Solar Phone Charger
Last updated: September 5, 2020

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If you have a smartphone, you know just how important it is to have a battery with great autonomy, either for travels, work, or potential emergencies. But the reality is that we are making such intensive use of our cell phones that their batteries often don’t last a single day. Nowadays, solar phone chargers are one of the most innovative alternatives available on the market.

Do you know what these devices are? Have you tried one yet? Solar phone chargers are relatively new accessories, but they are now taking the world by storm. If you don’t know what they look like or how they work, you have come to the right place. In the following guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about them.

Key Facts

  • Solar chargers are small portable devices used to charge the battery of your cell phone using the sun’s energy. They are extremely easy to use, but you are advised to keep them for specific situations since they do not offer a lot of power. They are basically ideal for emergencies.
  • Using these solar phone chargers is also a form of environmentally-friendly charging. Their energy relies on exposure to the sun rays, and you can then connect them to your cell phone using a USB cable. Besides, this very safe method doesn’t cause overheating or overcharging.
  • You will have to evaluate a series of critical criteria before purchasing your own solar phone charger. These include their charging power measured in milliamperes per hour (mAh), the charging time, the possibility of charging several devices at once, the overall design (size and weight), and the durability of the product.

Our Selection: The Best Solar Phone Chargers on the U.S. Market

We know just how stressful it can be to run out of battery. In fact, it is probably the most widespread fear among cell phone users. While solar phone chargers aren’t the most well-known solution yet, they are certainly growing in popularity on the American market. In the section below, we have selected the best models currently available to help you find the one you need.

Best-Selling Solar Phone Charger

GoerTek’s high-capacity solar charger is an Amazon Best Seller, with hundreds of satisfied users leaving high ratings. Made from environmentally friendly ABS material, this device offers a power of 25,000 mAh for all your charging needs. The reverse of this power bank consists of 36 LED lights for a bright lamp option handy. This solar phone charger integrates 3 USB ports and an internal battery so you can still charge your phone without the sun.

Most Powerful Solar Phone Charger

Another Amazon Best Seller, this solar phone charger by Feeke offers an incredible power capacity of 30,000 mAh. In addition, it features the Qi technology for wireless charging if your device is also compatible with it. With dual input ports, you can charge two pieces of electronic equipment at the same time. This sturdy little model is built to last, being certified IP 66 and, therefore, rainproof, dustproof, and shockproof.

Most Resistant Solar Phone Charger

When we’re talking about resistance and durability, little solar phone chargers will top Blavor’s model. This is a survival kit all in one device, with a powerful dual flashlight and a compass attached to it. This IPX4-certified charger is dustproof, shockproof, and splashproof. Besides, it is built with fireproof ABS material. This model also integrates the Qi wireless technology, with a power capacity of 10,000 mAh.

Best Solar Phone Charger: Amazon’s Choice

Last but not least, Yelomin’s 20,000-mAh solar phone charger is Amazon’s Choice in the category – and for good reasons. With two USB ports and over 900 recharge life cycles, this model is also the most affordable of our selection. It features two bright LED lights at the front and an ON/OFF button, so you’re not wasting battery when you don’t need to. This solar phone charger also includes a battery for when there’s no sun around.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Solar Phone Chargers

The sun isn’t only good for a summer day at the beach. Many of us like to take advantage of the good weather to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature. It is a wonderful place to escape and forget about technology, but you still need to be able to use your cell phone. This is when solar phone chargers are most handy. Let’s have a look at the most frequently asked questions regarding these accessories:

Solar Phone Charger

The power of a solar phone charger is the first aspect you should evaluate before making your purchase.
(Source: Loisamut: 56965804/ 123rf.com)

What are solar phone chargers exactly?

A solar phone charger is a portable device that allows you to transform photovoltaic solar energy into electrical energy, which you can then use with devices such as smartphones or tablets. These solar devices can charge batteries up to 48 V (volts) with a capacity of hundreds of amps per hour. They generally integrate a smart charge controller.

