Our reviewer loved this smart little free power supply

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 10

SolarHub 16

Value for money:10/10
Performance:10/10

Pros:

  • So easy to fit and operate
  • Excellent operation and power output from small equipment
  • Ready set up for easy additions of lights/extensions
  • No previous wiring know how required
  • Can charge your phone/tablet while you are doing the horses

Cons:

  • Hub is not waterproof and so needs to be sensibly stored

Product:

SolarHub 16 power source: review

Price as reviewed:

£99.99

The SolarHub 16 is a solar powered energy source that makes it possible to provide light and power to remote/difficult/mobile sites. A small solar panel charges the ‘Hub’ that stores the energy, which can then be used to power/charge multiple devices such as lights, usb charger cables (5v to charge phones/tablets) or anything working from a (12v) lighter socket.

The system is incredibly simple and straight forward to get up and running. It is simply a matter of plugging in the relevant cables from the solar panel to the hub and in our case from the hub to the LED strip light (provided). The light is very small and yet it is capable of lighting a 12’ by 12’ stable incredibly effectively. All of the cabling is set up to allow countless extensions to be incorporated to suit your requirements, without any need for any tools or wiring know how, they simply plug together and have a screw cap cover to protect the join.

The Solar Panel is best sited in a position with maximum access to the sun, however it is designed to gather charge even on an overcast day. The Solar panel is small enough to be very discreet yet very capable of gathering charge, it has a bracket to angle it away from the surface you attach it to, to gather the most charge possible. The Hub has an easy to read battery symbol on the front indicating how much charge is remaining (with each unit equating to 25% of the batteries’ capacity), along with the on/off power switch, on/off light switch and the (5v) and (12v) charging sockets. It has a small electricity bolt symbol that illuminates to let you know it is charging from the solar panel.

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We placed the solar panel on the side of a double stable mobile unit that had no power supply and the change was instant. The power of the small LED strip was fabulous, and we very quickly ordered a second with an extension cable to light the second stable. The light is powerful enough even to have benefit in daylight hours if you have a slightly dark stable and we have not yet exceeded the storage power of the Hub. We can now comfortably groom and work around the two (three-year-old) horses housed in the unit in the dark, allowing us an incredible amount of freedom.

The entire unit is designed to be weather proof with the exception of the Hub. This was the only problem we encountered, as with such young horses we couldn’t risk installing it anywhere in either of the stables, we resorted to storing it in a plastic container outside the stables which still allowed us easy access to the unit for switching on and off (drilling a small hole in the container to feed the cables through, and a small hole on the side of the building to feed the lights cable through).

We were so impressed by the whole system. Easy to use and install, sensibly priced and completely adjustable/extendable to fit your requirements. We could not recommend the Solar Hub 16 enough for anyone requiring a self-sufficient system to supply a remote or awkward site, and the best part, no bills for the electricity!

Edited to add: securing bracket now available

Bracket to hold SolarHub 16

Following publication of this review, the manufacturer has introduced a bracket that can be screwed to the wall at the desired height and location to hold the SolarHub unit out of harm’s way.  The toughened, durable coating of the bracket protects the SolarHub unit and can be wiped clean.  One end of the bracket is open and allows easy access to all five sockets and power switches, while the unit is held in place with a foam pad.  The auxiliary cable locates through a hole in the closed end of the bracket. The bracket comes complete with six screws and wall plugs and has a two year warranty. It costs £14.99.

Verdict

We could not recommend the SolarHub 16 enough for anyone requiring a self-sufficient system to supply electricity to a remote or awkward site