Q: Do Solar Power Banks Really Work
Yes, they do. However, it may take longer to charge a power bank via solar power compared to wall charging. This happens because sunlight is not consistent. The solar panel can be affected by clouds, weather, and even the shade you pass by. There’s also some system loss as the solar cells convert sunlight to electricity.
On the other hand, it will take less time to charge your power bank from the wall. This is because outlets provide consistent power and have little to no system losses. Nevertheless, solar power banks are a good alternative if you need to power up your devices and don’t have access to a power grid.
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Grace Gavilanes is a writer-editor who has covered a wide range of topics from celebrity news and beauty to food, wellness, and travel for close to a decade. Her writing has been published in InStyle, Food & Wine, Glamour, and Mic, among other outlets. To curate this list of the best solar phone chargers, she drew from her own experience as a lifestyle writer and researched dozens of products.
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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.
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Test : Finding The Maximum Output Of The Solar Panel
Before doing the charging tests, I wanted to see what the maximum output I could expect from this 10 watt panel. To do that, I simply went outside on a clear cold fall day, held the panel at an angle perpendicular to the sun, and read the output off the multimeter.
The very best power output I could get from this 10 watt Renogy panel was 0.84 amps, which works out to about 4.2 watts. Thats less than a cheap 5 watt USB charger.
Thats okay, but most of the time you wont have ideal conditions like that. Often it will be cloudy, or youll have indirect sunlight. For that reason, I tried testing the solar panel a couple different ways.
Best Portable Power Bank For Iphone In 2022
Although Apple has increased battery capacity with every new iPhone, you never know when you may run out of juice, especially if you use an older model. Hence, getting a power bank isnt a bad idea. Whether youre always gaming or constantly working, the best power banks for have you covered.
This is why Ive curated a list of my favorite power banks. Ive tried to choose them based on varied preferences and budgets. Without further ado, lets go ahead!
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Best Battery Life: Soaraise Solar Power Bank
Slow to charge via sunlight
If you’re looking for a high-capacity battery with solar charging, the SOARAISE Solar Power Bank might be the device for you. This is a 25,000mAh power pack that charges via microUSB or by sunlight, which is relatively slow. But the battery pack has a nice faux-leather look on the outside which gives it some style. It also has a built-in flashlight and is IP65 water and dust-proof, both of which are nice extras.
This solar charger should be seen as a battery pack, first and foremost. The solar panels are great for charging up the battery while on the go and will help make the battery last longer, but they really should not be considered as the primary charging method. This charger is for people who want a battery pack first, but will be out and about long enough to pick up a little sun along the way.
Number of Ports: 2 | Power Output: 5V / 2.1A | Types of Ports: USB-A | Number of Cells: 4 | Efficiency: Not listed | Battery Capacity: 25,000mAh
Do Solar Phone Chargers Have An Internal Battery
There are still relatively few models that integrate an internal battery, but it is becoming more common. An internal battery gives you the possibility to connect it to the power supply in case there is no sun. This can undoubtedly be seen as an advantage, as you will always have the possibility of charging your device in any situation. However, you have to know that these models are not as effective as exclusively solar-powered chargers.
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What Should I Look For When Buying A Solar Charger
Before buying a solar charger, its important to factor in what kind of trips you will be using it for. Typically, there are three things worth considering output capacity, surface area and the flexibility of the panels.
- Output capacity: Solar panels are rated in watts. The higher the number, the more electricity is generated during a given time period.
- Surface area: The larger the solar panel, the more sunlight it can collect and, in turn, the faster it gets converted to battery stored power. For this reason, a large surface area is a good option for times when the weather conditions are less than favourable, including cloud cover or low-intensity light in winter.
- Semi-flexible or rigid panels: Flexible solar panels are great for those with limited bag space as they can be simply rolled or folded up for easy transport. They are also a great choice as they can be folded out to a greater surface area than a rigid model.
