Anker 21w Solar Phone Charger
Anker’s lightweight and compact solar cell phone charger. Image source:
Price: $59.49 Buy Now
Pros: Ankers solar phone charger is able to charge two devices at once using its three high efficiency SunPower solar panels. It is compact and lightweight, making this portable charger easy to hook onto your backpack while on a hike.
Cons: According to customer reviews, this charger is not compatible with all smartphones and some reviews report the charger doesnt work at all, so beware of the low chances that youll get a defunct charger. Ankers charger does not come with a battery pack, so your phone must be directly plugged into it to charge.
Compatibility: iPhone and Andriod cell phones, tablets, and other 5-volt USB devices
Best Folding Panel Charger: Biolite Solarpanel 10+
Courtesy of BioLite
If youre looking for a sturdy design that can be propped up beside your camp and left to charge on its own, this is the choice for you. The Biolite SolarPanel 10+ has two, 10-watt, monocrystalline solar panels with a kickstand to keep it securely in place when assembled. An in-built 3,200 mAh battery is fully charged within two hours and can be used to charge your devices whenever they need it.
Built for durability, you can expect this charger to last for many years. At 1.2 pounds, its also a fairly lightweight choice. Even better, the company offers a warranty program in the event you find fault with your device.
If youre anticipating using your charger in anything but sunny conditions, the Big Blue 28 W Solar Charger, with its auto-restart feature, means it wont miss a beat when it comes to charging, even if the sun disappears behind a cloud for a moment or two.
For efficient charging, even after sundown, opt for panels that come with their own battery pack, like the BioLite SolarPanel 10+.
The Best Portable Solar Battery Charger
Unlike the finite energy stored in a battery pack, a USB solar charger offers a tiny power plant that can generate power for your phone and small electronics to keep them charged when the sun is outyou can even use one to recharge a power bank and save that energy for later. After spending more than 60 hours testing 12 models, were confident that the BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger is the best portable solar charger for people who need to charge their gadgets and stay connected in an emergency or when theyre off the grid.
This lightweight solar charger gives you the most usable power for the size. Plus, it has three output ports to charge more devices than the competition can at the same time.
You save $12
The BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger produces the most power of any portable solar charger weve tested, and it has unique features that make it more versatile and durable, including three output ports , a weatherproof port protector, and an expansive but lightweight array of panels to catch every last ray of sunlight. Although other models come close to matching it in terms of power, the BigBlue is also smaller and lighter than other options with similar output, so it can more easily fit into a camping backpack, hiking daypack, or emergency kit.
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How To Get The Most From Your Solar Charger
One of the wonderful things about solar power is how simple it can be. The only care and maintenance most solar panels require is keeping them relatively clean and free of dust. A damp cloth should do the trick most of the time.
To really max out your power output, you should angle the panels correctly. A good rule of thumb is that the panels angle, relative to flat ground, should be roughly the same as your latitude, with some minor seasonal adjustments. The farther you are from the polesand from summerthe steeper the angle. For example, the average angle in Winnipeg would be around 41.1 degrees, while in Key West it would be around 22.1 degrees. Even if you dont get the angle exactly right, approximating it could increase your power production by a noticeable amount. If you want to get the most juice, check sites such as Solarpaneltilt.com, or Solar Electricity Handbooks Solar Angle Calculator to figure out the best angle before you go, take a photo of the setup on your phone, and try your best to replicate it out in the wild. Pro tip: Use a hiking boot to prop up the panels.
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. They promote greater economic and energy savings since they do not depend on electrical networks.Solar phone chargers 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 other outdoor activities.Their sustainable character means that manufacturers often include extensive guarantees . In fact, the durability of the transformer can reach up to 25 years, even when it is subjected to consistent use.
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Best Solar Power Bank
If you dont want to be limited to charging your phone during the day when the sun is out, get a solar power bank.
This is primarily a power bank with a low-output solar panel built-in for emergencies when you cannot recharge the power bank via USB.
One advantage of buying a solar power bank is that they typically come with more charging options than standalone solar chargers. Many offer USB-C, USB Quick Charge and even QI wireless charging.
Best Portability: Bigblue 28w Solar Charger
Power output falls short of promise
Battery not included
The Big Blue Solar Charger is a highly-portable solar charging solution that folds down to a small 11.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches when closed. While it is long, it’s very narrow and thin, meaning it will fit into most backpacks with ease. Included carabiners allow you to open it up and strap it to your backpack while you’re out in nature.
