The world is moving towards green energy with every new discovery. Now, we have electric cars and renewable power generators. Energy storage devices are shifting, and power banks offer a front row seat to green-energy use.
While aiming to leave no carbon print behind, solar-powered back-up energy storage devices enter the market each day.
If you have ever been in a situation with a dead phone, no electricity, or an alternative source of power, then this piece is for you.
Below, we discuss five of the best power banks you can use with a wide range of devices, at home or during your traveling escapades.
Solar Power Banks Buying Guide
The standard power banks just don't cut it nowadays. This is because you need to have electricity to charge them, which negates their role.
On the other hand, the introduction of solar power banks revolutionized the industry. Wherever you are, you only need some sunlight, and you can charge your phone. The best part is that you can get these solar power banks at affordable rates from many stores.
However, before you buy your power bank, you need to understand a few things about solar power banks and how to buy them.
What are Solar power banks?
This is an electronic device that harnesses the power of the sun to generate electricity. The energy created in the solar panel is then stored in a battery fitted in the power bank's build or directly used to charge your phone.
The power bank consists of a solar panel, which converts the sunlight into energy.
Since you can always find sunlight anywhere, these power solar power banks are convenient for outdoor activities or areas with unreliable power supply.
What to consider when buying a solar power bank
Before you order or buy a solar battery pack, you must assess its properties. This way, you have a pretty clear idea of what you are getting.
Below are some factors to consider when purchasing solar power banks:
When buying these backup battery packs, it is always better to go for one that offers fast-charging capabilities. To understand this, you should consider the cable used to charge the device and your phone. Generally, micro USB cables tend to charge faster than the average USB cables.
How long does it take to charge fully using solar?
The goal of having a power bank is to have reliable and accessible power to charge your phone in unsuitable conditions. So, when buying a solar power bank, take note of the time the device takes to charge fully on solar power only. If the period is too long, look for an alternative.
It would also be best if you found a solar power bank that allows for multiple charging methods-maybe direct electricity and using solar, for versatility.
The regular unit for battery capacity is mAh, meaning milli-Amperes. This indicates the amount of power the battery can give at full capacity.
When buying a power bank, go for one with a larger capacity. The larger the capacity, the fewer the charging cycles, hence less catalyzation, which translates to your power bank's longer life span.
Also, the high-capacity power banks can charge your phone multiple times before depletion, making them reliable.
Size and weight
When buying a power bank, you are aiming at a portable energy storage device. So, it is only fit to get a compact-sized and light-weight power bank.
You should get a power bank that easily fits into your bags.
A larger power bank is more likely to break if not stored properly.
Also, make sure that the battery and solar panels attached to the solar power bank do not make it too heavy for your convenience.
Remember, there is always a better option. If you get a bulky power bank, you can exchange it for a lighter one that is more suitable for your activities.
Solar power banks are for outdoor use. You carry them along when you go hiking, on road trips, or even camping. For all these conditions, you are bound to interact with harsh weather conditions.
You could experience hot days, rainy days, and windy conditions.
A good solar power bank will prevail in these conditions. They should be resistant to wear, tear, and water.
Also, check the maximum temperatures the solar panels can experience before they start breaking down. The higher the allowance, the more versatile your power bank will be.
Look out for additional features that make it easier for you to use your solar panels. These could include buckles to strap them into your bag packs or harnesses to hold the solar panel in place as it charges the battery.
Your go-to solar power bank should accommodate multiple charging ports. This way, you can charge more than one device simultaneously.
Most models come with two standard USB ports. However, some advanced options have Type-C ports and Qi-wireless for phones that allow wireless charging.
The more output options you get, the more compatible it gets.
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A good solar power bank is one that is safe to use. And this goes both ways, meaning it should be safe for your phone, tablet, or laptop, and also the power bank.
While the safety features in place should protect against over-voltage in your electronic device, it should also protect from over-charging, which could damage the power bank.
Always go for a power bank that protects your devices from over-current, overheating, overcharging, and short-circuiting.
Below, we have a list of the 5 top solar power banks we would recommend based on the above buying points.
This is a wireless solar power bank that can charge up to 4 devices without worry of depletion. It is built with a 2000mAh capacity and with the ability to recharge in the sun. It redefined the world of power bank since it does not have a predecessor. It majorly competes with the Yelomin portable outdoor power bank.
I was once caught up with a job retrenchment situation due to an inefficient battery system and impervious power bank methods as the work was locomotive in nature. Had I known of the SoloForce power bank, all my problems would have been a passing wave.
