Yes, solar-powered chargers and power banks are famous among people who live off-grid.
But not just for them even if you live on the grid you can use these two types of equipment in many emergencies.
In this article, we hope to discuss all the uses and drawbacks. So without further ado let’s get into today’s topic.
Solar charger Vs solar power bank.
Before going any further it is better if you get a general idea about these two types of equipment;
This equipment is completely off-grid, unlike the power bank. So many off-grid users are in love with this equipment.
This takes 100% solar energy to operate. But this cannot store any charge. You only can charge the devices by this only when there is sunlight.
But you can always charge your power bank using this equipment to store energy.
Solar power bank
This equipment will store energy, which will be used later to charge your electrical devices. This operates both from grid connection and solar energy.
Most of the time solar energy is used as a backup energy supplier for this equipment.
Advantages of using solar chargers and solar power banks
- Ease of travel– if you are a traveler or explorer it is not always easy to be on the grid. There are some instances that you have to go off-grid. But you may need much electrical equipment to take with you to communicate with the outer world, to get direction, and many more things.
If you are traveling for one or two days your device battery and one more backup battery may be enough. But if you are traveling for days, then you cannot carry that many back batteries with you. So by using these two you can travel without worrying much. All you need is sunlight.
- Natural disaster– you may hear much news about when people had to be without power due to damages from natural disasters. No power means, no communication. But if you use this solar-powered charger or power bank you can power up your devices without relying on grid power.
So as you can see these two devices are helpful in such a situation.
- To live off-grid– as a solution to the increasing energy crisis, many people try to become off-grid. But living off-grid does not mean that you have to be away from new technology. You can use solar chargers to charge the devices you have without any problem as they are compatible with many devices.
- The best solution for your forgetfulness– due to our busy lifestyles many of us have barely time to sleep. We are sure that you cannot even remember the times you have forgotten to charge your phone or the power bank. So having a solar power bank is the best way to charge your phone on the way or at the work.
- Environmental friendly – these two types of equipment use clean, renewable solar power. Many fossil fuels such as coal and oil are burnt to generate grid power. So this process releases so many gasses and other substances that harm the environment. But using solar power does not release any harmful substances. So this will save the environment while saving your money.
- Expensive– mostly all the solar-powered devices are expensive than the regular electric devices. Because of this high price tag, many are reluctant to buy these products. But the fact you should know is even though you may have to pay more at the start it will save more for you later.
- Time –These solar chargers take more time to charge your devices than regular chargers. But if you use a higher-quality device with a high amp value, then this is not much of a problem.
Do you need direct sunlight?
This depends on the quality of your solar charger/ power bank.
There are many low-quality products on the market. They need direct sunlight to operate. But higher quality products can operate even in low sunlight without any problem.
But at low sun level, the efficiency of them will be less. Solar chargers will take more time to charge your devices and solar power banks will take more time to be charged.
Are they easy to travel with?
This is not a problem for RV campers or home users. This becomes the main problem for hikers and travelers. Many have questions about the portability of these two types of equipment.
Solar charger – most solar chargers are foldable. So it is not much a problem to travel with also as the solar panels are solid and rigid you do not have to be afraid to pack it in your traveling bag. All you have to do is be gentle with it. Do not throw it here and there carelessly.
Solar power bank – most worry about their weight. Some may assume that this is heavier due to panels. But the truth is the battery is heavier than the panels. Usually, a higher quality average power bank is around 1 pound or a little bit more so you do not have to worry much. Even though there are smaller power banks available in the market they cannot store much charge. So using them is not much advantageous.
Can you charge any device?
Solar charger – solar chargers are more compatible than solar power banks. All you have to do is to make sure that your solar charger is compatible with the device you want to charge. There are solar chargers with different designs, qualities, and specifications. So you can buy a solar charger that matches your needs without much hassle.
Anyway, some solar chargers facilitate you to charge more than one device at once.
Solar power bank – you can charge most phones and tablets that can be connected through a USB port. But when it comes to larger devices we cannot tell it for sure. This mostly depends on the power bank you buy. So it is better to check the devices that the solar power bank is compatible with before you buy.
What you should consider before buying a solar charger (buyer’s guide)
- Wattage value – the wattage value is used to indicate the amount of power generated by the solar panels per second. The value is high means at ideal conditions solar panels release more power.
- Ampere value– this indicates how fast the current flows. More amps mean you can charge your device more quickly. It is better if this value is larger than the value the device needs. If not the charging time will be more.
- Compatibility – you should check whether the devices that you want to charge using a solar charger are compatible with the solar charger or not.
- Portability –for this you should consider the size and the weight of the solar charger. Most solar chargers are lightweight and some can be folded. So try to find the best solar charger that suits your need.
- The efficiency of the solar panel.
- Durability – usually durability depends on the quality of the product. Most solar chargers are water-resistant. Some are even designed to minimize the damages that may happen to them.
What you should consider before buying a solar power bank (buyer’s guide)
- Battery capacity– this is measured by mAh. By capacity, it means the charge you can store within the battery. The higher the capacity more you can charge your devices.
- Durability– it is better if the solar bank is water and dust-resistant. As most solar power banks are used by campers and hikers it is better if the solar power banks are durable for adverse weather conditions.
- The amount of time it will take to fully charge the power bank from solar power–is largely affected by environmental factors. Some even use solar energy as a backup source only. Anyway because most power banks have more capacity it will take more than 25 hours to be fully charged under optimal conditions.
- Portability– size and the weight of the solar power bank should match your need. There are many power banks of different sizes and weights. So this will not be much of a problem.
Solar power chargers and solar power banks are famous among campers, hikers, and travelers. Before buying any of these you should see whether they are compatible with your needs. Even though higher quality equipment is expensive you should buy higher quality products as they work even under low sunlight and are more durable. As this uses clean and renewable solar energy you can save the environment while saving your money.