The Sun Can Power Your Electrical Devices

How amazing is it to live in a time when we can use solar power to charge our laptop computers? We might be used to using electricity for charging, but there are times when unexpected power outages happen, or when we want to go backpacking in nature while bringing our gadgets.  

A solar power laptop charger allows you to use clean and free energy from the sun to power your laptop and other gadgets without being tethered to an outlet. It’s a great must-have for travel and camping bloggers, or those who take and edit nature or sports videos, or even for a recreational outdoor enthusiast.

These chargers come with panels that can be hung from a tree or a tent, or laid up in a sunny spot outdoors to soak up solar power and juice up your devices. Some smaller models can even be clipped to your bag, allowing you to harvest power while you make your way to your destination.

How Do You Use a Solar Power Charger?

Usually, solar laptop chargers come with ports for an 18-volt DC output, which is the kind of output needed for laptops. They also come with adapters that will likely fit into your computer so it can always charge.

To charge your device using a solar power charger:

  1. Place the panel under the sun.
  2. Plug one end of the DC cord into the solar panel.
  3. Connect the correct adapter on the other end of the cord.
  4. Plug the end of the adapter into your computer.
  5. See that it charges.

Your laptop needs to be plugged directly into the solar panel while the panel is under the sun. If you don’t want to do this, get a power bank to store energy, then plug your laptop into the power bank to charge.

What Devices can a Solar Power Charger Charge? 

Many devices can be charged directly using a compatible 12V DC charger. Here are some devices that can be directly charged to a solar charger:

  • DC battery chargers
  • Laptops
  • Tablets and smartphones
  • Cellphones
  • iPods and MP3 players
  • Digital cameras
  • Personal digital assistant (PDA) and GPS

What to Look for When Buying a Solar Laptop Charger

Solar power chargers rated for use in laptops are highly versatile – they are not usable for laptops only, but for most devices also listed above, making it a valuable purchase to use in the great outdoors. When searching for the best solar laptop charger, you have to focus on a few simple elements that will ensure that you can make the best use of your purchase.

1. Power output and capacity

When it comes to picking out a solar charger of any kind, the first thing to check is the power output. Solar laptop chargers indicate its power in terms of wattage. Laptops use somewhere between 30-100 watts of power, but it can vary. When in standby, laptops use less power, while they consume more when booting up or when running heavy applications. For the majority of users, 40W will be enough, but check your laptop’s user manual to be sure.

Solar power chargers with powerful, high-efficiency solar panels offer strong power outputs. If you want to charge a second or third device with it regularly, you may want to pick a higher-powered solar power bank with at least 60W.

2. Versatility

You may need a solar laptop charger, but it’s a bonus if it can charge more than one type of device. This is why there are many versatile chargers in the market, so there will be something for everyone. The best solar laptop chargers in the market come with different cables or connector wires so you can charge different types of gadgets. It would be best if you chose a solar charger that’s not only compatible with your laptop but also compatible with other devices that you own so you can make the best use of it.

If the solar power charger you like best doesn’t come with a plug for your device, you can buy a separate plug, but ideally, you must be able to choose a solar panel that comes with one.

Also, consider the number of additional ports. It can be handy to have a solar charger with two or more additional USB ports for charging another device while you’re charging your laptop.

3. Ease of use

A good solar charger is easy to set up and operate. If the device is complicated to set up, you probably won’t like to use it nor bring it to your adventures.

4. Solar panel area

It may seem right to pick the solar laptop charger with the most portable solar panels, but depending on the number of panels alone can be misleading. Ten small solar panels may not offer more power than eight large ones. The key is to look at the total surface area. The greater the surface area of the solar panels, the more of the sun’s energy can be captured. But as larger devices can power more, it can also take up more space and be heavier.

5. Durability

Solar power chargers will be used outdoors when they are susceptible to the risk of bumps, drops, spills, and splashes. Choose a charger made of durable material, with panels that are dust-, scratch-, and water-resistant.

Best Portable Solar Power Chargers for Laptops

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Voltaic Systems Arc 20-Watt Rapid Solar Laptop Charger
SUAOKI 60W Solar Charger Portable Solar Panel Foldable Power Station 
X-DRAGON 40W Solar Panel Charger
ALLPOWERS 60W Foldable Solar Panel with 18V DC Output
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel

Voltaic Systems Arc 20-Watt Rapid Solar Laptop Charger

Knowing that you have easy access to a powerful charger that can keep your devices working is vital to our peace of mind. Voltaic Systems Arc 20 is designed to be highly efficient and reliable, so you never have to worry about how you’re going to recharge. It comes with four high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panels, ready to keep your devices going all day.

What’s great about this solar laptop charger is it comes with a V88 battery pack or power bank that can completely charge most laptops in two hours, and one hour to charge most smartphones. It has a built-in USB-C port and a USB QC port for dual charging.

This solar panel is also built to last. It’s made of strong solar cells that can withstand everyday use, and a rugged fabric to protect it from the elements. It’s also water- and UV-resistant to make it ideal for use outdoors. It’s also lightweight at only 3.2 lbs. It’s foldable so you can easily bring it with you in your backpack or suitcase.

This laptop charger can charge thousands of laptop computers, DSLR camera batteries, and USB devices like smartphones, tablets, and digital cameras. You may need additional adapters, though.

