What Other Solar Chargers Should You Consider
This durable, portable battery pack provides a ton of power for multiple devices. It is worth noting that the OEUUDD 25000mAh should be partially or fully charged to deliver consistent power to your devices. Being fully reliant on solar power alone will cause problems with this device. as it takes a long time for it to be charged. Its dimensions are small and it isn’t overly heavy, though due to its weight, it’s not the best option for backpacking. The pros outweigh the cons so-to-speak, especially when considering the price of this product. For those looking for a charger, the OEUUDD 25000mAh will power up your USB devices without zapping your wallet, making it a great option.
What Are Solar Power Banks
Solar power banksare designed with batteries to store generated energy. You can plug your devices into the solar power bank and charge them. Then, you can refill the solar power banks battery by exposing its solar cells to sunlight. You can also plug some solar power banks into outlets to charge their batteries in these cases, the sun acts as an alternate source of energy to the battery, explained Sudip K. Mazumder, a professor at the University of Illinois Chicagos Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
As we noted in our guide to solar chargers, many people refer to all charging devices built with solar cells as solar chargers. But there is a distinction between solar chargers and solar power banks.
Since solar power banks store generated energy and thus do not need to be exposed to sunlight while charging your devices, they give you more freedom then solar chargers do .
Power Output And Charging
We considered only USB solar chargers rated at 10 watts or higher because with anything less you may not get enough power throughout the day to charge a single phone, which just isnt practical. Although we preferred models that claimed to offer even more power, we didnt want that to come with a major increase in size that would limit the chargers portability.
We skipped any chargers that had only a single USB charging port. We preferred two output ports, a design that lets you charge a second device or share the power with someone else. Any extra ports were a bonus. Each port had to draw at least 1 amp, which is the minimum necessary to fully charge a phone like the iPhone X in three to four hours.
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Suner Power Solar Car Battery Charger
- Protected with tempered glasses for fast light transmittance and abs frame for durability
- Low maintenance and easy to install
- Portable and lightweight
- Reverse protection, so it does not drain your battery
- Comes with cigarette cables for more applications
- Doesnt have a USB port
The sun gives off a surmountable power that you can utilize in powering your home, trailer truck, RV, boat, even your truck. With the right device like SUNER POWER solar powered 12 volt battery charger, you can charge your battery anytime, anywhere as long as there is sunlight. Built and designed by one of the most trusted solar power designers in the US, SUNER POWER, and this multi-functional charger will power up your homes.
Aside from the fact that it is designed by dependable solar technicians who aim to utilize sun power, this charger is packed with other features and benefits, especially from outdoor and off-grid living. So, whether youre camping for the weekend or living tiny in a trailer truck, this charger is all you need to power up your place.
Batteries naturally lose power even without using it. If you let this happen frequently, you might never use the full power potential of your batter for life. This maintainer and charger device will help you prevent that from happening. It charges 12V batteries, helping you maintain them and keeping them from draining.
The Verdict: Solar Chargers
The Goal Zero nomad 2 has everything you might need in a solar charger: high wattage, an abundance of USB ports and a business-like folding design and the leading monocrystalline panel type.
For mains-style power output on demand, the Ecoflow portable power station and 220W panel is highly recommended.
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How Long Will It Take To Charge My Phone
The main question in most cases the only question that everyone wants an answer to when shopping for portable USB solar chargers is: how long will this take to charge my phone if I put it in direct sunlight?
Like it or not, the answer is it depends. There are so many different factors that go into that question that any blanket answers are lying for the sake of ease.
Consider answering which car can drive furthest on a gallon of gas? To test that, youd need everything else to be the same the same tires, same route, same weather conditions, same type of oil and gas, same weight in the vehicle, and so on.
Similarly, different solar chargers behave differently depending on weather conditions, angle to the sun, temperature, the type of device theyre plugged into, etc. And different chargeable devices have different battery chemistries, capacities, charging algorithms, etc.
Later in this review, we explain how we handled those differences to be as scientific as possible and why most other portable solar charger reviews you see online are inherently flawed because they arent measuring apples to apples.
Goal Zero Nomad 14 Plus
Bottom line: Goal Zero is a major player in the off-grid energy space, and we own and use many of their products. But the $150 Goal Zero Nomad 14 Plus just did not deliver. Its expensive and heavy, and the output wont stay stable enough to be usable at anything over about 1.5A of current. The 4.8V at 1.49A that it would actually stabilize at is just not even close to good enough, even if it were as inexpensive as one of the other panels.
