Solar chargers are a type of battery recharger that utilises solar energy to provide electrical energy to batteries. They use solar cells to soak up solar energy from the sun and store this energy in the battery to power a device, gadget or other equipment. They are usually water resistant, dust and shock proof as they are designed for outdoor life and come with USB ports and micro-USB cables.
Characteristics of solar chargers
- Size of battery – what they can charge and how often the solar battery charger may need to recharge.
- Surface area of the solar panels – for example, the size of the panels.
How to use them?
Simply plug the USB cable from the charger into your electronic device for example, mobile phone, make sure the chargers small solar panel faces towards the sky under direct sunlight.
What are solar chargers used for?
Solar chargers have a wide range of uses in modern technology and are usually portable. They can be used to charge mobile phones, tablets and other hand held electronic equipment such as MP3 players while on the move. Some devices, such as torches, might also use a solar battery charger as part of its energy source, backed up by a physical method of charging such as a hand crank.
Types of solar chargers
Solar chargers differ widely in their size, both in terms of their physical dimensions and their weight. This will often correspond to the power rating and output voltage involved: usually the larger the device, the greater the capacity. For weekends away, the combined compact portable solar charger should be enough to keep a mobile phone charged. Longer trips would need a suitable solar power back and a folding solar panel for indefinite portable power.
Benefits of solar chargers
- Freedom of movement - do not require external electrical sources to recharge batteries, only need the sun's ray so can be used 'off-grid', useful backup to plugging into a power point
- Environmental friendly – eco-friendly as there are no emissions, waste or by-products