Shopping Guide to Solar Chargers

by on March 9th, 2015
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If you want to save money and energy while helping to improve the planet, consider solar chargers for your electronics. In a world where electronics are everywhere and conserving energy is a priority, they’re one of the most practical items on the market. Solar chargers are little panels you can buy to charge up your electronics instead of plugging them into an outlet. They work for cell phones, calculators, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players. You can even use them for charging laptops and other larger electronics.

They help conserve energy because they use solar power to charge your gadgets so they’re eco-friendly and they’ll help to save you money on your electric bill. You can use them at home but they’re perfect for traveling because you can charge your cell phone or music player anywhere, even if you don’t have an outlet.

Determine Your Needs When Shopping for Solar Chargers

Solar chargers come in many different sizes from the small pocketsize to several square feet that you can fold for storage. The surface area of the charger will determine how much electricity the panel can generate and what size you need for your devices.

Determine your needs before you begin looking at solar chargers. What do you plan to charge? Is it a small device or a large one? Small solar chargers work great for cell phones, small digital cameras and iPods but you’ll need the larger chargers for laptops and other large devices.

It’s important to buy a charger that will do the job adequately but not one that is too big for your needs. In other words, there is no need to buy the biggest solar charger they make if you only plan to charge a cell phone. This would be a waste of money and not necessary. If you have multiple devices, you may want to look for a multi-charging pad of some type that lets you put all the devices on one solar charger.

Watts, Amps and Charging Time

Determine how many watts you need to power your devices. To determine wattage, you can multiply the number of hours you need to use the device by the amps to find out how many amps you’ll need to use the device per day. When you need a lot of amps per day, (10 or more) it’s a good idea to use a solar charger with a battery backup to ensure you have the power needed per day.

Figuring out how many hours are needed to charge your device would help you determine which size solar charger to buy. It will take one hour for each amp of the battery to charge. Therefore, if you have a ten-amp battery and you choose a one-amp charger, it will take ten hours to fully charge. If you choose a two-amp charger, it will take five hours, etc. Dividing the watts by the number 12 will give you the amps if it’s not provided for you.

Sun Quality

The time of year and the angle of the panel affect the sun quality and how much energy your charger will produce. Placing the panel at a 90-degree angle on a bright sunny day will be the most effective and convert the rays into electricity the fastest. On cloudy days, the sun quality will be lower than normal and rainy or stormy days greatly reduce the sun quality.

Read Reviews

Finally, to help you determine which solar charger is best for you, take some time to research and read the user reviews. These will give you a better idea of what other people who bought the charger think about it. It also helps to read reviews by tech sites or publications who regular review technological devices to get some good comparisons and opinions. With a good balance of information and your own needs in hand, you’re ready to start shopping.

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