What Benefits Are There Of Having A Solar Power Bank
Solar power banks are an energy-efficient and economical choice for people. They can make life much easier, and they have many benefits, which include:
- They can charge your devices without electrical currents. This means there arent any other associated costs with owning them.
- You can use them anywhere that there is sunlight.
- Solar power banks are versatile and can charge up most gadgets. You dont have to fear electrical shortages because sunlight is generally always available.
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Diy Solar Phone Charger
Here’s a real quick and easy tutorial on making a “Portable Solar Phone Charger”, it only took me 5 minutes to make one! It’s powered by PURE solar energy. The device is designed to fit right into your pocket, it also comes with a built-in stand! Works with apple devices How Does It Work?– Solar powered chargers and powerbanks are pretty common these days. These devices usually have battery reservoirs inside them, to cut it short they are not 100% solar powered so as being eco-friendly. These products are gimmicks, they defeat the purpose of being 100% green and eco-friendly. My DIY tutorial will teach you how to make a “100% PURE Solar Phone Charger”. Feel free to be independent from the power grid 😀My Review: 100% Pure Solar: 100% Pure Solar: – 100% eco-friendly – Can only charge devices during day – No need for charging internal bat. – May Not Work with TABLETS – Independent From The Power Grid – Ideal for outdoor use ___________________________________________________________________________________Solar Power Bank : Solar Power Bank : – Can charge high power devices anywhere – Conatains Lion Batteries – Doesn’t need sunlight – Not Completely Eco-friendly – Takes a long time to charge internal battery
What Makes Solar Phone Chargers So Sturdy
A solar charger has to be robust and compact with an easy-to-grip design, as people often use them during travels, holidays, and outdoor activities. In other words, they are constantly exposed to potential falls and blows when they’re on the go. If the manufacturing materials were of poor quality, they wouldnt last very long.It is also essential that you opt for a waterproof model, especially since you will have to leave it in the open to charge. Remember that a charger with a greater surface area will fill up faster, reducing the risk of damage. This is, of course, provided that you have the appropriate solar conditions.
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Riapow Wireless Solar Charger
When you want a power bank for portable use, Riapow is another brand to consider. Its not overly expensive, and it still gives a good performance and has plenty of features.
The Riapow solar power bank offers better value for the money to its buyers. Its charging speeds are rated with a maximum output of 15.5 watts, which is very high. However, its only on the USB ports because the wireless charger features a bit lower of a rating.
Still, you get four ports where most of the other bands only provide two. This is extremely handy when you have multiple devices. Youre definitely going to get more out of the 26800 mAh battery capacity when using this solar power bank. Plus, we really like the 1.5-year warranty it includes, especially when its lower in price than some of the others.
- High performance and great value for money
Best Solar Power Banks For Iphone In 2022
Do you also love camping and nature photography? Outdoor lovers like me always face problems keeping our phones, cameras, and other devices charged. Because most of the time, there is no power supply. However, a solar power bank for iPhone can be your best mate.
Wherever there is sun, there is a way to charge your device. The solar charger power bank is ideal for outdoor camping, trekking, and rock climbing. Not only your iPhone, but you can also juice all Apple gadgets, such as iPads and MacBooks.
You may find it difficult to choose the right one for yourself. And thats where this list of reliable solar power banks for iPhone will come in handy.
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Feeke Solar Power Bank
Feeke is another excellent brand for solar power banks, and its popular within the industry. Its options are quite decent, even though its lesser-known. Still, you can get affordable prices and great products.
We think the Feeke solar power bank has a high capacity with a max output rating of 15 watts. Its stronger than some of the others listed here. When you combine that with the wireless charging pad, it ensures that you can charge up your devices fast and without any hassles.
One great feature about this solar power bank is the high capacity rating of 32800 mAh. This means you can get everything charged up fast without having to recharge in between. Plus, there are triple output ports and dual input ports on this solar power bank. If that werent enough, theres a 1-year warranty, and the product is IP66-rated for water resistance. When you want something reliable, this is it.
