Solar-powered devices have gained popularity as more people seek eco-friendly alternatives for daily needs.
Solar chargers are one such charging device that allows users to recharge phones, tablets and other electronic gadgets with solar energy.
In 2022, the Portable Solar Charger Market reached a value of US$ 3.64 billion.
It is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21% from 2023-2029, ultimately reaching a total revenue of nearly US$ 13.83 billion by 2029.
Solar chargers can provide an effective means of charging devices while travelling.
Charging time for a phone using solar chargers varies depending on various factors, such as the size and efficiency of the solar panel, the capacity of battery storage space and sunlight availability.
On average, it takes approximately two or three hours for a fully charged portable solar panel to fully recharge a phone with 5% battery life to full battery life.
How Does A Solar Phone Charger Work?
A solar phone charger uses a solar panel to convert the energy of photons (light particles) into electricity through the photovoltaic effect.
When photons hit the solar panel, they cause electrons to flow through the solar cells, generating an electric current that can charge devices or batteries.
Since solar panels produce direct current (DC) energy, they can charge small battery-powered gadgets such as laptops and mobile phones.
Unlike solar panels for homes and businesses, which necessitate conversion into alternating current (AC), solar phone chargers are compact and efficient due to their smaller size and lack of inverters.
Types Of Solar Phone Chargers
These chargers consist of one or more solar panels with built-in charge ports, typically USB ports.
They are excellent for providing substantial energy for quick charging or powering larger devices.
However, standalone panels do not have integrated batteries, so you can only charge your devices when the panels are exposed to direct sunlight.
Solar Battery Banks
These chargers have a built-in battery and are convenient for carrying a reliable, portable charger.
Most variants include a small solar panel placed on top of a battery, but some options feature fold-out panels for better capacity and faster charging.
Solar battery banks are a good option if you prioritize a rechargeable battery with solar backup.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Solar Charger
One of the key factors when selecting a solar charger is its charging capacity. It is essential to choose a charger that fits the device you want to charge.
Smaller devices like smartphones and tablets require less charging capacity than larger devices like laptops.
Another key consideration when purchasing a solar charger is portability.
A portable solar charger should be lightweight and compact so you can easily carry it wherever necessary.
However, some solar chargers have built-in handles, while others can be folded for easy storage.
Since solar chargers are designed for outdoor use, you must select a durable solar charger model with sturdy construction made of high-grade materials that can withstand changing weather conditions.
Look for a charger that has a sturdy build and is made from high-quality materials.
Solar Panel Efficiency
Another key aspect to keep in mind when choosing a solar panel is efficiency.
A panel with high efficiency can generate more power with less sunlight, which means that it can charge your device faster.
Battery capacity is key when considering solar chargers, as it determines how long your device can remain charged without direct sunlight.
A larger battery capacity means charging your devices even when the sun is not shining.
Charging time should also be an essential consideration when choosing a solar charger.
A solar charger with a shorter charging time can charge your devices quickly and efficiently, while a charger with a longer charging time may be less convenient.
Top Solar Phone Chargers
Solar phone chargers have become a popular choice for those who need to charge their devices on the go while being eco-friendly.
These chargers are versatile and can charge cameras, GPS units, tablets, and even computers.
Renogy E.POWER Portable Solar Charger
This solar charger features a high-capacity 10000mAh battery, allowing your devices to remain charged for extended periods.
Furthermore, this water-resistant Solar Charger model includes a built-in flashlight for added versatility in all conditions.
This charger is ideal for off-grid adventures and comes with dual USB charging ports and a carabiner for easy portability.
FEELLE Portable Solar Power Bank
The FEELLE Portable Solar Power Bank has a 25000mAh battery powered by four solar panels, providing nearly the equivalent of a 5-watt wall charger.
It has a compact and foldable design, makes it easy to carry around. This charger is perfect for those who need more battery capacity and simultaneous solar charging.
Renogy 21 Portable Solar Panel
Renogy 21 Portable Solar charger is highly efficient, offering superior charging speeds.
This three-panel setup with two USB outputs Solar charger can simultaneously charge multiple devices at lightning-fast rates.
It’s lightweight and compact, making it easy to pack in a backpack or camera bag or strap to a kayak.
Blavor Solar Power Bank
Blavor Solar Power Bank is a budget-friendly option with a 10000mAh battery capacity.
It has a solar panel that offers trickle charging, dual LED flashlight, compass, and Qi wireless charging.
Is It Safe To Charge A Phone With Solar Charger?
Using a solar charger to charge a phone is a convenient and environmentally friendly option for those who spend a lot of time outdoors or in places where electricity is not readily available.
A solar phone charger with a 10-watt output can charge a smartphone for a full day.
Additionally, using a solar charger helps reduce reliance on traditional energy sources, which can help minimize environmental impact.
Charging a phone with a solar charger is perfectly safe and acceptable, making it an excellent alternative to traditional charging methods.
Is Direct Sunlight Necessary For Solar Chargers To Work Properly?
While solar panels do work most efficiently in direct sunlight, they can still generate electricity on cloudy days and in partial shade.
This is because solar panels use photons, particles of light, to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect.
While direct sunlight provides the most photons, indirect sunlight and even diffuse light can still generate some amount of electricity.
So, while direct sunlight is optimal for solar chargers, they can still function in various lighting conditions.