This is blog post out of date. We recommend you read our Guide to Charging GoPro from Solar.

In a previous post, we showed how you can charge GoPro Hero cameras from our solar chargers. Since this is such a popular device to charge, we did a bit more testing and discovered that you can charge a GoPro Hero direct from one of our 6Volt, 2.0 or 3.4 Watt solar panels. This method is not as consistent as charging from one of our batteries however and we recommend it only if you’re in a pinch. The model we tested had a 4 Watt hour battery so it would take about 5 hours from a single 2 Watt panel to charge in direct sunlight, about 3 hours from the 3.4 Watt panel (there are several loss factors in charging we go through in our tutorial).

In addition to the panel, you’ll also need our Female 3.5×1.1 MiniUSB adapter to connect from the panel to the GoPro.

The advantage of this approach is that it is cheap and you don’t have to worry about waterproofing anything as the panels are waterproof and nearly indestructible. The downside is that it is less consistent then charging from our batteries.

Techy note: the Hero does have a blocking diode so a shaded panel won’t pull charge back from the Hero.

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8 Responses

  1. Andy Hawkins

    Do you know if it would be possible to run the GoPro while its charging and if so is there anyway to get enough power going into the camera to effectively run it all day (in the right conditions)?
    I’d like to record canoe trips and while the 3 hour battery life of the unit is great, I’d like to record all day if possible.

    • admin

      Hi Andy,

      You can charge the GoPro while it is filming, but you’ll need to open up the case which will remove the waterproofing that the case provides.

      For the most confidence that you would keep the GoPro charged, I would go with something like:
      High Certainty – 2 x 3.4 Watt Panels -> V11 -> GoPro
      Medium Certainty – 2 x 2.0 Watt Panels -> V11 -> GoPro
      Low Certainty – 1 x 2.0 Watt Panel -> GoPro

      One note is that if you are trying to charge from the panels with one of our two (or three panel systems), make sure the switch is set to 6V. The 12V setting can damage the GoPro. You don’t have to worry about this if you charge from the USB port on one of our batteries.

  2. loring Ross

    Hi Andy,
    I have a Go Pro and will be rafting the Colorado this Spring. A solar charger is suggested by the rafting company. My question: will the adaptors/panel charge just about anything like a cell phone or other portable devices? I’d like to buy a one step for all sunlight charging for devices.

    • admin

      Hi Loring,

      Any of our 4 Watt solar chargers like the Fuse 4W or Amp will charge both phones and the GoPro with simply a USB cable. If you have a camera that requires you to remove the battery for charging (like a DSLR), you will likely need to get a charging cradle specific to that camera. See more here:


  3. Nelson Dunk

    Similar to above: We are going to be using GoPros for a 6-week time lapse and are looking for power options. Could the 2×3.4 Watt panels work for this type of setup?

    • admin

      Hi Nelson,

      Are you using the Cam-Do Programmable scheduler? If so, do you have a sense for how many hours/days/weeks the GoPro runs in your setup without an external power source? What kind of location are you running the setup? i.e. Is it sunny with no shade or overcast with lots of shade?

  4. Randy

    I’m planning a 10 day cave expedition and would like to charge a gopro 4 and canon dslr lp-e8 7.2v li-on, I am looking for optimal charges for both. Is it possible to charge at same time? Would also like to charge a laptop as well. What would you recommend?


    • Voltaic Systems

      Sorry for late response here, but your laptop is the system that is driving the system selection. All our laptop systems will also charge a GoPro and LP-E8. For the full list of solutions, go to our Shop Gear page here: and click on the laptop icon. From there, it is a matter of picking which form factor you like best as well as charge rates. The 17 Watt systems will charge faster than the 10 Watt systems. You can pick up the LP-E8 charger on any of our product pages under the accessories.


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