What do solar phone chargers consist of?

A solar phone charger is made up of one or more solar panels. Each one itself consists of small photoelectric cells, usually made of silicon. This material is best suited to transmit electrons. One of the major limitations of these solar panels is the small amount of energy they can collect per individual cell.

Samuel BodmanAmerican Politician, Former United States Secretary of Energy

“As the technology for solar cells gets better and better, this form of clean, renewable energy will find more applications that take up less space and produce more electricity, to meet the energy needs of our homes, schools and businesses.”

How do solar phone chargers work?

When you leave your charger in the sun, the photovoltaic panels absorb the energy, which they can then transmit to other devices – such as your cell phone. Solar chargers are generally connected to other electronic devices through a Micro-USB cable. The time it takes to charge will be determined by the efficiency of the solar panel and its overall surface. The larger the surface area is, the faster it will charge.

What types of panels do solar phone chargers use?

The low power output of most solar chargers means that manufacturers often attach several small panels in parallel. These are then unfolded to capture more solar radiation. Keep in mind that all solar panels aren’t necessarily the same, and their performance will decrease as the temperature rises. You can compare the two most common types in the table below:

Monocrystalline panels Polycrystalline panels
Color Darker color Bluer color
Range They attract more radiation. They can sustain lower temperatures.
Recommended use Most suitable on cloudy days (low radiation) Recommended for very sunny days

As you can see, there is no such thing as the perfect solar phone charger for everyday use. If you look at an annual average, you will notice that a monocrystalline solar panel will have a better performance in the months with low solar radiation but be less useful in the months of higher radiation. This is why you are advised to choose the type of panel based on the most common weather conditions in your area.

Why do I need a solar phone charger?

The market for power banks is increasingly popular among people who are always afraid of their cell phones running out of battery. Solar phone chargers are gaining more and more ground within the industry because of their ease of use and their sustainable quality. Here is a list of some of the advantages these accessories have to offer:

  • They promote greater economic and energy savings since they do not depend on electrical networks.
  • They do not require any special maintenance beyond precautions, such as not exposing them to excessively cold temperatures.
  • You can charge your battery virtually anywhere, anytime while walking, cycling, or performing any other outdoor activity.
  • Their sustainable character means that manufacturers often include extensive guarantees (generally at least two years). In fact, the durability of the transformer can reach up to 25 years, even when it is subjected to constant use.
Solar Phone Charger

The market for power banks is increasingly popular among people who are always afraid of their cell phones running out of battery.
(Source: Ponari: 85085271/ 123rf.com)

Do solar phone chargers have an internal battery?

There are still relatively few models that integrate an internal battery, but it is becoming more common. An internal battery gives you the possibility to connect it to the power supply in case there is no sun. This can undoubtedly be seen as an advantage, as you will always have the possibility of charging your device in any situation. On the other hand, however, you have to know that these models not as effective as exclusively solar chargers.

What is the capacity indicated by manufacturers?

The capacity of a battery is measured in mAh (milliamps per hour), which refers to how much electrical charge passes through the terminals of a battery when it provides an electrical current of 1 milliampere for 1 hour through those terminals. While mAh is used as a reference, the actual capacity of the solar charger is generally inferior.

Experts estimate that the batteries on the market achieve an efficiency of 60 to 70% of their theoretical capacity. You also have to take into account factors such as the limited life of the lithium-ion cells that make up the battery and their overall temperature. The higher the capacity an external battery has, the more energy it will be able to provide.

movilcolor negro

A solar phone charger consists of one or more solar panels.
(Source: Виктор Гладченко: 106484565¿/ 123rf.com)

Can solar phone chargers be used in any situation?

This is not advised. While these chargers offer many advantages, they cannot provide the same performance as models that rely on the electricity grid. Solar phone chargers are small in size, and the amount of energy they can store is therefore limited. That being said, they are convenient emergency chargers, especially if you are outdoors.

