What is a Solar Battery Charger? What are the Best Solar Battery Chargers?
The renewable energy has begun to expand outside of the more traditional forms of electricity generation, such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power and began to move into more creative uses of these technologies.
This is largely thanks to the introduction of cheaper battery storage which allows renewable to be utilized around the clock whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing at that particular moment in time. One such utilization of this technology are solar battery chargers. Solar charger power can be utilized to charge a variety of handheld devices using nothing more than the energy from the sun.
So, what questions should be answered in order to make sure you are a more informed consumer in regards to this relatively new technology?
- What Is A Solar Battery Charger?
- How Does A Solar Charger Work?
- What Kind Of Devices Can A Solar Charger Charge?
- Who Are Solar Chargers Best Suited For?
- What Are The Best Solar Chargers On The Market Today?
What Is A Solar Battery Charger?
A solar charger is a device that uses sunlight to generate electricity.
This electricity is then used to charge electrical devices which can include but are not limited to: cell phones, laptops, car batteries, reading lights and personal fans. Because these chargers do not have the ability to directly expel electricity into the devices, an extended-life battery pack is included within the device. This way, the electricity that the solar cells generate are stored in the battery and available to discharge through the use of a charging supercapacitor at a later time. This charging supercapacitor is the key to being able to charge devices on demand even if the charger is not in direct sunlight at the time of use. These solar chargers can range in size from fitting into the palm of your hand all the way up to the size of a picnic table to be used for charging larger things such as an RV battery.
How Does A Solar Charger Work?
A battery charger bank works very similar to both a solar photovoltaic system and a more traditional battery storage system. First, sunlight strikes the surface of the device. This sunlight is then absorbed by the individual solar cells which make up the entirety of the solar device.
Next, photons from the sunlight excite the electrons within the material, usually silicon, to create an electric field. This electric field is the force by which electrons travel to a solar battery charger kit. This battery then stores the electricity until you are ready to charge any device that is compatible. Next, a charge inverter, which is in charge of switching electricity from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), turns the electricity back into a more usable form. It is important to note that certain devices use DC electricity to charge their batteries while other devices primarily use AC electricity and thus some devices do not require the use of charge inverter. Finally, the electricity is expelled out of the extended-life battery and poured into the desired electrical device. Although this process appears to be rather complicated, consumers need nothing more than clear sunlight and a few seconds to begin to see the benefits of these devices.
What Kind Of Devices Can A Solar Charger Charge?
In theory, any electrical device can be charged using a solar build battery pack as long as you are willing to wait long enough. In practice however, only certain devices can be realistically be charged with a solar charger. Typically, these devices include but are not limited to: cell phones which are only used once or twice per day, laptops that are given sufficient time to fully charge, vehicle and RV batteries which can be given multiple days to charge, and a variety of other small devices which rely on exclusively electrical power such as reading lights and personal fans.
Many view these devices as being especially useful when going camping or when living an extremely nomadic lifestyle on the go which does not always afford an electrical outlet. A peak power supply is ideal for charging any device. This means that the battery within the small solar device is at maximum capacity. This way, it can fully discharge into the device you wish to keep electrified. This is because batteries, in order to extend their usable life, should regularly be discharged all the way. This ensures that it can continue to fully store its rated amount of electricity over time. Finally, it is important to consider how often you may need to use the devices that you are intending to charge with a solar charger. This is because small solar chargers may not be capable of meeting these more rigorous demands.
Who Are Solar Chargers Best Suited For?
Solar chargers can be useful for anyone hoping to charge electrical devices while entirely off the grid.
Small solar energy devices are small enough to be stored and convenient enough to use anywhere that the sun is shining regardless of how far away you are from modern civilization. The only determining factor of the charger is usually its size. This determines the rate at which certain electrical devices will charge. If you are able to be patient and only use the device once or twice per day, ,a small handheld battery charger bank may be appropriate. On the other hand, if the device is needed frequently or needs to be able to be charged in a shorter period of time, the solar battery charger kit should be much larger. Common uses for solar chargers are camping trips, those who choose to live a more nomadic lifestyle out of an RV, or simply those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint without giving up many modern day amenities.
What Are The Best Solar Chargers On The Market Today?