- Solar-powered – If you work in an office or home confines, then the SoloForce is not for you, as many power banks can be charged via a port. But for the locomotive job personnel as I, this is an operated feature that relieves one from imploring people to offer you charging ports. It provides a carbon-free footprint as it is 100% eco-friendly. With the sun above, there is an endless supply of energy and uncomplicated charging techniques since it is with you all the time
- Portability and compatibility-it is among the smallest power banks available, allowing you to carry it everywhere. Also, it is fit for use with multiple devices, including laptops, mp3s, phones, iPods, and cameras. With this, it can reduce the number of spare batteries for each device.
- Water-resistant –The SoloForce is fit for use even in unexpected weather patterns. With the SoloForce power bank, you can travel anywhere despite the weather and humid conditions as it is waterproof. It allows for emergency excursions, e.g., swimming, for it will not be rendered useless after that.
- Multiple connectivity-SoloForce can charge 4 devices at once. It is built with 3 USB ports to enable port charging and a wireless charging system for the fourth device. With its compatibility feature, you can use it for a wide range of devices.
- Large capacity battery-the SoloForce has a 20000 mAh battery that offers more advantages and can sustain cumulative tasks. It facilitates an extended battery life enabling you to charge your device close to 6 times. Also, this large capacity solar power bank offers a fast charging rate technology, which saves your time.
- Long-life power bank- Solo Force maintains good performance even after 500 discharge cycles. This is because its large capacity reduces frequent catalyzation during charging.
- Has a long life that comes in handy even on dull days
- Small in size to allow for portability
- Multiple device compatibility
- Contains a QI wireless option
- It is waterproof
- Its wireless charging system is slow compared to the USB ports
- QI charging is compatible with only the latest smartphone models
- It's quite expensive
2) SOLAR POWERBANK QI PORTABLE CHARGER
This is a 10000 mAh USB charging pad compatible with most smartphones. It has a USB type C port, regular USB, and a micro USB port for compatibility with various devices. It is also solar charged to allow for excursions and field activities like camping.
With an output of 3v/2.1A, the solar power bank guarantees compatibility with most devices that do not allow wireless charging. It has QI portable charger, which you can use to charge your phone anywhere, at any time.
- It has a sturdy, durable, and compact size. The portable QI power bank comprises premium materials and a lithium battery that promises a long life. It's wide, 6.7" solar screen enables harnessing of solar power even in low light conditions.
- QI wireless and solar power -10000mAh wireless power bank allows for multiple charging times due to its large capacity. It also consists of high-efficiency, wide and high-quality panels for charging. These solar panels work considerably well, even during cloudy days.
- Compatible ports- This power bank is built with more than 4 input and output ports. It allows for one to charge multiple devices ranging from laptops to smartphones with different USB charging ports. The QI charging system makes it possible to charge any wireless charging compatible device.
- Dual LED lights and compass kit-the solar power bank is equipped with dual bright LED torches that come with portable compass kits. This can prove to be an essential tool in outdoor activities like camping, cycling, hiking, and many more.
- High-speed charging- power output port (USB C) and quick charger 3.0 can charge your phone to 50% power in 30 minutes. Therefore, you save time and energy in emergency charging.
- Robust- made up of high-quality silicone rubber and ABs. These materials protect the battery from rain dust and making it ideal for outdoor fanatics.
- Premium quality-certified by the Restriction of Hazardous Substances, RoHS, as the best solar electronic charger. As long as you avoid overcharging, overvoltage, and short-circuiting, it is the best.
- Compatible with various devices
- Robust and light in weight
- It has a large capacity battery and fast charging technology
- It contains dual LED lights and a compass kit
- Has a sizeable solar screen
- Solar acts as a secondary power source
- It isn't waterproof but rather rainproof
3) SOLAR POWER BANK, 32800mAh
This is a high capacity, built-in 32800mAh capacity polymer battery power bank. It contains a compact solar panel that offers alternative charging methods, making it suitable for outdoor activities. It is equipped with super bright LED lights, which are reliable in dark outdoor activities like camping.
The technology used in the construction is so advanced that it has features that protect it from overcharging or harming the user.
It also has multiple USB ports to uphold its compatibility profile. The leading competitor is the 40000 mAh power bank that allows for supercharging abilities and longer life.
Are you wondering which power bank will work well with all your family or friends’ devices? Then this battery pack is best suited for that job.
- Large capacity battery- the large-capacity battery translates to a long life span of the power bank. This is because it reduces the number of charging cycles, hence less catalyzation that occurs during charging. A large battery capacity means that it offers a fast charging option this saving time and energy.
- Rugged and heavy-duty design-the 32800mAh power bank, IP66 rating has a rugged design. Also, its heavy-duty design provides features like magnificent shockproof and waterproof properties. It is equipped with carabines, for safekeeping and handling. The power bank consists of robust, heavy-duty materials suitable for harsh conditions like camping, traveling, and other challenging conditions.