Pros

  • High-performance solar panels
  • Dual charging
  • Lightweight
  • Portable and foldable
  • Comes with a power bank
  • Water- and UV-resistant
  • Compatible with thousands of devices
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • None

SUAOKI 60W Solar Charger Portable Solar Panel Foldable Power Station 

If you need a powerful solar charger so you can bring your essential electronics to the campsite, SUAOKI 60W Solar Charger is the charger to pick. It comes with nine high-efficiency solar panels that use single-crystal silicon, allowing it to charge your laptop and devices faster than many other solar laptop chargers in the market.

This solar panel charger generates 60W output with up to 20% high conversion efficiency. It offers dual output – meaning you can charge two devices at the same time. You can use it for devices that need an 18V DC output like laptops, and a 5V USB like phones, for instance. It can also work for devices like tablets, iPads, cameras, GPS, radio routers, and other 18V devices. It has a built-in IC chip that automatically detects the current needed by your device.

SUAOKI 60W Solar Charger can be folded up like a briefcase for easy transport. When unfolded for use, you can hang it on your tent, RV, or spread out on the ground or beach to give you instant charge from sunlight.

It comes with additional cables, including a 10-in-1 connector cable, DC to DC cables, DC to SAE cable, and SAE to clamp for storage battery. However, these extras come with extra cost, making this set a viable option only for dedicated outdoor enthusiasts and RV users.

Pros

  • Nine high-efficiency solar panels
  • 60W power output
  • Dual charging
  • IC chip
  • Compatible with multiple types of devices
  • Foldable and portable
  • Comes with additional cables
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavier than other models

X-DRAGON 40W Solar Panel Charger

X-DRAGON 40W Solar Panel Charger is a top choice for a solar panel charger because its quality construction and efficient solar panel make it a highly efficient charger of its class. This device has a fold-out, eight-panel solar collection system that folds into a pack a bit smaller than a three-ring binder. 

 According to the manufacturer, their solar cells are nearly 50% more efficient than other commonly used panels in the market. This makes a difference if you need a steady power for your power-hungry laptop or for charging multiple devices.

This device also comes equipped with an IC chip that automatically adjusts its current and voltage to protect the solar charger and the devices you will be charging. It’s compatible with laptops and smartphones, cameras, tablets, and other 5V devices.

This solar panel charger comes with a single 18V DC output for laptops, plus two USB ports for charging other devices like phones, tablets, or cameras. It’s also equipped with ten laptop connectors attached to the DC cable to cater to a wide range of laptop models.

This laptop charger weighs only about 2.3 pounds and comes with hooks and carabiners for convenient attaching to the top of your tent or exterior of a backpack.

Pros

  • Multi-panel solar collection system
  • 40W power output
  • Three charging ports, including an 18V DC output
  • IC chip
  • Comes with ten laptop connectors
  • Foldable
  • Water-resistant
  • Durable and rugged built
  • Compatible with a wide range of devices
  • Comes with a hooks and carabiners
  • 18-month warranty

Cons

  • None

ALLPOWERS 60W Foldable Solar Panel with 18V DC Output

The ALLPOWERS Foldable Solar Panel offers 60 watts of power for charging your laptop and other portable devices. It’s equipped with highly-efficient, nine rectangular panels for collecting solar power, and it can charge your devices with its two USB ports and a single 18V DC port.

This ALLPOWERS solar panel boasts high-quality solar panels with up to 23.5% efficiency. The large panels come with clips to be attached to the exterior of a tent or a canopy. When folded, it can fit in a storage briefcase included in the kit.

This charger is compatible with various devices besides laptops, like smartphones, cameras, and portable generators. It has ten different DC connector ports, making it suitable for use with other laptop models and brands.

It’s built to withstand outdoor use and is resistant to spills and splashes. It also has a durable and waterproof outer layer.

Pros

  • Nine high-efficiency solar panels
  • 60W power output
  • Three charging ports, including an 18V DC output
  • Durable built
  • Water-resistant
  • Waterproof outdoor layer
  • Comes with ten laptop connectors
  • Compatible with a wide range of devices
  • Foldable
  • Comes with easy clips for easy attachments
  • 18-months warranty

Cons

  • More expensive than other models

Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel

If you need a solar panel charger for your serious charging needs, look no further than the Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel. It offers 100W of charging power, making it suitable for use around the house or while you’re traveling in the RV.

This device is a high conversion efficiency solar generator with up to 23% efficiency, generating more energy, and performing better than most conventional solar panels. It comes with two charging ports: one USB-A and one Type C port for charging different kinds of devices. You can use it to charge multiple small devices simultaneously, including digital cameras, smartphones, tablets, and more.

Since it comes with 100W of charging power, it’s a little too powerful for just charging your laptop. To get the most out of this solar panel, use it with a solar power station so you can store up all the power to charge other devices after dark.

What’s great about this solar panel charger is that it comes with a hardcover accessory porch on the back of the panel to store connector cables. It also has a pair of sturdy kickstands on the back so you can position the panels upright for maximum sun exposure.

Pros

  • 100W power output
  • Dual charging
  • High conversion efficiency generator
  • Compatible with a wide range of devices – can even power generators
  • Comes with hardcover accessory ports
  • Comes with kickstands
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Unsatisfactory customer service