solar panel chargers

Converting to solar energy has in many ways become the next big thing. It seems like everybody is getting in on this nowadays, and the environmentally friendly nature of this energy source is a big factor. However, the uses for solar panels are often very narrowly portrayed. For example, a lot of people don’t know that a solar charger can often be the best way to fully charge your cell phone. Solar chargers are becoming increasingly popular as of late. Listed below are the best solar chargers out there as well as a buying guide to help you figure out which one is the best for you.

Top 5 Solar Panel Chargers in 2020

$10.90
Solar Charger, 25000mAh Battery Solar Power Bank Portable Panel Charger with 36 LEDs and 3 USB Output Ports External Backup Battery for Camping Outdoor for iOS Android
5,266 Reviews
Solar Charger, 25000mAh Battery Solar Power Bank Portable Panel Charger with 36 LEDs and 3 USB Output Ports External Backup Battery for Camping Outdoor for iOS Android
  • 【25000mAh Ultra High Capacity Solar Charger】The portable solar charger built-in...
  • 【Two Charging Methods】The portable solar power bank powerd by 5V/2A adapter(Not...
RAVPower Solar Charger 28W Solar Panel with 3 USB Ports Waterproof Foldable Camping Travel Charger Compatible iPhone X 8 7 6 Plus, Ipad Pro Air Mini, Galaxy S9 S8 Note 8, Nexus, LG, HTC and More
1,971 Reviews
RAVPower Solar Charger 28W Solar Panel with 3 USB Ports Waterproof Foldable Camping Travel Charger Compatible iPhone X 8 7 6 Plus, Ipad Pro Air Mini, Galaxy S9 S8 Note 8, Nexus, LG, HTC and More
  • Clean Energy Source: High-efficiency solar cells harness the power of the sun to convert...
  • Frontier Fast Charging: 85% circuit conversion unleashes a blazing fast charging speed,...
[Upgraded]BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger(5V/4.8A Max), Foldable Portable Solar Phone Charger with SunPower Solar Panel Compatible with iPhone 11/Xs/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad, Samsung Galaxy LG etc.
1,486 Reviews
[Upgraded]BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger(5V/4.8A Max), Foldable Portable Solar Phone Charger with SunPower Solar Panel Compatible with iPhone 11/Xs/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad, Samsung Galaxy LG etc.
  • Updated Triple USB Ports: 3 USB charging ports( Each is 5V/2.4A Max) with smart charging...
  • Easy To Carry: With compact size (11.1 × 6.3× 1.3in folded) and lightweight (20.6 oz)...
$24.00
Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit Portable Backup for Car Automotive RV Marine Boat Motorcycle Truck Trailer Tractor Powersports Snowmobile Farm Equipment
1,208 Reviews
Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit Portable Backup for Car Automotive RV Marine Boat Motorcycle Truck Trailer Tractor Powersports Snowmobile Farm Equipment
  • [Solar Panel Power Up To 4W]--Keep your 12 Volt batteries topped off with this solar...
  • [Simple And Very Easy to Use]--This solar trickle charger will NOT overcharge the battery...

Buying Guide

Portability

Solar chargers are often used during camping or hiking trips. Being away from civilization can help you unwind but you would need to stay connected to the world too. However, if you plan on taking your solar charger along, you would ideally want a portable solar charger. This also helps if you are often outside your home for work for extended periods of time. Size matters here as well. Getting a compact solar charger can be great since it would fit into your pocket and would be easier to carry with you. Just make sure that you get one that can maximizes how it uses surface area, since the size of the solar panel would be correspondingly smaller as well.

Durability

Singe chargers that use solar panels often experience pretty rugged use, prioritizing durability is important. Getting something that has some heft to it would help boost durability quite a bit. This would impact portability though, so you might want to try and find a middle ground between portability and durability. A solar power bank can often be pretty delicate, and while it charge your phone fairly efficiently it would be prone to getting damaged. This can end up being costly since repairs are expensive and a replacement would cost even more. Buying a durable phone charger could mean that you have a long term device, one that you can continue using for a very long time without spending money on repairs or replacements.

Charging Power

Since you are using a phone charger that relies on energy from the sun, you need to make sure that the product you buy is able to utilize as much solar energy as possible in a short period of time. You want a usb solar charger that you can use all the time, and since you won’t always be outdoors the charger needs to pick up as much energy as it can in the short time that you are out. Fast charging for a solar battery is key, and it can contribute greatly to your ability to use your brand new solar charger anywhere and everywhere. High charging power also means that you would be able to use your charger in overcast conditions where there might not be any direct sunlight.

Battery Capacity

This is a factor that everyone should consider, from people who plan on going camping to those that want something they can use in their normal day to day life. A good solar power bank that uses solar panels can be great because you can leave it to charge and then use it throughout the day. The battery capacity needs to be solid though. You need to get at least two full charges, with high quality products providing three to four full chargers from a full battery.

Type of Device

Another factor would be what kind of device you would be using your power banks with. Solar charging is efficient but the ideal wattage really depends from device to device. For example, if you plan on using your power bank to charge your phone, what you need is a 7 watt charger. Heavier devices such as tablet computers would require something close to 15 watts. The x dragon with its 40 watt charging capacity is a great option because it is one of the few solar powered chargers that can charge devices as heavy as laptops and the like.

Number of Devices

A dual usb device can help you charge multiple devices without multiple solar panels. The best solar charger would have a usb c jack as well as a micro usb jack so that you aren’t limited in the variety of devices that you can charge. Just remember that a charger that can charge two devices would probably heavier due to the bulky battery pack. If you want a portable solar charger then perhaps a two usb setup would be too heavy, though there are some products such as the x dragon that have multiple usb ports but still manage to be rather lightweight.

Type of Charger

There are three types of chargers you can get. CIGS are made of copper, indium, gallium and selenide, and they are known for being flexible and quite lightweight. However, they only have a charging efficiency of 16% at best so they’re not ideal if you would prefer faster charging and they don’t have a lot to offer in the way of durability. Monocrystalline chargers are far more durable, and though they are somewhat bulkier as a result they have an excellent charging efficiency of 22%. You could also get polycrystalline chargers if you want a cheaper option that is somewhat more efficient than CIGS, but you would still only get 18% efficiency so it’s generally not worth it.

Charging Speed

The speed at which your solar panels would charge your mobile phone matters a lot as well. A common complaint among uninformed consumers is that their solar charger takes too long to fully charge their device. Getting something like the x dragon that has fast charging capabilities is great because the charging of the power bank and the transfer of charge into your phone are two separate processes which boosts efficiency.

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