- Multiple inputs and output ports- This power bank has dual input ports, i.e., high-speed type c and micro USB. These ports allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously. These charging ports also deliver the highest possible charging speed that is twice fast as regular ports. It contains dual input ports
- QI wireless charging- It is equipped with a proper QI wireless charging technology. Therefore, you can use it on any smartphone with a wireless charging ability.
- Multi-protection ability-the 32800mAh power bank automatically adjusts the output current to the required current by the device. It contains a pre-programmed system that prevents overcharging, overcurrent, overvoltage, and short-circuiting. In turn, it protects the power bank, and your phone from damage thus lasts longer.
- Multifunctional LED lights –This power bank contains multifunctional LED lights. One set indicates the battery level when it is charging and discharging. The other set will light your world and provide maximum illumination, just how you like it.
- It has a large capacity battery
- Has a long working life
- Multiple inputs and output ports
- Functional LED lights
- Robust and heavy duty
- Solar energy is not a sufficient charging system as it contains a large capacity battery
- Only charges 2 devices at a time
4) BIGBLUE 3 USB PORT, 28W SOLAR CHARGER
This is a USB solar charger that offers a micro power plant that can generate power to charge your electrical devices whenever the sun is out.
It includes foldable page-like solar panels. These can increase surface area for power harnessing to enable you to charge any of your devices. With outdoor activities in mind, it is fitted with four buckles for attaching to camp or hiking bags
How to use
In its unused state, it is folded to save on space and reduce accidents. When in need, follow the following steps to use it:
- Unfold the four solar panels in direct sunlight with no cover, not shadows
- Place it against the sun, most preferably at 45 degrees
- Connect your phone or any other 5v electronic equipment directly to the charger
- Watch out for the red LED light and the flash as it signals perfect working condition and overcurrent/short-circuit possibilities respectively
Despite being the best and most recommended, this solar charger also has its shortcomings. They include:
- The solar charger can't store its harnessed electrical power. It needs to be connected with your device in direct sunlight
- Inadequate sunlight may cause disturbance of charging and may indicate on the device as an accessory not supported
FEATURES AND DETAILS
- Easy to carry- Its compact size, light-weight, foldable parameters, and stashing ability enables it to fit into many tiny spaces, making it easy to carry around.
- High conversion ability - Efficient Sunpower panels convert up to 23.5% of solar power into electrical power that can charge four devices. They are fitted with a unique polymer surface that shields them from occasional rain or wet fog.
- Updated triple USB ports- This power bank has 3 USB ports fitted with smart charging technology. This tech identifies your device automatically and provides optimal charging speed. It offers 100%safe charging from overheating and short circuit protection.
- Package and support -On purchase, you a 28w solar phone charger, 60 cm micro USB cable, four buckles, a user manual, 24- month free card, and friendly customer care service
- Compatibility option - Can accommodate several devices with a 5v consumption ability. It is usable with the iPhone, iPad, Android, and many more
- Easy to carry and foldable to save on space
- Comes with a good package and support set
- Compatible with various devices
- Has high conversion ability and LED signals to provide optimum performance
- Protection system from short circuit
- Does not store power, hence is unsuitable for use at night
- Sensitive to light Intensity-Lack of it could read as an error
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5) FEELLEE SOLAR POWER BANK
This is a 4-solar panel charger equipped with a 24000mAh battery capacity. It has dual 2.1A output ports that can charge 2 digital devices at high speed with portable abilities. The packing power can last for days, regardless of the tasks presented.
Due to its large capacity, you can charge your phone whenever you need to. The four foldable and light-weight solar panels make FEELLEE Solar Power Bank highly mobile and portable. Its compact size makes for an exceptional traveling addition since it can easily fit into your bag.
This power bank relies on solar energy only for its functions. That means it can store power that you can use to charge your phone later. And with its four solar panels, it charges 4- 5 times faster than your average solar power bank.
- Highest speed output -It can charge 2 digital devices at the highest speed simultaneously. The dual smart identity USB outputs can charge your device fast and efficiently.
- Security system - Back-up charger provides protection from over-charging, over-discharging, over-voltage, and short-circuiting. Therefore, it gives a safe guarantee for your devices and power bank
- Efficient solar panels - It comprises 3 highly efficient solar panels. These panels increase the charging surface area. Therefore, the FEELLEE Solar power bank recharges fast.
- High capacity battery-The power bank has a 2500mAh high-quality polymer battery that allows you to charge your phone about 12 times before depletion.
- Compact and portable – The foldable solar panels on the FEELLEE Solar power bank allows it to fit into small spaces, making it very portable.
- The multiple-device support-This solar power bank has dual 2 .1A output ports that allow for charging of 2 devices simultaneously. It also has artificial leather, which can protect the solar panel from rain and other weather elements.
