Sunwalk SW5505U Solar Panel with USB out Review

Preface
Official Specs
Versions
Price
Short Review
Long Review
  What's Included
  Manual and Packaging
  Build Quality and Durability
  Size
  Power
  User Interface and Operation
Conclusion
  What I like
  What I don't like
Up Next
Notes

Preface

I’ve asked for a solar panel from GearBest for a long while now, because I think that’s something my main people (flashlight people) might be interested in.  GearBest obliged my repeated requests wish this small panel, and it’s quenched my curiosity for a little while.  Read on to see how this panel performs!


Official Specs and Features

Versions

Of this exact panel, this is the only version. From this brand, there are many similar panels.

Price

Currently $13.03 at GearBest.


Short Review

This is a neat little entry into solar power.  It’s nice for understanding the tech better and seeing what solar power does.  As for getting real power out of it?  Yes, it’s a working solar panel!  The output is quite low current (and not quite 5.5W I don’t believe), so bear that in mind if you purchase.

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Sunwalk 5.5W Solar Panel with USB out.

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Package and Manual

This solar panel ships in a zip-top package, with no padding at all.  The package it was in was protected enough, so the panel arrived safely.

There is no manual with this panel.

Build Quality and Disassembly

I haven’t evaluated a solar panel before, so I can’t say this is better than that.  But I can say that this panel has held up to my use, and seems well built.  The solar wafer layers are atop what looks to be PCB, and the edges aren’t sealed in any way.  I think they’d be water resistant, but my impression is that the edges might eventually soak water.

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The solar cells don’t have any damage from shipping, and all seem to be properly functional.

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The back of the panel is not exciting.  There’s a converter on the back, which looks to be simply glued on – very snugly.  And out of this is the short USB cable.

Here you can see the edges of the panel.  They’re good, but not sealed.

The back of the panel has a SunWalk sticker on what’s probably a generic solar panel.

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Size

Officially 21 x 16.5 x 0.2 cm.  This is not a huge solar panel.  However, it doesn’t collapse in any way at all.  And the converter on the back means it won’t tuck away in a book very flatly.

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Power

The Sunwalk solar panel supplies power in just one way:  USB.

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I tested this output a little, under full sun.  As you can see, when the voltage is high (ie, very full sun), the current can be as high as 0.5A.  In truth I’m not sure the best way to describe these results, as I increased the load on the panel, the voltage out went down dramatically (voltage sag).  So in some cases where the voltage is low, it’s because there’s full sun and the panel is supplying more current, but there’s a lot of voltage sag.

Suffice to say that the panel can really not supply more than 0.5A in any scenario.  And when it does, the voltage sags so much it’s out of spec for USB.  In full sun, the panel can provide around 0.4A at 4V.

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Best case scenario, this is nowhere near a 5.5W panel.

User Interface and Operation

This panel is 100% plug and play.  In the sun, it’s voltage is active.  When the panel is connected to a USB device, current is flowing.  There’s no switch or anything at all else to fiddle with.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Does actually work as a solar panel
  • USB out is very convenient
  • The size is good for keeping in a bag or pack

What I don’t like

  • Power output is well below spec
  • Could use a hook or something to hang the panel with as a nice bonus attachment

Up Next

Tomorrow I hope to have the MecArmy SGN7 keychain flashlight review finished.  Still aiming for the Olight X7R by the end of the week.  Lots of work to do!!

Notes

  • This light was provided by Gearbest for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

2 thoughts on “Sunwalk SW5505U Solar Panel with USB out Review

  1. Did you test this with a cell phone, which I think is most likely to be used with it? Is it actually capable of providing a charge?

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    1. That is a great question, and I didn’t test that until today. And as expected (since it’s zone seems to be around 0.4A out), this solar panel will not charge the phones I tested (iPhone 7 and android phone). This was afternoon sun; noon sun might be better.

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