Solar chargers are some of the best inventions made in this century. Determining the most important benefit of a solar charger is quite easy; you do not need an external electrical device or any other resource, to recharge your batteries. In other words, solar chargers allow you the freedom of movement. The sun isn’t something hard to find; no matter where you are in the world, as long as it’s daytime, the sun is always out for you to see, and use. So, if you should find yourself stuck in the woods, and your device’s cell is dead, all you need is the rays from the sun and before you know it, your solar charger will ensure that your device gets up and running again. Then how to choose the best solar charger?
The fact that you don’t need an external electrical source also allows you to enjoy some more subtle benefits. Solar cells generate no waste, emissions, or byproducts. Any of the photons that isn’t utilized will simply bounce off of it just like they would do with other materials, or simply pass through the silicon the cells are equipped with.
Nowadays though, there are a lot of solar chargers on the market and one needs to be wary of what one buys. Solar panels now range from the bigger, elaborate, and pricy to the pocket sized and super affordable. There are some that are the same size or even smaller than your smart device. So, how to choose the best portable solar charger, how do you get the right one that will meet the specs of your device without causing any harm or damage to it. Below is a list of things to consider before purchasing a solar charger;
How to choose the best portable solar charger
Most solar chargers come with USB ports that allows you to connect them to your devices via a charging cable. Different chargers emit different amperage. This is due to the fact that there are more devices now that need the amperage in order to fill their battery cells, especially the smartphones and tablets that are made of late.
Now, you need to note that, the fact that a solar charger comes with a USB port or more, and it works for the charging of your tablet or smartphone, doesn’t mean it’s going to work with every device. For instance, a camera that is plugged in a wall outlet will need an adapter, and also, a USB solar panel will not work. Additionally, a lot of the solar chargers will not work with any device that needs a twelve volt cigarette charging port. Therefore, you need to be sure about the type of devices you can connect to your solar charger before deciding to purchase one.
Another thing to consider when buying a solar charger is the weight. If you are a traveler or you are buying the solar charger for backpacking, then you need to consider getting one with low weight. However, if you are looking for a power source for an expedition base camp, you need will be entirely different. When considering the weight of a solar panel, you need to ensure that you compare everything from accessory to accessory. This will enable you to know the full weight of the charger you are about to purchase. Just a little research will help you a great deal.
But do not forget that while you are thinking about the weight, you also need to consider the durability of the solar charger. You need to be sure if having something light is your main priority, or having a durable solar charger is.
There are some solar chargers that come with batteries, enabling you to leave your device without supervision in the sun for more hours, except for a few adjustments in order to get more sunlight. All you need to do is just leave it in the sun, go about your activities, and when you are back at camp at nightfall, plug your devices. These kind of solar chargers are some of the best when it comes to effective and efficient personal solar charging.
There are a lot of solar chargers that are integrated with batteries. Most of them are usually the size of a smartphone with a small solar panel. This might seem like something perfect, but the truth is, they are nowhere near perfect. Most of these chargers have solar panels that are way too tiny to give your battery the right amount of power it needs in a reasonable amount of time. Most of these batteries included are also way less efficient at charging your devices, or worse still, they are of poor quality. For instance, a good battery-solar charger/ integrated solar panel, might have a battery with 75 to 80% efficiency, which as a matter of fact is okay; but the problem is the solar panel installed in it might be so small to the extent that you’ll have to leave it in the sun for a number of days (probably 50 hours) before the thing finally gets charged.
These kind of devices can be used as emergency phone chargers but no more. Because once the power is gone out of it, you’ll have to wait for another 50 hours before you can get the most out of it.
As said earlier, there are a lot of brands making different types of solar chargers. This is because a good number of people from around the world have embraced this modern obsession of having a tablet or a smartphone. Most chargers and panels you’ll find are usually equipped with a USB port or two; sometimes with different ratings on amperage (1 amp for your smartphone, 2.1 for your tablet). Chargers like these are great but that is if you are using them to charge just a phone, camera, tablet or any other small device that uses a USB charger. However, if what you want to charge is something like a camera battery pack that connects to a wall outlet, then using a solar charger isn’t the appropriate thing.
Also note that some solar panels come with extra features such as grommets that allows them to be hung on a tree, backpack, or tent; and there are some with the capability of being chained to other panels in order to acquire a lot more power. The truth is these features add to the competence of the products.
All of these things and more, are what you should consider when buying a solar charger. Things like wattage, the solar accessories, the type of panels used, and the ease of use are also things to consider. Ensure that you make proper researches before purchasing a solar charger.