Tag Archives: Solar charger

Advantages of Solar Chargers

There are several advantages to using portable solar chargers and solar panels. First of all, they are eco and environmentally friendly. They do not emit harmful waste, and can be used anytime and anywhere as long as there is access to sunlight.

Freeloader Solar Charger

A solar battery charger is a device used to power electronics batteries without the use of a power outlet. They are easy to make use of and do not require a great deal of attention. You simply connect the battery to a charger that has solar panels and allow the sun do the rest. The solar panel will collect power from the sun and translate it to electricity. That is accomplished by use of small solar cells within the charger that translates the sunlight into electricity.

Solar Chargers are a convenient source of power in remote areas, on field trips, or when hiking and camping out. They can recharge batteries, cell phones, or other gadgets in any location. In addition to being convenient, solar chargers are a clean energy source and do not cause pollution or other harmful emissions while creating electricity. They also reduce the need for disposable batteries, and thus reduce the overall volume of harmful chemicals and toxic waste that ends up in landfills.

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Freeloader Classic Solar Charger Review

Solar chargers are ideal because they allow you to harvest energy from the sun and then deliver it straight into your mobile device of choice without having to plug into power outlet.The Freeloader Classic is the new star of the solar mobile charging world. Sleek and robust it contains the most cutting edge electronics capable of powering the world’s most popular devices including the iPad and the iPad2.

The Freeloader Classic is comprised of three aluminum coated parts – the battery and the two solar charging panels. When not charging, the panels can be folded and hooked together, panel-to-panel, keeping them protected. The main battery has a backlit LCD display that illuminates and to signal the current battery life level, detecting charge being picked up by one of the panels and if the device is connected and charging. The fully charged battery can supply around 2 hours charge to an iPad and a full charge to most smartphone devices.

On the left hand-side of the battery unit are two USB ports, one full size and the other a miniUSB slot. The first is used to connect the various charging adaptors, while the smaller can be used to link the Freeloader Classic up to a PC for a quicker 3 hour charge.

There’s a specific Globetrotter Edition of the Freeloader available, building upon the Classic by adding a larger Supercharger panel that, can charge the battery up in 4hrs and is great for those who spend extended periods of time in the outdoors.

Key Features:
  • 1200mAh environmentally friendly Li-ion battery
  • 150mA premium quality crystalline solar cells
  • Charge Time: 8 hours via solar panels or 3 hours PC
  • Nine included tips
  • Removable solar panel modules
  • Charging via miniUSB option
  • 8-hour solar charge time
Compatibility:
Supplied with a master cable and nine adaptors to fit the following:
1) Mini USB – Motorola, Blackberry, Smartphone, iMate etc
2) Micro USB – Motorola, Blackberry, Nokia etc – the new “standard phone adaptor”
3) 4mm straight jack – PSP, TomTom, EBook etc
4) Nokia 3.5mm straight jack
5) Nokia 2mm straight jack
6) Sony Ericsson – wide adaptor
7) Samsung – G600 series adaptor
8) LG – Chocolate, Prada etc
9) DS – DS Lite
*USB socket connector allows connection from devices with their own USB charge cable – e.g. Apple products.

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How to Select Portable Solar Chargers

Tips and Recommendations on Selecting Solar Chargers

Portable solar battery chargers have been a great benefit to individuals that spend time outdoors or city dwellers that are  constantly on the move and disconnected. Portable solar chargers are used to charge cell phones, MP3 players, GPS devices, goal zero solar chargertablet computers and laptop computers. The chargers today utilize various types of solar panels, ranging from thin film to monocrystalline panels. With the myriad of choices and applications, there are several things that should be considered when evaluating a solar charger purchase:

  • Built-in Charge Controller – The charge controller monitors the amount of charge supplied to the batteries. Once the batteries reach full charge, the controller will halt charging to prevent overcharging.
  • Device Tip Compatibility – Confirm that the charger is compatible with your electronic devices. There is limited standardization among electronic manufacturers and there are a large variety of tip options.
  • Charge Time Requirements – The more solar cells on the device, thee more watts that can be generated. Most solar chargers have only one or two solar cells and so put out a relatively small amount of power in a short period of time. It is going to take some time in the sun to charge your device. The more solar cells the charger has the more watts of power it can generate and the faster it can charge your devices. When comparing chargers look for the charger with the most output in watts for its physical dimensions and price.
  • LED Charge Indicator – Many solar battery chargers offer a LED indicator that will enable you view the see how near the unit is to a complete charge. if the unit is still charging or full. There are also units that will automatically block sunlight whenever the battery is full. A typical solar charger has adaptors and charging clamps for the batteries.
  • Panel Dimensions & Charger Voltage – The larger the solar panel is typically translates to more solar cells. As the number of solar cells increase, the the more charge that can be transferred to the charger’s battery. For comparative purposes, a solar charger with a 2 watt solar panel has twice the current generating capabilities of a 1 watt panel and a battery rating of a 4 amp hours (Ah) has the capability of holding twice the charge of a 2 Ah battery.

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Product Test: Novothink Solar Surge for iPhone

Anyone who has a iPhone knows that battery life can be a significant issue. Novothink has come up with a solution that harnesses the power of the sun to keep your iPhone up and going, the Solar Surge for iPhone.  One key benefit of this charger over others is that this is the only one to be Apple-certified.

The Surge features a  solar panel on its back, connected to a 1500mAH lithium-ion battery. There are Indicator lights to let you know the status of the charge and the current strength of your light source, while an additional speaker is built into the bottom to compensate for the iPhone’s own speaker being covered. The case also provides a cutout for attaching wrist straps, carabiners, or other clips to charge the device while hiking, biking or other outdoor activities.If you find yourself without adequate sunlight, you can also charge the Novothink Solar Surge via USB. For our first test, we placed battery depleted iPhone into the Solar Surge without charging. We placed the Solar Charge in sunlight for an hour and a half. We then calculated that we were able to get nearly fifty-five minutes of talk time on the iPhone before the phone needed additional charge. We then charged the Solar Surge for sixteen hours to get a full charge. From a full charge, the Solar Surge provided over six and a half hours of talk time on the iPhone. As a bonus, Novothink offers a free app from the App Store that helps you plan for extended trips. The app, Novothink Solar Planner, lets you adjust for sunny or cloudy trips and app usage, and it tells you how long you’ll need to keep the Surge in the sun to keep it – and your phone – juiced up. The Novothink Solar Surge for iPhone is a recommended power solution for iPhone users with the need to keep connected on the go.

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