There is no built-in battery, but the three USB-A ports allow you to charge up any phone or tablet with ease. The panels are waterproof, which our reviewer tested by submerging the cells in a bathtub.
Our reviewer also noted that the advertised 28W output is misleading. There are four 7W panels which add up to 28 Watts. Unfortunately, the panels were capable of outputting only around 17W maximum during our testing.
There’s a pouch on the end for holding cables or even devices while charging, which is a nice bonus. Given its water resistance, we’d recommend this for hikers and campers, even in inclement weather. Of course, cloudy days will mean less charging, but at least you know your panels can stand up to it.
Number of Ports: 3 | Power Output: 5V / 4.8A | Types of Ports: USB-A | Number of Cells: 4 | Efficiency: Not listed | Battery Capacity: N/A
“Even in less-than-ideal lighting situations, such as a cloudy day with snow on the ground, I was able to achieve 10W output .” Gannon Burget, Product Tester
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Solar Mobile Phone Charger Circuit Diagram
The circuit diagram shown below consists of voltage and current regulation along with the over-voltage protection circuit. The connections are as follows: the anode terminal of the diode is connected to the positive terminal of the solar panel, and the cathode terminal of the diode is connected to the input pin of the LM317 voltage regulator. The output terminal of the LM317 is connected to the anode terminal of the diode , and the cathode terminal of the diode is connected to the cathode terminal of the Zener diode. The anode terminal of the Zener diode is connected to the base of the BC547 transistor through a 100 Ohm resistor. The collector terminal of the BC547 transistor is connected to the output pin of the LM317 voltage regulator through a 150 Ohm resistor. The emitter terminal of the BC547 transistor is connected to the GND. The adjust pin of the LM317 is connected to the potentiometers variable end and the collector terminal of the BC547 transistor. One of the potentiometers fixed end is connected to the GND. The wire connected to the VCC pin of the micro USB cable is connected to the cathode terminal of the Zener diode and the wire connected to the GND pin of the USB cable is connected to the GND.
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Best Solar Phone Charger For Iphone
Any 5W-21W solar charger will charge an iPhone in a few hours. The type of USB ports doesnt matter in terms of compatibility with your iPhone. USB to Lightning cables are easy to find.
But keep in mind that special USB ports such as USB-C and Quick Charge-enabled USB will charge your iPhone faster.
When charging your iPhone using a solar charger, remember to keep the phone shaded to prevent overheating. Dont place the solar charger on a hot surface like a rock or concrete as that could reduce its efficiency and output.
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The 5 Best Solar Phone Chargers Of 2022
The struggle to keep your phone charged while out and about is real, especailly while on the road, during camping trips, backpacking, at festivals, or spending the day in the park. The good news is that there is now an easy charging solution – solar phone chargers.
These portable chargers allow us to take advantage of free and abundant solar power to ensure that well never be without a backup for charging all of our phones, no matter where we are.
There are virtually thousands of options for solar phone chargers available online. But dont worry, we did the hard work for you and scoured the internet for the best solar phone chargers in 2022.
*Note: This is an unbiased review: we have no financial ties with any of the companies mentioned, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing.
The Verdict: Solar Chargers
The Goal Zero nomad 2 has everything you might need in a solar charger: high wattage, an abundance of USB ports and a business-like folding design and the leading monocrystalline panel type.
For mains-style power output on demand, the Ecoflow portable power station and 220W panel is highly recommended.
Interested in a better phone to travel with? Weve rounded up the best mobile deals
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Best Buy Customers Often Prefer The Following Products When Searching For Solar Cell Phone Charger
Solar panels are a great way to charge your cell phone. They’re easy to install, and they can save you money on your electric bill. If you’re looking for a solar panel charger for your car, home, or office, we’ve got you covered. Browse the top-ranked list of solar cell phone chargers below along with associated reviews and opinions.
Keep your devices powered anywhere quickly with this portable 18-watt Bigfoot rugged solar power bank. The two USB-A ports and USB-C port allows you to charge multiple gadgets simultaneously, while the high-capacity battery contains power for long durations. Featuring solar panels, this Bigfoot rugged solar power bank utilizes sunlight to recharge during emergencies for convenience, and the IP67 rating withstands the elements for durability.See all customer reviews
Keep your devices powered anywhere quickly with this portable 18-watt Bigfoot rugged solar power bank. The two USB-A ports and USB-C port allows you to charge multiple gadgets simultaneously, while the high-capacity battery contains power for long durations. Featuring solar panels, this Bigfoot rugged solar power bank utilizes sunlight to recharge during emergencies for convenience, and the IP67 rating withstands the elements for durability.
