The best solar charger and the Sun's powerful source of free energy are a dynamic duo going together. In this article we explore the best solar charger of gadgets and devices. With advancing technology, we now carry many mobile gadgets and devices.
The sun provides energy for solar heaters, solar vehicles and the best solar charger of gadgets. These devices can efficiently save our fossil fuels for our next generation.
If you love an adventure, then you might plan your trips where you can enjoy exciting activities. You like hiking, camping, fishing, scuba diving, and want to share the fun. Your trip will have to include your mobile phone with its camera, or a DSLR with you to record the action.
They all need a power source for their operation. You need to charge them periodically, but it is not possible that you will find a power source everywhere you visit.
What's Best Solar Charger?
In layman’s terms, solar power is energy produced by the sun's radiation on a photovoltaic panel.
It is an alternative source of power, which is cheap and environmentally friendly. Now more than ever there is a need to use this source as much as possible. Our coal reserves and gas sources are depleting, and the demand for power is increasing daily.
Solar power chargers use sunlight energy to energize the portable rechargeable batteries. Some solar gadgets have an inbuilt solar charger.
Open the solar charger panels on the gadget and keep them facing towards the sunlight. The solar charger gets charged along with the device plugged into it.
There are three types of solar chargers available to the market. Here are the types of solar charger categorized on the basis of the solar panel used on them.
Types Of Solar Chargers:
How Handy Is A Solar Charger On Tour?
Apart from taking food and clothing, it’s common for people to carry along these items when going on a trip:
- DSLR cameras
- Mobile phones
- GPS units
- Battery operated lanterns
- Hiking / Camping /Fishing gear
All these gadgets use power from rechargeable batteries. A power source will be helpful during your trip to recharge these batteries.
This is where the best solar charger comes into play. They have a USB cable, which you plug into the USB port of the device to charge it. You can charge them from a car, your laptop or from a AA rechargeable battery. Or, you could charge them with a solar charger.
You can attach the solar charger to your backpack, tent or fishing gear box. As long as the panels are in sunlight they will recharge the batteries.
Then there's no need to carry spare independent batteries. These solar gadgets can charge more than one device at the same time. The solar panel charges its inbuilt battery and another two devices as well.
Best Solar Charger Technology
The photoelectric effect explains how light photons impact electrons of silicon PV cells to produce electron flow. As electrons leave this creates an imbalance between sides of the silicon cell. The electrons leave behind holes with a positive charge. As the electrons move towards the front of the solar cell are create a negative charged side. A conductor links the positive and negative sides of the cell to form a closed electric circuit. The electrons flow to generate direct current electricity.
One solar cell generates only one or two watts of electricity. We link many cells into a group of solar cells to generate more power. This becomes a solar panel. Solar panels generate electricity that flows in one direction through the circuit. This is direct current (DC) electricity. Where the electron flows rapidly change direction this is alternating current (AC).
The best solar charger powers any device attached to it. Also, a separate chemical and/or lithium-ion battery set could power the device. Often those batteries get integrated within the device. The best solar charger will direct charge into those gadget's batteries while it charges the device.
How To Choose The Best Solar Charger And Gadgets For Your Next Trip?
Most types of solar chargers have their own pros and cons.
Choose the solar charger or solar gadget that’s best suited for your trip and personal needs.
- For the light backpacker. If you intend a trekking trip, then use a flexible or folding solar charger on your backpack. They can roll up or fold to fit in a small place. They open up to provide you with a solar surface area.
- Charge time. If you have stamina for packing extra weight, then a flexible charger with a larger surface area charges your batteries quicker.
- Climate. If where you’re going has intermittent sunlight or cloudy weather, then solar charging gadgets need more surface area.
- Wattage offered by the solar charger. The higher watts the solar charger put out the more electricity it generates. Check solar output wattage when making any decision.
- Add on features. If you intend to take solar chargers hiking, camping or fishing, check the shock protection and waterproof rating.
- Multi-Functionality. The solar charger's USB port must be compatible with most camping or hiking gear. That way you need not carry a separate charger for each device.
Best Solar Charger Versus Battery Packs
When you go hiking there is the option of carrying extra battery packs, but it adds weight to your backpack. But, the solar charger can be a solution for this problem.
Other advantages of solar chargers are:
- An external electrical source is not required with solar chargers
- The solar cells do not harm the environment by any form of emission, waste or by-product
- They are lightweight with a durable exterior. You can carry them on hiking trips, tied to the backpack
The solar charger has some disadvantages, such as:
- You have limited time for your solar charger to work
- In places where access to sunlight is less, the solar charger takes much more time to charge itself. For example, when hiking trails lead through dappled light of dense forest growth
- Inclement weather presents itself as a formidable impediment to solar chargers. A cloudy sky or a foggy winter afternoon may shut off the charger with insufficient light from the sun
- Most solar chargers work slower than a charger plugged into grid power
The benefits of having a solar charger outweigh the cons by a wide margin.
Whether walking on a mountain side or camped in the middle of a national park, a sunlit solar charger works. It will keep your power operating for connecting with the world.
Best Solar Charger Maintenance
Store the solar charger away from its batteries when you travel. An advantage of solar chargers is they require little maintenance. Clean the solar charger panel with a damp cloth and store in a dust free area.
Solar Charger Price Matched With Alternatives
The best solar chargers are available online with prices starting from $60 going up to $250.
Your budget and needs will determine the type of charger you buy. You might also consider the warranty and the after-sale service provided.
The regular battery packs' start price is low, but you'll buy a lot of batteries, most which you will throw away after one use.
Buy a solar charger and it will keep batteries running during each trip that you take it on.
Best Solar Charger That's Available For Camping, Hiking And Fishing
It's not easy to pick the best single solar charger for camping and hiking in the market. Brands and new toys add to the list each day.
Some of the top solar chargers available are:
Future Of The Solar Gadget
The latest innovation in the field of a solar gadget is the solar-powered backpack. There are some solar devices like that, which perform a dual function. Those devices perform their own operation and act as a solar charger for other devices. Much like the solar flashlight with inbuilt charger below.
Also, a solar charged lantern. It is perfect for any outdoor activity and gets charged from the sun's radiation.
The lantern has a USB port which in turn can transfer its charge to your phone. This makes the lantern a solar charger and lantern.
Enjoy your time in the sun. If you want to check the price of additional solar chargers see the Portable Solar Panel Buying Guide. It lists and reviews a range of portable solar chargers.
Our best solar charger for ease of use and money is the Goal Zero Venture.