There are a variety of solar chargers and solar charged battery kits on the market today. Each type serve a specific purpose and can do a variety of things.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Voltaic Systems Amp Solar Charger (Handheld Devices)
- NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger (For Vehicle Batteries)
- ALLPOWERS 100W Bendable Solar Panel Water Resistant Power Sunpower Solar Charger (For RV Batteries)
- Jetsun Solar Charger 16750mAh Portable Solar Power Bank (For Outdoor And All Weather Use)
Peak power supply is necessary in a variety of scenarios and it is important to recognize the differences between these specific situations. It is important to weigh all of the options when purchasing a new build battery pack such as frequency of use, price, and estimated longevity. The needs of every consumer are different and so it would be irresponsible to recommend a single solution for everyone.
Small solar energy chargers are more popular than ever before. The improved manufacturing processes have lowered the price of the technology low enough in order to make it more available to a larger population. A solar charged battery has the capability to provide power in a variety of situations ranging from a fun weekend getaway to emergency situations when having a charge on a cell phone is of the utmost importance. The prevalence of these devices are only expected to rise as they become even cheaper and more efficient. Solar charger power is expected to only further improve sustainable practices as its adoption rate increases drastically.
How Solar Battery Chargers Work
Uh oh. That shortcut you took through the woods has led you into a maze. You’re lost, and somehow you’ve ended up off the main road with no way back in sight — and your car is running low on gas. To make matters worse, you’ve told no one where you’re going and your phone is running out of juice. The measured beeps it issues to alert you of its imminent demise seem like a reminder of your own as well.
Luckily for you, there’s a break in the forest canopy. You see a wide meadow full of sunshine streaming down into the tall grass up ahead. You park your car and walk to the meadow. Once clear of the trees, you look up, and there’s not a cloud in the sky. Yes, you’re going to be just fine. After rummaging around in your glove compartment for a bit, you retrieve your solar-powered battery charger. You plug the USB cable from the charger into your cell phone, flip the charger over so that its small solar panel faces skyward, find your cell phone signal, place the whole setup on a stump, kick back and wait. This is a probably a good time to relax and read a book, since you know that help is on the way.
Before the first decade of the 21st century, you would have been out of luck had you found yourself in a scenario like this one. Lately, however, a number of companies have created a spate of battery chargers that use the power of the sun to fuel everything from cars to gadgets to AA batteries. Find out about the mechanics behind solar battery chargers on the next page.
Mechanics of Solar Battery Chargers
The sun has been sending light and heat to the Earth for several billion years. Yet, only recently have we humans figured out how to capture and harness some of this energy as electricity. The first method was the photovoltaic cell created by researchers at Bell Laboratories in 1954 . Since then, solar cells have evolved from transforming sunlight into usable electricity for huge, expensive space equipment to more down-to-earth devices like battery chargers. That’s great, but how is this solar energy translated into electricity?
This is how it happens: An electrical current is created by the movement of free electrons, which carry a negative charge. Normally, electrons are entangled in an orbit around the nucleus of an atom, which is made of protons and neutrons. These atomic particles are the building blocks of matter and can be found in absolutely everything. Some matter holds its electrons more tightly than others, but given enough energy, an electron can be knocked loose from its orbit.
One particle of energy that does a fine job of knocking electrons loose from atoms is the photon. This is the subatomic energy packet that forms the basis for light. Photons from sunlight carry enough energy to jar electrons from their orbit in the element silicon, which is the material used in most solar cells. The photon’s ability to disentangle electrons is called the photoelectric effect
An imbalance between positively charged and negatively charged particles is created within the silicon by adding the impurities boron and phosphorus. This imbalance creates an electrical field in the silicon. When photons strike the material and break electrons free from their orbits, this electrical field pushes them toward the front of the solar cell, which creates a negatively charged side. The protons left behind on the other side of the cell surface create a positive charge. When these two sides are connected using an external load — an indirect circuit like the terminals of this solar battery charger — the electrons flow into the load and creates electricity. Since a single solar cell only produces one or two watts of electricity, multiple cells are combined to form modules that work together to produce enough power to charge a battery
Chemical batteries generate electron flow through a chemical reaction. Lithium-ion batteries, like those found in cell phones and iPods, create energy through an exchange of ions from lithium to carbon. In both types of batteries, electricity is created by the flow from negative to positive electrodes. When a battery is recharged, the flow of electrons reverses itself, and the battery’s electrical potential is replenished.