But at over 3X the price and almost twice the weight of our top pick, theres just no case for this panel that we can see.
We worked with Goal Zeros support, thinking we may have received a bad unit, but the results were the same after they sent us replacement junction boxes. We then shared our results with one of their engineers, who suggested we retest at a 1.5A draw that did produce more stable results, they just werent very good results.
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Advertised Numbers Dont Reflect Reality
Our testing shows that real-world performance almost never reaches what the companies claim. At best, you should use those numbers to understand relative differences between products. If you have specific numbers you need to hit, such as watts or amps, assume theres at least a 25-50% drop off from the marketing data.
Most USB chargers have names like RAVPower 16W, with the 16W label referring to the amount of power in watts. But manufacturer-provided power ratings are generated under highly artificial test conditions in order to promote the highest number possible.
Its better to use those advertised wattage numbers as a rough indication of general panel size and relative power performance e.g. a panel labeled 20W is probably a bit stronger and bigger than one labeled as 10W, even though neither panel will hit their advertised numbers.
Similarly, we found the amps coming out of a USB port almost never reached the rated maximum. For example, one panel that advertised 2.4 amps of USB output actually never got above 1.8.
What Type Of Trips Will I Use It On
If its just you and a buddy going out for a weekend, youre probably only going to need the Big Blue or the BioLite SolarPanel 10+.
If youre out for a weekend, unless youre running a lot of devices, youre probably not going to need a whole lot of solar charging. With the backup battery capacity of the BioLite 10+ and its photovoltaic charging ability, its ability to provide solar power will rival that of the Big Blue for the weekend.
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Powoxi Solar Battery Charger
- 20% conversion rate of solar panel
- Durable construction
- 12-month warranty
- Not suitable for places with extreme heats
For a 12v solar panel battery charger, you can choose the POWOXI solar battery charger. This battery charger comes with the necessary features for the maintenance of your battery.
The POWOXI solar battery charger ensures that your battery will not overcharge nor discharge. One of the reasons why I like this charger is because of its anti-reverse charging feature that is possible with its built-in blocking diode structure.
I also like that the POWOXI solar battery charger has Single Crystal Silicon Solar Panels. This panel is known for its high conversion rate. As for this particular model, its conversions rate is up to 20% for efficient charging.
The durable construction of the POWOXI solar battery charger is one you can trust. It is designed with ABS plastic housing. Its transparent and iron tempered glass only adds to its durability. It can withstand impacts and even wind and snow resistance for a long-lasting charger. It is also waterproof, which makes it ideal for outdoor use.
I also like the smooth operation and installment process of this POWOXI solar battery charger. It has a quick one-way connector that is simple to recognize and use. Included in the package are also the alligator clamps and cables. It is to connect the charger directly to the battery when the cigarette lighter, in some vehicles, cannot operate when the ignition is turned off.
Also Great: A Power Bank
Sometimes you need to charge your devices when the sun isnt out, which is why are a great addition to any solar panel. This smaller one is great for taking with you on car trips, since it weighs less than 5 pounds and can hold enough power to recharge your phone 16 times or recharge a light for 10 hours of use. It has a 167-watt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, and it can be recharged with a SolarSaga 60 in just 4.5 hours. Or, you can pre-charge it at home with the DC port, then use the two USB ports and one USB-C port to charge your devices.
One fan raved: After reading a number of reviews I had buyers remorse. I wanted to find something wrong with it and couldnt. Mine came 38% charged so it took a few hours to fully recharge. Then I charged my iPhone and my Bluetooth headset. It was at 95%. The next day I charged my iPad and a portable DVD player. It was 87%. The next day I charged my iPhone, iPad, and an android phone. Then I charged another iPhone using the AC output and another device using the 12V output and a car charger. I finally ran it down to 20% before recharging it. Its a work horse. Im looking forward to using it camping and car trips.
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Analysis And Test Results
Now more than ever, solar technology is growing in popularity. In this updated review, we’ve tested a wide variety of portable models. Our current line-up includes small panels with built-in battery packs to massive 50W behemoths. By spending time testing these solar panels on the road, we get to see firsthand the latest and greatest #vanlife solar setups. After looking over several options, we rated each on four important metrics: direct solar charging, indirect solar charging, multiple device charging, and portability. Whether you are looking for a solar setup for car camping or a compact charger to power your iPhone while on a backpacking trip, our review offers excellent recommendations for anybody.