Power Output And Charging
We considered only USB solar chargers rated at 10 watts or higher because with anything less you may not get enough power throughout the day to charge a single phone, which just isnt practical. Although we preferred models that claimed to offer even more power, we didnt want that to come with a major increase in size that would limit the chargers portability.
We skipped any chargers that had only a single USB charging port. We preferred two output ports, a design that lets you charge a second device or share the power with someone else. Any extra ports were a bonus. Each port had to draw at least 1 amp, which is the minimum necessary to fully charge a phone like the iPhone X in three to four hours.
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Best Overall Solar Charger: Bigblue 28w Usb Solar Charger
Our top pick, the BigBlue 3, with its four solar panels and a compact design. Image source: BigBlue
Price: $51.99 Buy Now
Pros: The BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger is our pick for the Best Overall solar charger. With four highly efficient foldable SunPower solar panels that fit into a compact bag, they can be easily stored in your backpack. It has two charging USB output ports, so it can charge up to three devices while still delivering decent power. Reviews consistently claim that the charger provides decent output in cloudy conditions, as well.
Cons: This chargers on the heavier side for solar panel chargers, weighing in at 1.3 pounds, even though it doesnt come with an external battery bank. Although it will fit nicely in your backpack, it might weigh you down. If you want to store power for later, you have to purchase a battery bank separately.
Compatibility: Most 5 volt USB rechargeable devices, including iPhones and Androids. Not compatible with the iPad Pro.
Solar Power Banks: The Best Solar Charger With A Battery
Want to a solar charger with its own battery? The Anker PowerCore Solar 20000 is our top recommendation. You get both a USB-A and USB-C port, and with a 20,000mAh capacity battery, you’ll have plenty of onboard juice to keep your devices topped up. To put that in context, it’s enough charge up an iPhone 12 around 4.7 times, a Galaxy S20 3.4 times, and an iPad mini 2.7 times.
Plus, while the battery is running down, you can be topping it up again via the solar panels. Don’t expect miracles: it can take several days to fully charge in this way. But it does give you that extra bit of juice that will stop you worrying about running out.
This power bank is also dustproof and water-resistant to IP65 standards, comes with four-corner drop protection, a handle, and an in-built flashlight, making it a good choice for outdoor adventuring. You get a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box, too, along with a Handy-Carry wrist strap.
If you want wireless charging from your solar power bank, here’s our top recommendation. You can juice up any device that supports Qi charging simply by placing it on the power bank. Alternatively make a wired connection to any of three ports . Or you can use everything at once, and charge four devices simultaneously.
If you don’t have blue skies and all day to spare, you can also use the onboard 3,200 mAh battery to charge your devices directly. Plus that battery, as you might have guessed, can be charged up from sunlight itself.
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Who This Is For
USB solar chargers are a great option if youre taking an extended camping trip or if youre traveling somewhere with an unreliable power grid. Theyre also good for stashing in an emergency kit. In all those specific situations, a solar charger could charge a phone the size of an iPhone X using a few hours of midday sun. But in most situations, a USB solar charger isnt actually the best portable power source, and you may be better off starting with a USB power bank designed for phones and tablets, USB-C laptops, or AC-powered laptops. Our power bank picks keep a smartphone charged for hours or even days at a time, are the size of a paperback novel or smaller, and are not dependent on the weather.
But whether you choose a solar charger or a battery, itll work only with USB or USB-C devices, which limits these options appeal for anyone who needs power for a long-term, off-grid setup. If youre going to be mostly stationary and need to charge or run larger devices like laptops or televisions, or if you need to use more sophisticated communications equipment, youll probably be more interested in the larger setups that we cover in our guide to the best portable power stations.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Solar Charger
Before buying a solar charger, its important to factor in what kind of trips you will be using it for. Typically, there are three things worth considering output capacity, surface area and the flexibility of the panels.
- Output capacity:Solar panels are rated in watts. The higher the number, the more electricity is generated during a given time period.
- Surface area: The larger the solar panel, the more sunlight it can collect and, in turn, the faster it gets converted to battery stored power. For this reason, a large surface area is a good option for times when the weather conditions are less than favourable, including cloud cover or low-intensity light in winter.
- Semi-flexible or rigid panels: Flexible solar panels are great for those with limited bag space as they can be simply rolled or folded up for easy transport. They are also a great choice as they can be folded out to a greater surface area than a rigid model.
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