Choosing Your Solar Battery Charger - Things You Must Know

free energy from the sun to charge your batteries

A solar battery charger can recharge your camera, mobile phone, AA- or car batteries. Yes, solar energy comes free from the sun but, like everything, it's not perfect.

You can find many solar battery chargers here, for all kinds of purposes.

Or, if you are looking for wholesale buyers and sellers of these chargers, this international exchange is your destination.

Some people think the sun's magic will recharge their dead 100 Amp/hour battery in a matter of hours. Well, no. You would need at least a 100 Watt solar power charge to recharge a 100 Amp/hour battery.

And that would take you several days.

So, while keeping things in perspective, solar battery chargers do have certain advantages.

But first, how do they work:

How do they work

A PV solar panel transforms the sun's light into electricity. This energy must then be stored in a battery to be of use in powering any devices.

The storage battery is also important as a filter to the electronics in your device. The solar panel you use produces spikes and troughs of output with the intensity of sunlight.

Some solar battery chargers have an internal battery, some don't. Where the charger has one, the solar panel first charges the internal battery, and then the external batter in the device you want to charge.

The advantage of a charger with internal battery is that you can use a smaller (1 Watt), and therefore cheaper, solar panel. Once the internal battery is charged it can charge your iPod or mobile phone quite fast.

A disadvantage is that the internal battery has a short life (a few years). Also, because of the smaller panel, the internal battery charges slowly.

A 10 to 20 Watt panel is good. You can easily charge your laptop with one of those. Of course the larger the panel, the more purchase expense for you.

Generally, a manufacturer rating of 15 watts gives you 1 amp per hour in direct sunlight.

Solar battery charger applications

  • The solar panels themselves. They come in all sizes, fold-out or rigid. Portable too.
  • For a laptop
  • To trickle charger AA batteries
  • A USB charger for connection to a computer
  • To power your RV

You can see many of these here.

Direct sunlight

You need direct sunlight to charge your batteries. And their rating is calculated in optimum sunlight conditions. Even putting your charger behind a window will substantially affect your charger's output.

The good news about solar battery chargers here is that they are generally well weatherproofed.

All you need to do is check every now and then for dirt and that the electrical connections remain fine.

Charge controller?

A charge controller can stop your device from being over charged, improve the quality of charge and can also prevent unwanted battery discharge.

There are solar panels that do this by having blocking diodes pre-installed. A charge controller is a good idea for panels six Watt and over.

Choosing your battery charger

Bear in mind that the sun does shine all the time but is not available to the same degree on cloudy days. Winter means less sunlight too.

So, you may consider buying a larger solar panel than your device says it needs, to compensate for those things.But, for the best choice, first be clear on your purpose. Is reliability important or are you happy with long recharging times?

If you are buying a solar battery charger or an emergency pack, you obviously need reliability. No internal battery type for you.

Consider the weight you are prepared to carry on your hiking tours and choose your solar panel with that in mind. Of course, you will be charging your batteries while you walk.

Environmental considerations? Don't use a short-life internal battery.


Commonly solar powered battery chargers are 12VDC. But, you can of course get a bigger output by joining them together o obtain 24V, 36V, 48V and so on.

PV solar power plants are putting out Megawatts of power by joining up hundreds of large panels.

You can use an inverter yo converter 12 VDC to 110 VAC. But these inverters are very power-hungry.

Why not use a 12VDC device if you can? Do you really need to go to 110VAC?

How green are they?

Now that's an interesting question. Because it's solar, does it benefit the environment? Global warming? Acid waste from batteries?

PV solar panels on a roof can take 3 to 4 years before they recover the fossil fuel energy used to produce them and that's with them receiving sunlight every day.

The average portable solar charger will not receive that much light so it would take even longer before it is carbon-neutral. The best one could say is that rechargeable NiMH batteries are better for the environment than disposable alkalines. But then, someone, somewhere, will start producing your next solar battery charger with solar or wind power energy soon.

Gadgets towards a sustainable world?

Obviously solar battery charger 12 volt or otherwise, a solar car battery charger or whatever will not make a sustainable life. They're handy, that's all.

If you want to make real change, that's easy. Use your personal renewable energy of kindness towards others and towards your immediate environment. That's the way to get there...

Why not do both! Go here to find your solar battery charger.

Visit the international exchange of wholesale buyers and sellers of solar power chargers - and much more

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