How to Select the Best Solar Panel Charger

Author James Mash 28.4.2015. | 13:37

With so many handheld electronics available to us the only real issues we face is how to keep them all topped up? Large screen phones, smart watches, digital cameras and laptops are part of our everyday life, but it’s no good having them if we can’t keep them charged. It’s fine if you’re in an office or at home with power outlets nearby, but once you leave these places there are seldom many ways to keep your devices topped up. Portable Solar panels and chargers are a great solution to this problem but with so many different chargers on the market it can be a headache working out which is best for your needs and getting through all the jargon can be a challenge.

 

 Amps, Watts, Voltage…. What does it all mean?

The technical jargon associated with solar devices can be confusing to say the least but once you understand the basics you’ll easily discover the product you’re looking for.

The three basic units of electricity are voltage (V), measured in volts, current (I), represented by a capital i is measured in amps and resistance (r), which is measured in ohms.

A simple analogy that’s often used when talking about electrical outputs is to imaging a plumbing system.

The voltage is the water pressure and the current is the flow rate or speed at which the voltage flows, then you have resistance, which represents the pipe size.

The relation of these three values is known as Ohm’s Triangle.

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When considering whether to buy a solar panel or charger understanding the watts and amps will let you discover the performance potential to see if it meets your requirements.

 

Watts

Many smaller hand held electronics like MP3 players and smaller cell phones will be fine charging with a 4 watt or 5 watt charger. However many larger Smartphone’s have large screens nowadays and this makes them more power demanding so like tablets they require a greater charge, generally you would want something around 7 watts or more to be sure to power a modern Smartphone or small tablet.

If you want to charge multiple devices at once or would like to charge a tablet PC such as an ipad or the e-ceros revolution 2 then you’re looking at something that can deliver 14 watts or more of power. Once you start going above this to power a laptop then your looking at some heavy duty panels of 25 watts or more and they will most likely come with a DC to AV converter.

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14W, 5.5V Portable Folding Solar Panel

 

 

Amps

When considering a device for your needs be sure to check the output amps and match them to the device you want. If you need to charge a modern Smartphone then you will want a device that can output 2.1 amps. While a panel with a 1.3 amp output port may still charge a modern smart phone it would take significantly longer and in some cases it may not charge them at all.

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5W solar power panel and 8000mah Lithium polymer batter

 

Other Considerations

Another consideration to take into account is how many hours of sunny daylight you are expecting. If you live in Scotland or northern western Canada where you can expect it to be cloudy or overcast for a large portion of the day then you may want a larger more powerful panel to take advantage of the sun when it does. Alternatively if you live in Arizona or southern Europe where bright sunlight for several hours everyday is the norm then a smaller panel that can be left out for longer and that’s lighter to carry could be ideal.

 

Likewise some of the solar panels and chargers are more resistant to weather or come with hooks to hang them up in the sun where as others can fold up to reduce the space required for storage or carrying them which are also important factors.

There are also solar charging panels that have batteries or power banks included. This allows you to leave the panel out all day where it will charge up the battery so than its ready for when you need it and you can then recharge your electrical gadgets when you get back to camp in the evening.

The other things to consider are of course cost, weight and portability as well as connection types. These too will influence your choice when buying a solar powered charger or panel. Be sure to consider when how and where you will be using it and then you should have a good idea of what you will need to meet your needs. After this, just visit Chinavasion where there is an extensive range of solar panels and solar powered chargers as well as other gadgets for you to choose from.

Author James Mash 28.4.2015. | 13:37
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