Isn’t it amazing to live in a time when we can harness the power of the sun to charge anything, from smartphones to laptops?
We might get used to using conventional electricity for charging our devices. But when unexpected power outages happen or when we want to go backpacking outdoors while bringing our gadgets, we rely on solar power to charge our devices.
A solar power laptop charger or power bank allows you to use clean and free energy from the sun to power your laptop and other devices without being tethered to an outlet. These solar power chargers are a must-have for traveling, camping, fishing, photography, filmmaking, fieldwork, etc.
These chargers come with solar panels that may either be an integral part or detachable that can be hung on a tree or a tent or laid up in a sunny spot outdoors to absorb solar power and juice up your devices. Some smaller models can even be clipped to your bag, allowing you to harvest power while trekking to your destination.
Benefits of using solar power chargers
- They use clean and renewable energy.
- They are cost-effective, saving you money on non-rechargeable batteries, regular chargers, and household energy consumption.
- They use a readily available source of energy in case of a power outage or utter unavailability of electricity (especially when camping out, etc.).
- They are environmentally friendly.
- They are portable.
- They are convenient and easy to use.
How to use a solar power charger?
Usually, solar chargers for laptops come with ports for an 18-volt DC output, which is the kind of output needed for laptops. They also have adapters that will fit into your computer so that it can always charge.
So, here are the steps to charge your device using a solar power charger:
- Place the solar panel under the sun.
- Plug one end of the DC cord into the solar panel.
- Connect the correct adapter to the other end of the cord.
- Plug the end of the adapter into a specific device, such as a laptop.
- See that it charges.
Your laptop needs to be directly plugged into the solar panel while the panel is under the sun. Or get a power bank to store energy, then plug your laptop into the power bank to charge.
So, what devices can a solar power charger charge?
Several devices can be charged directly using a compatible 12V DC charger. Here are the following devices that can be directly charged to a solar charger:
- CD battery chargers
- Smartphones and tablets
- Portable media players, such as iPods and MP3 players
- Digital cameras
- Personal digital assistants (PDA) and GPS
Things to look for when buying a solar laptop charger
Solar power chargers rated for use in laptops are highly versatile. They are not usable not only for laptops but also for other devices mentioned above, making them a valuable purchase to use in the great outdoors. They can also be excellent investments.
When searching for the best solar laptop charger, you must focus on a few simple elements to ensure you can make the best of your purchase and enjoy good value.
1. Power output and capacity
When picking out a solar charger of any kind, the first thing to check is the power output. Solar laptop chargers indicate their power in terms of wattage. Laptops use between 30-100 watts of power, but it can vary. Laptops use less power when on standby, while they consume more when booting up or running heavy applications. For most 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, pick a higher-powered solar power bank with at least 60W.
You may need a solar laptop charger, but it’s a bonus if it can charge more than one device. This is why there are many versatile solar power 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 gadgets. It would be best if you chose a solar charger that’s compatible with your laptop and 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 or 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 capable it is to capture the sun’s energy. But as larger devices can power more, it can also take up more space and be heavier, so you have to consider that as well.
Solar power chargers will be used outdoors when they are susceptible to bumps, drops, spills, and splashes. Choose a charger made of durable material with panels that are dust-, scratch-, and water-resistant.
We live in a world dominated by smart mobile devices, making us better connected wherever we go. The use of these devices outdoors or in areas without electricity continues to increase, creating demand for portable power solutions to charge these devices. Portable solar power chargers and power banks have become the preferred power source over regular chargers for their incredible benefits, from enjoying an unlimited energy source to keeping the environment clean and its resources intact.
When buying a solar power charger or power bank, the main thing to remember is to maximize its potential. You also have to know your specific needs and preferences to ensure you get the solar power charger that will suit your needs.