Keep in mind that their small size means that they cannot charge devices fast. This means that you could wait for hours before your smartphone is charged again. So, once again, this is more of an emergency system for small devices rather than an everyday charger. They will always get you out of trouble!

Why are solar phone chargers so sturdy?

A solar charger has to be robust and compact with an easy-to-grip design, as people often use them during travels, holidays, and outdoor activities. In other words, they are constantly exposed to potential falls and blows when you take them with you. If the manufacturing materials were of poor quality, they wouldn’t last very long.

It is also essential that you opt for a waterproof model, especially since you will have to leave it in the open to charge. Remember that a charger with a greater surface area will fill up faster, reducing the risk of being damaged. This is, of course, provided that you have the appropriate solar conditions.

Solar Phone Charger

The designs of these products will often vary from one brand to another.
(Source: Melnikov: 120363983/ 123rf.com)

Are there maintenance measures to take?

While solar phone chargers are ideal because of their low maintenance, you will still have to take proper care of them to increase their operation and overall performance. Cleaning one of these devices is very straightforward. All you have to do is spray water on it. To prevent a thermal shock, you are advised not to use water that is too cold when cleaning in the sun.

Buyer’s Guide

Until we can develop cell phones with unlimited battery, we will always need external chargers to avoid running out of it. Nowadays, solar phone chargers are an efficient alternative that will get you out of trouble when you’re traveling or performing outdoor activities. In order to choose the model that best fits your needs, we recommend that you pay close attention to the main criteria that we have detailed in the following section:

Power & Charging Time

The power of a solar phone charger is the first criterion that you should evaluate before making your purchase. It is expressed in milliamps per hour (mAh). In fact, this aspect will determine the time it takes to charge your battery. Basically, if the power is high, you will see your battery charge faster. As a general rule, you should opt for a model with at least 1,000 mAh.

Solar Phone Charger

While solar phone chargers are ideal because of their low maintenance, you will still have to take proper care of them to increase their operation and overall performance.
(Source: Ponari: 84978751/ 123rf.com)

Simultaneous Charging

On the solar phone charger market, you can find specific models that allow you to simultaneously charge several devices. This is extremely useful when you are going on trips, excursions, or doing sports outdoors with your friends or family. If you opt for this type, make sure that the model you buy can perform this function while maintaining adequate power.

Size

Solar phone charger designs often vary from one brand to the next. Since you will be carrying this device with you everywhere, you should avoid large and heavy models for greater comfort. That being said, remember that the larger the surface of the solar panels is, the greater the reception of solar radiation will be. Consider these different aspects carefully; the final decision is yours.

Material Quality

Since they are portable, solar phone chargers are exposed to falls, shocks, and other accidents. Besides, they depend on the sun so they must remain outdoors for long periods of time. This is why they must be made of durable and resistant materials. It is all the better if they are also water and dustproof. As for the solar panels in themselves, silicon is the most suitable material.

Summary

Solar phone chargers are small portable devices that convert solar energy into electricity. This gives you an efficient alternative to charge your cell phone battery. Although they are a sustainable charging method, their use is generally recommended for emergencies since they do not have the power of conventional electric chargers.

The solar panels they integrate can be monocrystalline or polycrystalline. The difference between them lies in their ability to attract solar radiation depending on the weather. These types of chargers are resistant since they are used during trips, nature excursions, and outdoor sports. They are easy to handle and require virtually no maintenance.

If you liked our shopping guide on solar phone chargers, feel free to share it with your friends and family on your social media. We are confident many more people can make the most of our tips. You can also leave us a comment in the section below, and we will be happy to get back to you as soon as possible!

(Source of featured image: Najmul Hasan: 95851981/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Brett Holmes Technology Geek
Brett is a keen observer of the latest technology trends and knows his way around the industry because he runs an electronics store. He writes about it in his spare time and wants to help others learn more about the technology industry.