and had been charged to 72%. But this was still not good. While I was at it, I measured the surface of the panel, 170°. Very not good.

The maximum recharging temperature for the Jackery is 104°F. The “operating temperature range’ for the panel is 14-104°F. The air temperature was about 92 (didn’t think to get ground temperature). I risked it and put the Jackery back out there-- in the shade!-- at about 1:10pm. I monitored the temperatures. Jackery 160 surfaces stayed at 86-96, it was starting to cloud up and the temperature of the panel surface dropped to 150.

Bottom line, the panel charged the Jackery 160 from 63% to full in 2 hours and 45 minutes which included about 15 minutes of panic and I’m guessing self-shut-down for some amount of time during the high temperature warning.

To its credit, the station did what it was supposed to do-- shut down if over heating-- and recovered nicely.

I’m assuming that maximum recharging temperature for the 160 is the temperature of the unit, since the air temp was not 104. So that’s on me; in the summer in Mississippi keep it in the shade (that 9’ extension cord will do the trick). But, question for Jackery (which has great customer service by the way). What does “operating temperature range” mean? It must mean the temperature of the panel itself. If so, what suggestions do you have for keeping the panel cooler? I’m thinking elevating it above ground to increase airflow is the place to start. If it’s going to do the job after summer storms/hurricanes that I described above, it has to work when it’s hot outside.

Suggestions?

Please note, this is not unique to the Solar Sega. All portable solar panels are black. That’s a heat absorption problem.

A couple of other things. As I mentioned, the angle of incidence at your latitude matters for efficiency. I’d like to see Jackery include a map or table (season by latitude) in the owner’s manual with that information.

I also tested how well the 160 did with pass-through wattage while charging with the panel. About as good as AC changing.

Bottom bottom line is I’d like to see Jackery do three things: 1) explain to consumers the efficiency of its solar panel as it relates to angle of incidence; 2) highlight the recharging maximum temperatures with a waring to place the Power Stations in the shade; and 3) give some ideas about how one would efficiently recharge a Power Station via a Solar Sega in the heat of the summer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mind the heat!
Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2019
The Solar Sega is the latest component added to our emergency preparedness schematic, which also includes the Jackery 160 and 240 Power Stations, as well as a host of power banks, etc. During short term power outages (which don’t necessitate cranking up the generator), the 160 and 240 each have a primary job addressing design flaws in our personal weather station, and our fixed wireless internet. I purchased the Solar Sega for use during longer term outages due to hurricanes, ice storms, etc.

After the hurricanes and severe summer thunderstorms blow through and knock the power out, the weather is always clear and sunny. So the Solar Sega’s job will be to keep the Jackery Power Stations up and running, so that they in turn can keep the weather station and internet, as well as all of our devises and battery banks, up and running without having to string more extensions cords to the generator. This can be a real pain and a danger as well. Cords, splitters, more cords… . Now, thanks to Jackery, we are able to set up two “charging stations”-- one for wifi, husband’s computer, and his devises, and one for weather station monitor and all of my stuff.

Before I provide the details of how my test run went, I’d like to address a comment a video reviewer had about the pouch on the back of the folded panel which holds the 9’ extension cord. The reviewer thinks this is a design flaw and I agree, to a degree. The issue is that when the 3-section panel is opened, and laid on the ground, the bulge in the middle (pouch on back of center panel) makes it impossible for the panel to lay flat. This is true. But it does not take into consideration that there are only three places on earth (and for each, only twice a year) where this matters-- where the panel would properly be flat-- 0° angle-- for optimal absorption of the sun’s energy. Here in the deep south, my angle of incidence for summer-- the smallest it will be all year-- is 6°. As you can see from the photograph, I did some improvisation with a piece of cardboard to get the correct tilt. At 6° the pouch is just barely was off the ground except at the middle. At all other, greater angles, it will be above the surface. So for folks who determine what angles of incidence are optimal at their latitudes, this isn’t that big a deal. If you just pitch the thing out the on the ground, it is. All that said, I would have liked to see the panel with a fourth section at one end, i.e., the pouch section. This would also allow the extension cord to be connected without the panel resting on it.

How did it go? Good and bad. In the end it was fine, though I have some general questions for Jackery. The panel arrived just before noon on a day that started out with 25% scattered high clouds, and 102k LUX in full sun. I gathered up a white sheet upon which to lay the panel and deflect the heat, a piece of cardboard to get a tilt close to optimal, the Jackery 160 which was down to 63%, and had it set up and running by 12:15. Started off slowly but jumped up to 35W input in just a few seconds. (Maximum input to the station is 42W.)

At 12:54 curiosity got the better of me and I’m glad it did. The Jackery 160 was in full critical mode! Lots of warning lights, and about 1/3 of the display was solid black. Hot as blazes-- this is not good-- unplugged it and took it inside. I just happened to have a lazar thermometer: the front was 110°; sides, about 100; back 90; top measured 122° and that’s after a couple of minutes inside. Took it out to the shop and put it in front of a window unit A/C. Within 10 minutes it had cooled to less than 80, and had been charged to 72%. But this was still not good. While I was at it, I measured the surface of the panel, 170°. Very not good.

The maximum recharging temperature for the Jackery is 104°F. The “operating temperature range’ for the panel is 14-104°F. The air temperature was about 92 (didn’t think to get ground temperature). I risked it and put the Jackery back out there-- in the shade!-- at about 1:10pm. I monitored the temperatures. Jackery 160 surfaces stayed at 86-96, it was starting to cloud up and the temperature of the panel surface dropped to 150.

Bottom line, the panel charged the Jackery 160 from 63% to full in 2 hours and 45 minutes which included about 15 minutes of panic and I’m guessing self-shut-down for some amount of time during the high temperature warning.

To its credit, the station did what it was supposed to do-- shut down if over heating-- and recovered nicely.

I’m assuming that maximum recharging temperature for the 160 is the temperature of the unit, since the air temp was not 104. So that’s on me; in the summer in Mississippi keep it in the shade (that 9’ extension cord will do the trick). But, question for Jackery (which has great customer service by the way). What does “operating temperature range” mean? It must mean the temperature of the panel itself. If so, what suggestions do you have for keeping the panel cooler? I’m thinking elevating it above ground to increase airflow is the place to start. If it’s going to do the job after summer storms/hurricanes that I described above, it has to work when it’s hot outside.

Suggestions?

Please note, this is not unique to the Solar Sega. All portable solar panels are black. That’s a heat absorption problem.

A couple of other things. As I mentioned, the angle of incidence at your latitude matters for efficiency. I’d like to see Jackery include a map or table (season by latitude) in the owner’s manual with that information.

I also tested how well the 160 did with pass-through wattage while charging with the panel. About as good as AC changing.

Bottom bottom line is I’d like to see Jackery do three things: 1) explain to consumers the efficiency of its solar panel as it relates to angle of incidence; 2) highlight the recharging maximum temperatures with a waring to place the Power Stations in the shade; and 3) give some ideas about how one would efficiently recharge a Power Station via a Solar Sega in the heat of the summer.
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