Dozens of companies produce affordable, effective monocrystalline panels ranging from small 5W models to more substantial, powerful options that will allow for a faster charge. These monocrystalline models are much more effective and lightweight than their polycrystalline forefathers. We tested a few small wattage models that were portable and lightweight. The OEUUDD 25000mAh, has a larger capacity battery and a 5W panel. While it doesn’t function as well as some of the larger solar panels, their ability to charge our devices made them forces to be reckoned with.
The Goal Zero Nomad 20 and the Goal Zero Nomad 50 are capable of charging laptops.
Best Overall: Qisa 38800mah Solar Power Bank
Weight: 1.41 pounds | Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.33 x 1.93 inches | Output ports: Two USB, one Qi wireless charging | Accessories: None
With an impressive 38,800 mAh battery, this compact power bank has four built-in solar panels or can be charged from a micro USB cable. Its an excellent value, looks attractive, and has more battery storage than many competitors, making it our top all-around choice. With the combination of wireless and USB output ports, you can charge up to three devices at once.
The solar charger also features a flashlight with multiple settings , producing up to 280 lumens of light. A Velcro strap holds the panels together when closed, and theres a notch where you can attach a keyring or carabiner, allowing you to clip it to a backpack to charge as you explore. It can withstand moderate impacts, some water exposure , and has a dust cover to protect the input and output ports.
This charger also tops our list because of its compact size, making it easy to take traveling or tuck into your cars glove box in case of an emergency. Its ideal for off-grid camping trips where you wont have access to power, but its also handy to keep at home in case your power goes down. The amount of time it takes to charge the battery on solar alone varies, and the battery is large, so think of the built-in panels as more of a way to top-up the battery rather than a fast way to charge it.
Price at time of publish:$90
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Is Buying A Solar Panel Worth It
Solar power from a portable panel is still generally more expensive than electricity from the grid. But if you don’t have access to the grid and you need to power something, a portable solar panel is often the only option.
What if you want to power your home office? Or charge your camping accessories without running your car engine? Portable solar panels are still expensive per watt. However, two factors are essential to consider when deciding if solar is worth it: 1) When you generate your power, you usually use way less, and 2) Generating your energy is pretty fun.
For example, during this test, we thought it would be fun to use a Goal Zero kit to power a small home office . We found it was possible as long as we turned off any accessories we were not using . So while the price per watt may still have been high with our solar panels, we were more aware of our power usage and overall used much less electricity. We did the same thing with our Trek Valencia+ pedal-assist electric bike. We found we could extend the range of the bike by taking the Sherpa 120 kit with us. Suddenly we needed the car much less. Since we got the pedal-assist electric bike, driving mileage has gone from 1,000-2,000 miles a month to 250-750. With a car that gets 28 mpg, that is a savings of $75-175 a month.
Read more about our solar-powered electric bike project and dream up ways you can use solar power to your advantage.
How To Shop For A Solar Power Bank
While shopping for a solar power bank, experts told us its important to think about whats best for your needs and the devices you own. Keep price point in mind, too based on our research, we noticed that devices with more or larger solar panels, as well as higher power capacities, often cost more. Some solar power banks feature built-in flashlights, too, which may come in handy during emergency situations like blackouts. Heres what experts recommend you consider before buying.
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Important Features: How To Choose The Best Solar Charger
When shopping for a solar charger, there are a lot of important features to consider. Not all of these features are always important, so its critical to bear in mind what devices you will expect to charge, and in what environments.
- Portability / Size / Weight
Obviously, in simplified terms, bigger panels will provide more power at a higher speed. However, if youre planning being on the move , portability and weight are important. Lighter panels that provide sufficient charge tend to be costlier and less durable.
- Wattage / Power
This requires you to know the power needs of your devices. Usually, 5 Watts is enough for charging regular cell phones but if you have a tablet or a powerful smartphone 10 watts would be better. Some models are 5 watts, while others can be up to 100 watts. All mobile devices and tablets operate on the same basic wattage, meaning that chargers with USB ports, or chargers intended specifically for small device charging, will work pretty universally. However, voltage for laptops and other more demanding devices can vary. You will want to examine the wattage and voltage information on your batteries. Mismatched voltage and wattage can result in batteries exploding!
Of course, your budget will have a lot of bearing on your options. Faster chargers which are durable yet lightweight will be considerably more expensive. Shopping on a budget with this technology means youll almost certainly have to sacrifice speed, portability, or durability.