- IP66 rating for water resistance
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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What Are The Best Uses For Solar Chargers
Portable solar chargers are best used to power small electrical items, such as smartphones and portable battery packs. They can be perfect for topping up the batteries of devices you might take on a camping trip, but generally arent much help when it comes to feeding more power-hungry products, such as televisions, portable fridges and kettles.
Some portable solar panels, such as the Ecoflow 220W highlighted earlier, cost much more than others, are significantly larger, and therefore will harvest more energy. Such panels can, eventually, fill up an equally large portable battery pack capable of running anything with a domestic three-pin plug, but how quickly the battery charges will depend on weather conditions and how much sunlight the solar panel is exposed to.
Also, dont forget that a solar charger with a higher output, measured in watts, will charge up a battery more quickly. So the 220W panel from Ecoflow will charge a phone more quickly, in the same sunlight, than one rated at a lower wattage.
Ryno Tuff Portable Solar Charger For Camping
Why We Love It: It charges two devices at the same time.
What to Consider: Theres no internal battery, meaning energy cant be stored.
The Ryno Tuff Portable Solar Charger can fully charge a phone or tablet in approximately two hours. Another standout feature of this solar charger is its ability to stop charging when it senses your device is overheating or has reached its full capacity. Two carabiner clips are included with the foldable charger for hanging and hauling needs. In addition to providing your phone with top-notch energy, the team at Ryno Tuff is also committed to giving back to the earth with every purchase of this solar charger, the company will plant a tree through the National Forest Foundation.
Price at time of publish: $63
Number of ports: 2 | Weight: 1.04 pounds. | Power: 21 watts | Dimensions: 18.1 x 11.8 x 0.12 inches 5.9 x 11.8 x 0.79 inches | Built-in battery: No
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Punkcase Solar Power Bank 20000mah: Best For Quick Charging
- Capacity: 20000mAh
- Wireless Charging: Yes
- Output/input: 2 USB A, 1 USB-C
PunkCase 20000mAh solar wireless power bank offers 18W Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support. Along with that, it has an integrated smart IC. Hence your phone will be charged up to 80% quicker than regular chargers in only 30 minutes.
You can charge two devices simultaneously with one Micro USB and one USB output port. I will praise the sleek portable design with an ABS shell that resists shock and provides overheat protection.
Best Solar Phone Chargers For Home Backup
A solar charger is a great way to keep your phone and/or tablet charged when theres a power emergency at home.
If you plan to charge multiple devices for everyone in the household, get a high-output solar phone charger with several outlets. This will let you charge multiple phones quickly at the same time.
Its also a good idea to get a solar charger with an integrated power bank, unless you already have a high-capacity power bank.
A power bank ensures you can still charge your devices at night or when the weather is bad .
We also recommend getting a solar phone charger with fast charging technology. This is especially important for large households where you need to charge many devices.
Portability is not very important, so you can afford to get a bigger kit with a larger solar panel and bigger battery pack.
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What Types Of Solar Phone Chargers Are There
The low power output of most solar chargers means that manufacturers often attach several small panels parallelly. These are then unfolded to capture more solar radiation. Keep in mind that solar panels arent all necessarily the same, and their performance will decrease as the temperature rises.
Monocrystalline solar panels
Monocrystalline solar panels have a rather dark color and attract more radiation. They are suitable for use on cloudy days with low radiation.
Polycrystalline solar panels
Polycrystalline solar panels have a bluer color and can sustain very low temperatures. Still, it is recommended that they are used on sunny days.
Both types compared
As you can see, there is no such thing as the perfect solar phone charger for everyday use. If you look at monthly averages over the course of a year, you will notice that a monocrystalline solar panel will have a better performance in the months with low solar radiation but be less useful in the months of higher radiation. This is why you are advised to choose the type of panel based on the most common weather conditions in your area.