Solar battery chargers don’t directly charge the lithium ion battery in your gadget. They usually maintain their own rechargeable batteries — either chemical or lithium-ion — that are charged through the solar modules and redistribute their charge to your gadget. No external electrical source is required.
Let’s explore the many benefits of solar battery chargers on the next page.
Benefits of Solar Battery Chargers
It’s pretty easy to determine the most important benefit that solar battery chargers provide: They don’t require external electrical sources to recharge your batteries. This means that solar battery chargers offer freedom of movement. You can find the sun pretty much anywhere on Earth during the daytime. So, if you find yourself lost in the woods with a dead cell phone, you need only the sun’s rays to get it up and running again.
This lack of a typical electrical source also offers some subtler benefits. Solar cells generate no emissions, waste or byproducts; those photons that aren’t used simply pass through the silicon or bounce off of it as they would any other material. Remember, this electricity is produced by the transfer of energy from photon to electron, which frees the electron and allows it to flow. Electricity is not itself a form of energy, but an energy carrier. Producing it through the photoelectric effect is a benign way of generating an electrical charge.
However, the electricity that’s produced around the world is often much less benign from an environmental standpoint. For example, in 2008, nearly half of the electricity generated in the United States came from the burning of coal. While coal is a cheap and easy way to generate electricity, it’s also a major source of pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that coal-fire power plants generate 59 percent of the sulfur dioxide in the air within the U.S., as well as 50 percent of the particulate pollutants. What’s more, coal-fired power plants also contribute heavily to mercury pollution
Freedom of movement and environmental friendliness are the two biggest reasons to own a solar battery charger. However, there are also a few drawbacks to solar charging. Chief among them is that for around half of any given day (outside of the Earth’s polar regions), the sun is nowhere to be found. The absence of photons showering from space makes any solar power device all but useless at night. Bad weather and heavy cloud cover also have a big impact on how well a solar cell operates. Even in bright sunlight, most solar cells currently in production are only about 10 percent efficient, which makes them slower than chargers that plug into a wall outlet
Still, if you find yourself trapped in the woods, you’ll likely conclude that a solar battery charger was a great invention indeed.
Solar Power Battery Chargers
Solar energy is the most eco-friendly form of energy which can be utilized in order to perform our everyday activities. People all over the world have come conscious regarding the safety of the environment and they are looking for ways of utilizing this solar energy. There are many different kinds of solar power battery chargers which can be found in the market and some of them have exclusive functions. They are also available in different price ranges. The best method of operating the solar power panel is by making use of a solar power battery charger. The process of operating the solar power panel becomes a lot easier when a solar power battery charger is used.One of the most important advantages of these solar power battery chargers is that they are easily portable and hence they can easily carried to different places in order to charge various appliances. People can also decide to take these solar power battery chargers even when they are going on a vacation or on some kind of long trip. The need to carry extra batteries will not arise when a solar power battery charger is available. Most gadgets and appliances can be charged by making use of a solar power battery charger.
The main advantage of these solar power battery chargers is that they can be used many times for charging purposes without having to pay for the extra power. The casings for these batteries are made using light material which is tough and uses low heat transmittance. They will also protect the body of the battery from extreme weather conditions and also from being taken away by thieves and intruders.It is possible to find solar power battery chargers in many different sizes as well as varieties. There are many homes where solar power batteries are being used in the event of a power failure. Their presence will ensure that all tasks in the home will continue without any hassle despite a power failure. Solar power battery tanks can also be constructed. These battery tanks consist of many different batteries which are connected to each other using wires in the solar energy system. This is a foolproof energy system which is also extremely pocket – friendly.
A solar power charger will also help in converting the energy from the sunlight into solar energy. A portable solar power charger will make use of solar power for the purpose of recharging. Mobiles and laptops are some of the most common appliances which can be recharged by making use of solar power battery chargers.
A lot of advantages can be gained by deciding to make use of solar power. The most important benefit of a solar power panel is that people can learn to use it easily and the amount of wiring required is minimal and hence it is not complicated. Solar power is a source of energy which can be replenished easily since the sun contains a never-ending supply of energy which will never depreciate. The cost of purchasing a solar power system is not very high and this is one of the main reasons why people consider it as a viable option