1. What is a solar charger and how does it work?
A solar charger is a device that converts sunlight into electricity which can be used to charge batteries. There are four main types of solar chargers: solar phone chargers, external battery pack solar chargers, solar laptop chargers and specialized solar generators for camping or emergency use. All these devices fall under the category “solar chargers”.
Solar phone chargers use small panels that attach to your phone or tablet in order to either provide a boost when needed or slowly trickle-charge the device all day long. These devices include a little pouch in which you place your smartphone. If left in direct sunlight for several hours each day, these models will ensure your phone’s battery stays at full capacity.
Solar battery chargers are thin panels that contain photovoltaic cells. These cells convert sunlight into electricity which is stored in a battery pack, allowing you to charge any device with a USB or 12-volt DC port. You can use your laptop or tablet while recharging it from the sun! This type of solar charger is best if you have multiple devices to power at once.
Camping generators are foldable solar panels that can be plugged into an AC wall socket–or used as a portable back-up generator by charging the built-in battery pack through sunlight exposure. Some models come with adapters for powering other devices, such as laptops using 110 volts. However, because these solar generators are heavy and expensive, they are best for emergency situations.
Solar laptop chargers are made up of numerous solar cells grouped together to produce enough voltage and current to quickly recharge laptops, cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices. These panels can be used in tandem with your device’s built-in battery charger or separately to keep you connected even if no wall outlet is around. They are the most expensive option but they are powerful enough to provide quick recharging times.
2. What are the benefits of using a solar charger?
Decreased carbon footprint: Most people have at least one electronic device these days so this has resulted in an increase in e-waste. Solar chargers significantly reduce the number of batteries that go into landfills by allowing you to charge devices with sunlight instead of electricity.
Portable power source: The sun is available everywhere and it never runs out, unlike traditional battery packs which need to be recharged through a wall outlet or USB port. And since solar chargers can be used outdoors, there’s no need to sit near a couch or table while your phone charges!
Solar battery packs are also fantastic for camping trips because they allow you to recharge your other electronics even away from a city.
The sun is available everywhere and it never runs out, unlike traditional battery packs which need to be recharged through a wall outlet or USB port. And since solar chargers can be used outdoors, there’s no need to sit near a couch or table while your phone charges!
Solar battery packs are also fantastic for camping trips because they allow you to recharge your other electronics even away from a city.
Convenience: Solar chargers make outdoor charging easy—just set it and forget it! Many models come with large backup batteries (10,000mAh+) so you can power up multiple devices at once. Plus most panels are lightweight so carrying them around won’t be an issue.
Return on investment: If you have one device, getting a solar charger is not particularly cost-effective. However, if you have many devices–such as your laptop, phone, and tablet—it makes sense to invest in a solar battery charger or panel so you can power up everything at once.
Extra benefits: Many solar chargers also come with extra features such as built-in LED flashlights, cables, multiple charging ports, and even special adapters for powering larger devices like laptops. But no matter what your needs are, make sure to check the specs of each model before making a purchase because many backup batteries do not work when hooked up to an external solar source.
Many solar chargers also come with extra features such as built-in LED flashlights, cables, multiple charging ports, and even special adapters for powering larger devices like laptops. But no matter what your needs are, make sure to check the specs of each model before making a purchase because many backup batteries do not work when hooked up to an external solar source.
Downsides of using a solar charger?
Purchasing cost: Solar battery packs and even panels can be pricey so you may want to buy one as a long-term investment instead of picking up the cheaper models. Newer models are also significantly more efficient than older ones, making it worth spending extra for faster charging times.
Weight: If you’re planning on carrying your device around with you then weight should be one consideration before making a purchase.
Solar chargers come in all shapes and sizes and some (like power banks) can be heavy while others like pocket panels hardly weigh at all. If you need something big to cover all your devices you’ll have to compromise between weight, size, and power.
3. How much do they cost and how long will it take to recoup the costs?
There are many solar chargers with different functions, shapes, and sizes. Prices range anywhere from $20 to $400 so there’s definitely an option for every budget. If you only own one device then it may not be worthwhile purchasing a solar charger since it can cost upwards of $150, but if you have multiple devices (laptop, tablet, phone) then investing in something like the Anker 21W or RAVPower 15W would be ideal.
Solar battery packs are also fantastic for camping trips because they allow you to recharge your other electronics even away from a city. The more power the solar panel has the faster it will recharge your device(s). If you plan on your solar charger only at home, you can find models under $50 because there’s no need for them to be super powerful.
Battery life: While solar chargers are an effective way to recharge electronics and the environment, they do require a bit of patience (just like charging your phone at home). If you’re out camping or hiking then it will take quite a while to charge your device(s), but if you’re near the grid then hooking up your solar charger for an hour or two should give you enough juice to last throughout the day.
Maintenance: The majority of solar panels should not require much maintenance since they are made from durable materials such as tempered glass and neoprene—plus most companies offer warranties so if something does go wrong you can always get another one. On the other hand, solar-powered battery packs should be kept in cool, dry places to prevent overheating since this could cause damage to some of its components.