- LED lights - The solar charger has bright LED flashlights with 3 modes (steady -SOS - strobe). With these lights, you can monitor the battery level, even in the dark.
- It has a high capacity battery with high-speed output
- Passes an active security configuration with dual smart output
- Has 4 solar panel that increases surface area for solar absorption
- LED lights to monitor the battery levels
- The large surface that may be bulky for some to carry around
- Only charges 2 devices at a time.
- It is considerably heavy for its size
FAQs About Solar Power Banks
Solar power banks are constructed with the solar panels as the back-up power source. That means you can use the regular power outlet to charge it. And when you are not near a reliable power outlet, you use the solar panels to charge the power bank by harnessing power from the sun.
Qi wireless charging is a modern technology, which allow you to charge your smart device without the use of a charging cable. It uses a concept known as inductive charging, where charge is transferred to the battery in your device through magnetic waves.
It uses a transmitter (Fitted in your power bank or charging pad) that sends the electromagnetic waves to your phone. The receiver (on your smart device) then receives these waves and converts them to electrical current, which then charges your battery.
The time taken to charge your phone with power bank depends on several factors. These include:
Model of phone- Older phones take longer to charge, compared to smart phones that have fast-charging capabilities.
Cable used- micro USB and Type-C cables are the best bet for fast charging. The regular USB 3.0 cables tend to increase the charging time. Charging ports on the power bank also determine the charging time.
Despite their fast-charging capabilities, solar power banks serve as back-up power supplies. This is because they take an average of 25-36 hours to recharge in the sun. Others take as long as 75 hours to charge completely using solar.
However, they also store the charge for longer, meaning you can use some models for as long as 5 days without recharging.
When you decide to get a solar power bank, you must select one compatible with your device. This is a necessary measure to prevent wastage of your hard-earned cash.
Fortunately, with the right charging port and cable, you can use your power bank to charge virtually any smart device.
Solar power banks are compatible with: iPhones, LG, Samsung, and other models of smartphones
iPads and tablets
iPods and portable radios
The main goal behind the maintenance of your solar power bank is to prolong its life and performance. For this, you need to follow some guidelines to make sure you are doing the right thing.
- When charging your phone, disconnect the power bank as soon as your phone charges fully
- Even when not in use, charge your bank at least every three months to maintain it in good working conditions
- Do not leave your power bank exposed to hot temperatures of 40 degrees and above as it will damage it. Also, do not expose it to extremely low temperatures below 5 degrees. The extreme condition could result in irreversible damage.
- Do not charge your power bank fully. Also, ensure you do not fully drain your power bank. Always maintain a limit between 20%-80% charge
- NEVER drop your power bank as this will damage the circuit boards
- AVOID putting your power bank in places with metal objects. These metals could short-circuit your power bank, which causes severe damage
- NEVER charge your phone while charging the power bank. This could result in too much heat, which is harmful to your solar power bank.
Advantages of Solar Power Banks
Solar power banks convert power from the sun and charge your phone. They pack a lot of benefits, including:
#1 They store power, which you can use later to charge your phone, even at night or on cloudy days when there is no sufficient light from the sun.
#2 These power banks are easy to charge, as you only need to place them facing the sun and leave them to charge
#3 They are portable, meaning you can carry them around as you go about the rest of your day
#4 Some are fitted with heavy-duty material that protects it from the hot sun, water, and scratches
#5 These solar power banks are low maintenance and are super eco-friendly
#6 With multiple charging ports and cable, these solar power banks are compatible with a wide range of devices
#7 You can easily charge multiple devices simultaneously with one power bank.
Power banks introduced a new and more efficient way to travel without worrying about your phone dying. With an option to charge using solar, the areas of the application become limitless. There is no doubt that choosing a high-quality product is a wise investment with many benefits.
These devices revolutionized travel and work that keeps you away from reliable power sources. Since they only need you to point them in the right direction, you can use them anywhere.
If you enjoy outdoor activities, like camping, hiking, or even mountain climbing, and you are worried that you might end up with a drained phone, then the solar power bank is the option for you. They are easy to use and light-weight to carry around, reliable and efficient, provided there is sufficient sun.
However, when getting a power bank for your use, always lookout for the best features. As discussed above, you can choose among the 5 products we would recommend. We have reviewed them based on storage capacity, compatibility, and power outputs.
Also, you should take care of your solar power bank because it costs some dollars. Following the steps indicated, you are sure to enjoy the services from your selected product for many months to come.
With the continual development and increase in technology, gadgets, and gizmos, Amar never has a dull day researching new gadgets. Being an enthusiastic gamer, traveler, soccer lover, and avid car driver means that he always looks for the next cool thing to try out.