Our technological devices come in handy no matter what we’re doing with them: for work, for play, or in an emergency. We depend on them to keep secure and connected. Camping out in an old camper van isn’t just for hipsters anymore. We want our power back when we accidentally or purposefully unplug from the grid. The solar charger and battery power are necessary.
Charge your device’s battery as long as possible without putting your device’s circuits at risk or incurring excessive costs with the correct charging unit. Unfortunately, there is a proliferation of low-quality products on the market. In this article, we’ll walk you through your choices for a solar charger power bank and battery bank.
Make sure Solar Charger can only be charged by the sun.
We’re not making this up. Many solar charger states in their small print that “for optimal results, charge via a wall outlet” or “not designed to be changed totally by the sun” should be read before using the device. In order to keep prices down, some organizations will utilize a solar charger panel that is too small for the device. Read the tiny print and obtain a unit made for the sun.
Right size your Solar Charger Panel and Battery
Batteries are rated in milliamp-hours (mAh) (mAh). The greater the number, the greater the potential for storing energy. A typical phone battery is between 2500 and 3000 mAh in capacity. In order to get two days of use out of a 5000 mAh battery, you’ll need to multiply the battery’s capacity by 0.75 to get 4,500 mAh.
The formula is: (phone battery size) X ( percent device battery usage) X (time) = power supply required
Even the largest battery will ultimately run out of power due to time and usage. The solar charger is vital for emergencies, extended travels, and for multi-device power. The amount of energy that you get from a solar charger panel relies on specific variables:
-Solar charger panel size and efficiency
-Sunlight that is either direct or indirect (including direction, shade, and clouds)
-Latitude and altitude
-Climate and weather conditions
Solar Charger Panel Size and Efficiency
Solar charger panel dimensions are expressed in watts (w), while their output is expressed in watt-hours (Wh). The dimensions of solar charger panels are specified in watts (w), whereas their output is specified in watt-hours (Wh). A good approximation of the panel’s size can be determined by multiplying the wattage of the panel by the number of sunlight hours and subtracting any losses. (We’ll use a generous assumption of 15% loss owing to inefficiencies in the solar charger panels, charger, or device being charged).
In the heat of July, a 3-watt panel working at around 85% efficiency would generate 12.75 Wh (3w X 5hrs X 85% = 12.75 Wh). Under 5 hours of direct sunlight in the midst of summer, a 3-watt panel operating at approximately 85% efficiency would generate 12.75 Wh (3w X 5hrs X 85% = 12.75 Wh).
The formula is as follows: output = (panel size (w) X (direct sunshine hours) X (percentage production).
To determine the size (or wattage) of our solar charger panel. We can work backward from our last example. in which we required 2,250 mAh each day to keep our cell phone charged.
To convert milliamp-hours (mAh) to watt-hours (Wh), multiply the milliamp-hours (mAh) of the battery by the voltages of the solar battery and divide by 1,000. This would be (2,250 mAh X 5 V / 1000 = 11.25 Wh) if we had a 5-volt battery.
Choose the Right Power Output
Depending on the gadget(s), you may wish to examine the power output – or the rate at which the device may be charged. This requires knowledge of the charger’s amps and volts. By and large, the more amps, the faster the charge (some phones, like the iPhone, will only draw 1 amp. regardless of how many amps the charger has, but will not be harmed from a higher amp device).
To avoid prolonged charging times while using a tablet with a larger battery, you may wish to choose a charger with a 2 amp output.
Additionally, some units may have numerous outputs, allowing you to charge many devices simultaneously. The majority of devices have shared circuitry, which means that numerous devices will fight for power.
This is not a problem if you have a two-amp circuit and are charging two cell phones that draw one amp each. However, if you lack sufficient power output, charge multiple devices. (such as two tablets) concurrently might dramatically slow the charging time for both units. In comparison, some gadgets feature split circuitry, which allows for optimal charging rates at each port.
Consider Both Safety and Longevity
There are two elements that might help you understand how safe your equipment is:
Quality extends beyond the item itself when it comes to solar charger power banks or any battery pack. A substandard product has the potential to cause damage to the devices being charged. Look for terms such as “overcharge” protection, which will safeguard your phone’s battery. Another critical component is “overcurrent” protection. Which restricts the amount of power flowing into and out of the device to protect the circuitry on both devices. A high-quality device will highlight its security features.
There are certifications that can assist you in determining a device’s safety and functionality. CE and FCC certifications should be required at the very least for each electronic device. Additionally, there is the Lighting Global standard for solar lights. Which is a World Bank program that aims to sustainably build the international off-grid solar charger industry by certifying the performance of solar lighting products.
Select Other Key Features
After you’ve covered the essentials, you may wish to investigate additional crucial qualities, such as portability. If you intend to use the unit for backpacking or camping, it should be lightweight and easily transportable. Check to see whether it can be attached to a pack during transit so that you may charge the battery during daylight hours.
If your solar charger will not be portable. You may wish to consider devices with separate solar panels and battery packs. This would let you permanently mount a solar panel on a roof, charge the battery pack throughout the day. and then disconnect it at night to use. These systems frequently have larger solar charger panels that are not easily transportable.
Another function that solar battery packs frequently include is lighting. If you’re going backpacking or camping. A bright light eliminates the need for a flashlight and can be quite valuable in your emergency preparedness gear.
The key to selecting the appropriate solar charger and battery pack is determining how the solar charger will be used and then selecting a device that meets those demands. Many units prioritize providing a larger battery over providing sufficient solar charger panels.
But if you’re going to be off the grid for an extended period of time, solar charger panels are critical. From there, prioritize quality to safeguard both your gadgets and the charger. Wherever you go, the correct gadget gives the power you require.