4. How fast will my device charge?
This all depends on how powerful your solar charger is and what model you own (solar phone chargers are typically smaller than portable power banks). Since solar input tends to be weaker than electric input it can take anywhere from three hours to 10+ so you’ll want to do your research before purchasing one of these devices since they may not be as convenient as regular chargers.
5. What are the different types of solar chargers?
There are many options available today but here’s a list of the top products on the market right now.
Pocket Power Banks: These are typically smaller solar chargers that are built into a pocket-sized unit so you can take them anywhere instead of having to wait around for hours before your device is fully charged—these tend to be less expensive but also have lower wattages.
Foldable Solar Panels: If you plan on camping or hiking, foldable panels make it easier to carry around since they’re lightweight and small enough to be carried in a backpack. Most consumer panels range between 1Watt-30 Watts with higher wattages allowing faster charging.
Waterproof Cases: Ideal for phone users who spend significant amounts of time near bodies of water, cases come with solar panels attached to the back and silicone seals for water protection.
Power Banks: These solar chargers come built into a power bank that can recharge your phone wirelessly—just place it down on a sunny patch and wait!
Camping Solar Panels: As the name suggests, these are made specifically for recreational purposes with most models weighing less than 5 pounds with enough wattages to keep multiple devices going at once. They tend to be larger but more powerful since they’re ideal for rough environments where weather conditions might damage something extremely fragile or sensitive.
Eco-Friendly E-Readers: There’s been a lot of development in tablet technology over the past few years so some companies have begun offering solar panels in this category as well.
Is the Investment Worth it?
Solar battery packs are a relatively new product on the electronic market so their prices may be higher than other power banks; however, they make up for this with extra features such as eco-friendliness and durability. In addition, they have been improved over the years so they can now deliver more wattages at faster-charging speeds compared to older models—plus most companies offer warranties in case anything goes wrong.
If you want to purchase a solar charger then there are many options available but high-quality products start around $65+ depending on what type of device you’re planning on using it for. If not then consider going with a regular portable power bank since these tend to be cheaper and just as effective.
Since solar input tends to be weaker than electric input it can take anywhere from three hours to 10+ so you’ll want to do your research before purchasing one of these devices since they may not be as convenient as regular chargers.
6. How does a solar battery charger work?
A camping solar panel is made up of around 10 or more individual mono or polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells that convert energy from the sun into electricity. When charging, the solar battery converts the sun’s energy into electricity which is then stored in a portable power station or power bank.
Radiant energy produced by the sun is transferred to an electrical current, through solar cells, resulting in the direct electric current (DC), which can be used to charge batteries.
When the solar panel faces sunlight directly, there is a high chance that it will produce maximum voltage levels because it won’t have to fight the resistance of its wire and circuit components. This means that you should position your solar car/camping charger so that it faces as much sunlight as possible during the daytime.
Solar panels have varying wattage outputs which are measured according to their capacity for handling peaks of energy received by the sun during its exposure.
7. Solar charger brands
There are many solar charger brands with the most popular ones being: Goal Zero, Anker, ALLPOWERS, Renogy, Powertraveller, BioLite, and Ravpower.
Here are some reviews for solar phone chargers made by the brands mentioned above:
Goal Zero Solar Charger External Battery Pack
The built-in protective sleeve keeps your Goal Zero Switch 8 Recharger safe when not in use, while its carabiner clip ensures that it is always within reach when you need it most. It can hold a full charge up to 4 times and the lithium-ion battery can be charged over 500 times so it’s a long-lasting, durable product.
Anker Solar Charger PowerPort Solar Lite 20W
It’s made with a lightweight yet durable frame that is water-resistant so it can easily withstand the wear and tear of being outdoors. Additionally, it has an LCD screen to show everyone on the go how much energy they are currently generating and receiving.
ALLPOWERS Solar Charger Portable Battery Pack
The built-in USB ports enable you to charge two devices simultaneously and it has a 2A output that works fast to power up your phone and tablet in no time. It can hold a full charge for about one month so whenever you need juice all you have to do is expose it to sunlight and you’re good to go.
Since solar input tends to be weaker than electric input it can take anywhere from three hours to 10+ so you’ll want to do your research before purchasing one of these devices since they may not be as convenient as regular chargers. It’s also important to know what you need your solar charger for because there are different types of these devices that are designed for specific purposes. For example, if you want a device that will help your phone stay charged while backpacking through the woods then you would probably want to go with one of the smaller options whereas if you’re looking for something that can power up your home in an emergency situation then you would probably want to go with one of the larger, more powerful options.
Solar panels have varying wattage outputs which are measured according to their capacity for handling peaks of energy received by the sun during its exposure. However, they also come in different shapes and sizes so it’s helpful to determine what you will be using your solar charger for because each type has different specs. If you’re looking for something that is lightweight and affordable then you should go with a small, compact model whereas if you need something that can charge bigger electronics then you should go with one of the larger, more powerful options.
Besides size, wattage, and solar panel type there are a few other things you should consider when purchasing a solar charger such as the cost, warranty information, brand reputation, functions, and design. You should also research any safety precautions that could be beneficial to you depending on what you will be using your solar phone charger for.