Aside from portable solar generators and solar backpacks, we commonly have two more series of of popular portable solar products – solar chargers and solar gadgets.
A portable solar generator is a full-size power generator to make power from sunlight. A solar backpack is a solar panel-mounted backpack to make power for small gadgets. It can also carry your travel belongings.
Different from both, a portable solar charger is usually a foldable, flexible solar-panel-mounted stuff that can be hung over your bag or rigged up to your bicycle for better access to sunlight.
A solar gadget, on the other hand, is any gadget that integrates a solar panel like a solar phone. See, for example, a phone that comes with a solar back cover. Or you can see mobile cases, covers, clothes and hat with solar panels. It can produce the power required to fill up its battery. Unfortunately, solar gadgets are found not quite effective in charging your devices.
Nature of Portable Solar Chargers
A solar charger is not anything like a portable solar generator or a solar backpack. Its only purpose is to make power for your small handhelds on the move. It is not a large-scale power making unit for your big appliances such as TV, mini fridge or like that.
It also differs from a solar backpack – though some models of solar chargers can be hooked to backpacks – on the ground that it has nothing to do other than charging your devices. A solar backpack can also pack up your travel stuffs, but it a charger not. It is, in fact, an exclusive portable solar charger with more productivity.
Portable solar charger is a foldable solar unit. It can be placed anywhere to collect energy to power up your handhelds on the move.
There is a well-off market for portable solar chargers. You have a huge number of models in stores. You must consider a lot of things while buying a solar charger, however. Below is a list of things you should give heed to before jumping out to invest in a portable solar charger. Otherwise you will lose money on an inefficient and dull product.
What to Consider While Buying a Solar Charger/Gadget
It is not quite easy to find an awesome portable solar charger. On market, you can see several choices. Only a few out of them are great products. To ensure constant power supply, you should find the best one. Below are the things you should consider for a better purchase.
More Power – Quite Enough to Power your Gadgets
While moving out to do your stuffs outdoors, you will be carrying some gadgets like phone, camera and GPS. If you look for a portable solar charger to power up all these gadgets, the first thing you should make a look at is its output. Based on your device’s requirements, find a matching portable solar charger with adequate output capacity.
Lightweight, Flexible – To Make your Outings Enjoyable
You may be wearing solar charger on your backpack. To carry a heavy charger will increase your burden during a camping. That is why I would like to suggest you to pick a solar backpack that is lightweight, flexible and foldable. It is difficult to find a powerful solar charger with less weight, but by finding a model that is flexible and foldable, you can make your outings enjoyable.
Rugged, Durable – To Defend the Harsh Climate
You may be walking to the wild to enjoy unlimited fun. Therefore, like other stuffs in your survival gear kit, you should also find a solar charger/gadget that is rugged, solid and durable. You may get through harsh conditions and terrains. Solar charger won’t be hit by severe weather.
Water/Weatherproof – To Keep it Healthy Always
To ensure continuous charging, you will need to get the portable solar charger/gadget exposed to sun all the time. You may leave it in sun anywhere with no much care, while doing your stuffs. Even if you carry it, you will be walking through tough terrains and harsh weather conditions. So your solar charger must be water, dust and weather-proof.
Compatible – For all Devices and Brands
It is indeed a big thing. You are going to throw out hundreds of dollars to get a tool to power your gadgets on the go. You should make a look at device compatibility factor then. Make sure the solar charger supports all kinds of portable gadgets like phones, tablets, music players and more. Make sure it works with all brands of popular devices as well.
Solar Gadgets Vs Solar Chargers
What difference does a solar gadget make from a solar charger? Well, I would like to put a solar gadget as any device that mounts a solar unit to power up its own function. For example, a solar phone or a solar eReader that sports a solar panel to charge its own operation. It also comprises of a solar hat that features a headlamp or fan to make your travels rather comfortable.
Solar technology is everywhere. In sight of the looming crisis in traditional sources of energy, researchers have developed various gadgets by incorporating different units of solar panels to exploit the natural sources of energy as much as possible.
Solar Hat (Headlamp or Fan)
Do you wonder about the practical use of a solar hat? Well, it is not anything like a solar charger that is solely made to power particular devices. A solar hat usually comes with a headlamp and thin film solar cells to power it up.
That means a headlamp solar hat shows you path in night time and safeguards your head from sunshine in sunny hours. Interestingly, some funny designers have even tested some solar hats with tiny fans to gust fresh air to the wearer’s face.
Solar Cell Phones
Integrating solar back cover to a phone hasn’t gone quite successful. Firms like Samsung have experimentally made some models, but who will have time to place phone in sunlight for charging? But it is a nice concept and needs more research to realize fruitful products.