HUBi Solar Panel System – portable solar technology

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The HUBi 2k - A 12V Solar panel portable power system

HUBi SolarHub 2K

A solar lighting and power system by Solar Technology Limited.

Designed for use on camping / caravanning trips or in your garden as a source of power for your shed, greenhouse or gazebo.

Contents

  • 5w Solar Panel (expandable)
  • Main HUBi 2A unit (expandable)
  • Solar Panel Stand
  • 2 x Lumi 12v lights and mounting hooks
  • All connecting cables
  • 2 year warranty
  • more info

Buy Online
Price information last updated on the 10th or March 2017 at 09:00 GMT
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

HUBi Review

It’s difficult for me to review the HUBi Solar lighting and power system without a little favourable biased for couple of reasons.  The first is that I am seriously into solar technology and absolutely love the idea of free energy and being off the grid.  The second is that I have owned the ISIS Freeloader portable solar charger for some time now, which is made by the same UK company and has proven to be a firm favourite.

For testing purposes, I have chosen to use the HUBi in a camping environment with a small tent set-up.  In the long term I plan to make use of the HUBi as a source of power and lighting in my garden shed with the 12V solar panel permanently mounted.

The Hub

The HUBi SolarHUB 2k - portable solar power battery unit

Measuring 220mm x 146mm x 50mm the hub appears to be a seriously robust unit.  On the front there’s a sliding power on/off switch, 2 outputs for LED Lights, a light switch,  2 x 5V USB outputs, an LED display and a 12V auto socket. On the rear there are 2 inputs, one is for attaching the Solar panel cable and the other is for optional AUX power.

Inside the HUBi unit is a lightweight lithium battery pack and internal electronics to protect the system from overcharging and to optimise the amount of energy collected from the solar panel.

The build quality of the case is solid and it’s been cleverly designed to so that the rubberised feet engage inside the formed recesses on the top of the device.  This allows you to stack the HUBi should you wish to expand the storage capacity by linking up to 3 units.

The HUBi solar power system can be daisy chained to extende the storage capacity.
The Solar Panel

The 5W small solar panel

The portable 5w Premium Crystalline solar panel features an aluminium surround with additional corner protection. Measuring 306mm x 218mm x 25mm and weighing 0.8kgs the solar panel can be mounted via the slotted holes on the rear, or placed on a surface with the included support arm.

The attached cable is 2.5 metres in length and feels considerably thick and durable.  Once connected to the unit it will instantly begin feeding a charge, indicated by a red lightning symbol on the front panel of the hub.

The HUBi 2k Power unit and solar panel for portable energy requirements
The LUMi Lighting

LUMi LED light powered by the HUBi Solar panel system

The HUBi kit comes with 2 LUMI led light which can be switched on or off manually with a button on the centre of the lens, or via the switch on the HUBi unit.  The lights are surprisingly bright, each putting out over 40 Lumens and have an impressive cable length of 4m’s.

The LUMi bulbs are exceptionally lightweight and come with hanging hooks that can be easily used to suspend them from above.

The 2 LUMi LED lights are bright enough to fully illuminate the tent.
How I got on with the HUBi solar panel system

The set up was a simple as you could possibly get. The solar panel started feeding the hub the second it was connected and seemed to do an exceptional job of maintaining the charge.  During the day I topped up the batteries on my phone and iPad,  fiddled with the LUMI lights and plugged in a couple of USB powered fans.

The HUBi solar charging my iPad and phone

When the sun had finally set, and it was dark outside, I switched both LUMi lights on and spent the next two and a half hours bathed in light.

After a slightly uncomfortable nights sleep due to a self-deflatting sleeping matt, I woke to find the charging symbol lit with the solar panel already feeding a new charge back into the batteries.

The HUBi Solar hub with a USB powered fan.
My Verdict

While I may have been able to use a large capacity portable battery pack to keep my devices topped up and provide a source of power for lighting,  over time it would become a dead weight.  The HUBi however, offers me a sustainable source of power ideal for longer trips.

As previously mentioned I get a kick from solar power and not having to rely on the grid. Having such as robust and stackable alternative energy source is a not only handy, it could also prove extremely useful in emergency situations.

For my requirements the HUBi 2K version is ideal and I can’t think of much I would change or add to this product other than the addition of a protective carry case perhaps?

There is a larger capacity version available called the HUBi 10K which may be more suited to people who require a bigger output to power laptops or TV’s.  It comes with a 20W solar panel instead of a 5W, which will effectively quadruple your charge.

Only time will tell how durable and useful the HUBi will prove to be, but based on how well the Freeloader has performed, I cannot wait to find out.

The HUBi is available to buy for £99.99 from Maplins or direct from Solar Technology, where you can also find more technical information and accessories.

A guide to show you the charging capacity of the HUBi 2k and 10k solar systems

 

Buy Online
Price information last updated on the 10th or March 2017 at 09:00 GMT
details »

 

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Looks like a very handy solar system, however looking at the comparison between the 2k HUBi and the 10K, it’s pretty clear that the 10K outperforms it considerably. You are getting a hell of a lot more juice, and the fact you can’t charge a laptop on the 2K hub means it’s not really up to the job, for me anyway……

  2. I love the honest review as I was looking @ getting one for my van conversion. I have a question for you can you get heaters that will run on this system?

  3. Hello. I am enquiring about capabilities of linking multiple HUBi power hubs and multi use options. I am keen to get 2 , 10K Hubs and use them in my camper-van instead of standard leisure batter set up.

    1) If I have 2 linked together can I make use off all of the ports on both devices at once if desired?
    2) Do the devices share their power, ie if I have a device running from Hub 1 and this hub starts running low on charge will the attached Hub 2 share its charge so the device in Hub1 still runs ? or would i need to swap device from Hub1 into Hub2
    3) Do the Hubs charge devises wile charging from solar power and mains supply?
    4) Can you be plugged into a mains supply and have the solar panels also plugged in at same time?
    5) If a mains adapter is plugged into a Hub and is then turned off, will the solar panel automatically take over as the primary charge supply?

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