The sun is a dominant feature in our world. Modern life has removed much of it from our consciousness, but it’s still there, and we still need it. It gives us warmth, light, energy and life. Without it we wouldn’t be here. We used to worship it, praise it, and it represented the gods of ancient civilizations.
With this in mind, it seems odd that it has taken over two thousand years of ingenuity from “modern” man to come up with a way to harness it. Now you can get everything from solar phone chargers to entire power stations running purely on the power of the sun.
We own more gadgets and devices that use electricity than ever before. It stands to reason as we rely more and more on technology that this trend will continue. That means more batteries, electricity generators and power outlets will be needed as time goes on.
But what do you do when you’re not in reach of an electric socket and your phone needs charging? What if you’re out for the weekend and the battery is almost dead?
A solar phone charger could be the answer. With the newer devices becoming more portable all the time, they are now a viable option for the outdoors type or traveler.
A solar phone charger works just like any other photovoltaic device. It will have a panel that collects solar energy and a semiconductor that converts it into current. That current will be stored in a battery that can be used to charge the phone. The charger will have a power outlet that you plug the phone into, or a USB-type port for newer phones.
The best solar phone charger will be one that suits your lifestyle and the kinds of things you do. For example, a small 1 watt charger will be fine for maintaining charge on a phone while camping or where you are still, like on the beach. These are referred to as “trickle chargers” or “battery maintainers.” They can carry enough voltage to keep a battery topped up as long as they are exposed to the sun, but are limited in that they can’t store much for later.
A larger version may be needed if you’re on the move, or have multiple devices to charge. These will have larger solar panels and a larger battery. This inevitably means a larger, and often heavier, unit.
To find the best solar charger for the money, you have to assess your needs. There’s no point buying a large unit or backpack charger to keep an iPhone topped up. Neither is there any point spending money on a solar charger that can barely maintain even the smallest battery.
Knowing what you need, and what you’re likely to use it for are the two key questions which will need to be answered to get the best solar phone charger for you. It’s a lifestyle thing, just like the devices themselves. The type you buy is the type that’s right for you and the way you live.