Yes, if you use a poorly manufactured solar charger that does not give a stable output then your device can get damaged. Also, if you connect your devices to the solar panels directly they can get damaged.
If you use high quality, well-built solar charger your device will not damage.
How does a solar charger harm your device?
Solar chargers consist only of solar panels or panels and a solar battery. They can be designed only for one voltage or multiple voltages.
The one that comes only with solar panels has to be under good or direct sunlight to work properly. When working at maximum efficiency, solar panels produce more voltage than mentioned voltage. So if these outlets are not properly regulated your solar charger can give out more voltage than your device need and it can harm your device by overcharging it.
Also, if your solar charger is poorly constructed its voltage will fluctuate drastically with the changes of the sunlight. If the fluctuations happen a lot, it can harm your device or decreases its lifetime.
Also, if your solar charger does not come with the blocking diode (this will block the power of your device battery from draining back to the solar battery), your device battery will die before the expected lifetime.
The conversion of solar power to electricity produces lots of heat. If your solar charger comes with a less quality solar battery then it can be exploded or will not work properly. If an explosion happens it can harm your device.
How to properly use a solar charger?
A solar charger consists of solar panels that are built to charge electrical devices like mobile phones, laptops, Bluetooth headphones, etc.
There are two types of solar chargers available in the market. One type consists only of solar panels and it will charge your devices directly. This solar charger type can be designed for one voltage or for different voltages that allow you to charge devices with different voltages (comes with multiple outlets).
The other type comes with an inbuilt solar battery. First, this inbuilt battery will charge and then the battery will supply the power to your device.
When compared to these two types, one with the battery gives out a more stable current.
When using a solar charger you have to make sure to choose the right voltage value for your device. If you choose a high voltage then it can overcharge your battery and if you choose a lower voltage it will not charge your device properly. Giving higher voltages or lower voltages can harm your device.
Is it okay to use a solar charger daily?
No, it is not.
The reason is when compared to your normal electrical charger, a solar charger has less efficiency. It takes more time to charge your device. So using a solar charger daily is not practical at all.
Even though, the solar charger that comes with a battery gives more stable power it will take many hours to be fully charged. If you use a solar charger daily your device will not charge properly and it will be hard to fully charge your device. This will mess your battery up and decrease the lifetime of your device battery.
So we do not recommend the daily use of solar chargers for a long time.
If you are an off-grid solar user rather than using a solar charger we recommend you to charge your devices by using a home solar system. But make sure to use either an adapter or charge controller to secure your device from overcharging.
Why do some solar chargers fail to charge your device properly?
The main reason is that the solar charger comes with a limited panel size, to make it portable. So some solar chargers cannot produce enough power to charge the device.
Also, some devices need a certain ampere value to start charging. If your solar charger cannot produce that ampere value then even though they produce enough power your device will not start charging. This mostly happens with the solar chargers consists only of solar panels. Solar chargers that come with an in-built battery give a more stable current. But if the solar battery has poor quality it will not be able to store enough energy to charge your device.
Why purchasing genuine and high-quality solar chargers is important?
There are many solar chargers available in the market. But purchasing a genuine product is very important due to the following reasons even though they can be expensive.
- The efficiency of a solar panel depends on many The intensity of the sunlight is one of the factors. If you purchase a good quality product, it will be able to work even under slightly low light conditions. But if your purchase a poor quality one it will only be able to produce power under direct sunlight only. Also, the output of the less quality solar panels tends to fluctuate a lot.
- Lifetime – most genuine solar chargers last a very long time. High-quality solar panels last about 25 years and high-quality solar batteries last around 5 – 6 years.
- The outlets should be properly regulated otherwise your device will damage. Genuine solar gadget manufacturers test all these equipment and make sure that you get the finest products. But you cannot be sure about the cheap products available in the market.
- The solar battery should be a quality one as it should be able to store enough energy to charge your device. Also, poor-quality batteries tend to explode because of the instability of the chemical reactions that happen inside the battery.
- Warranty – you will get a good warranty period if you purchase a genuine product.
What you should consider before buying a solar charger (buyer’s guide)?
- Wattage value (W) – the wattage value indicates the amount of power generated by the solar panels per second. You can get more power per second if you choose solar panels with higher watt values.
- Voltage (v) – the voltage value should match the device voltage. If you are purchasing a solar charger with multiple outlets then it should have the voltage you need.
- Battery capacity (Ah)– battery capacity is the value that indicates the amount of power that will be stored in the battery. This value will determine the number of times you can fully charge your device.
- Compatibility – solar charger should be compatible with the device you want to charge.
- Warranty period
Why do charging your phones directly from solar panels harm your device?
If you are using a home solar system or portable solar panels you do not need a solar charger to charge your devices.
The electricity supplied from the home solar system is also the same as the electricity supplied from the grid. The output DC voltage from the solar panels will be converted to AC voltage by an inverter before supplying to your house. You can get this power to charge your panels by using the device charger.
But if you are using portable solar panels you can get power from connecting the device directly by using a USB cable. But this is very dangerous to your device due to many reasons.
- If the output voltage of the solar panel is higher than the input voltage of the device it can overcharge your battery and damage your device.
- When you charge directly from the solar panels the input voltage will fluctuate a lot. This can decrease the lifetime of your device.
If you get power directly from solar panels use a charge controller or an adapter to avoid any damages to your device.