Best portable solar chargers – buying guide 2021

Our phones have become the center of our daily life to communicate, study or work. Everyone’s dream would be to see the appearance of an endlessly rotating battery that would put an end to this excessive dependence that we have on the battery of our devices. While waiting for this technological revolution, the use of a portable solar charger is  one of the means to keep our phone charged.

Why buy a portable solar charger?

We are here without a doubt in the presence of a very useful product for people who travel, make excursions or for lovers of hiking … given its compact size and ease of use, it is the ideal solution for those who looking for a portable charger.

By using exclusively the sun’s rays, it is possible to save time by recharging your phone or other devices (cameras, speakers, etc.) while moving from one place to another with the solar charger on your back, and without having to use an electrical outlet, which is attracting more and more users.

It is still good to know that this type of charger has a slight drawback compared to conventional external batteries which include an internal battery; Appropriate exposure of the sun’s rays on the solar charger panels is therefore recommended to make charging the phone faster.

How does a solar charger work?

A solar charger is formed by one or more solar panels. Each solar panel is made up of small photovoltaic cells , usually made of silicon (suitable material for the transmission of electrons) which can be high quality monocrystalline or polycrystalline, with lower quality and inferior results.

One of the main constraints of these solar panels, in addition to the material used for its manufacture, is the low amount of energy collected by each individual cell.

It is for this reason that it is necessary to use large panels (which would be impractical in our case) or, which is usually done, to connect several small panels in parallel which will then be connected. deploy to capture a greater amount of solar radiation.

Solar Panel Models: Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline

When choosing a solar panel, the majority of users ask themselves this question: Which is the best? To answer it, you should know that the efficiency of a solar panel will decrease according to the increase in temperature.

More bluish in color, these manage to reach lower temperatures, with a consequent loss of yield, they are recommended for days with full sun.

However, there is no such thing as an ideal solar panel for the whole year. Taking into account an annual average, a better yield will be noticed for the monocrystalline solar panels in the months of low solar radiation and a lower yield in the months of high radiation.

The portable solar chargers of the brands we recommend use monocrystalline panels from the manufacturer SunPower which achieve an efficiency of over 20%.

Therefore, when deciding on a solar charger , the most important thing is to focus on the best price, quality and usage needs without really considering the type of material used for the panel.

What does the power (W) indicated on a solar charger mean?

The power of a solar charger, measured in watts (W), is its panel or the sum of all the small solar panels that make it up. The higher the power and the more panels, the larger the size of the solar charger will be.

However, the power that it is capable of delivering and that delivered to its USB output port are two very different things:

Manufacturers usually limit the power output, the solar charger does not offer all the power that its panel (or set of panels) is capable of providing. The main reason is safety (to avoid excessive overheating) and to extend the life of the panel itself.

In addition, there will always be a reduction in power depending on the conditions of use of the charger: angle of incidence of the sun’s rays on the panel, cloudy days, etc.

Depending on this power, which solar charger to buy?

The greater the output power of the solar charger, the faster the charging of connected devices will be, as the USB ports will have greater capacity to meet the energy demand of each connected device.

However, there are two key factors to consider:

This is the first question you should ask yourself: What devices and how many will the charger need to charge?

It is important to know this because the prices of solar chargers vary a lot depending on their power.

In other words, if you are thinking of charging 2 or 3 devices at the same time, you should go for a solar charger with a higher power.   If, on the contrary, the use is occasional and for a single device like a phone, a charger ranging from 15 to 20W will be more than sufficient for a fast charge.

To obtain a good performance during a very sunny day for example as well as a greater power at the output, it is necessary to place the solar panels so that the solar rays are reflected perpendicularly on them.

Best solar chargers for phone (2021) 🚩

Now that we know a little more about solar chargers, we present to you our selection of the best solar chargers available right now on Amazon:

• VITCOCO 29W
• SWAREY 30W with USB QC 3.0
• BigBlue 42W
• X-Dragon 40W
• Giaride 80W
• ALLPOWERS 100W

Although both products perform the same function, an external solar battery has some differences that may be of more interest to the user:

Flexibility

With an external battery with a solar panel, you can store solar energy in the internal battery and use it later to charge your device.

This feature allows greater flexibility compared to a solar charger , with which you will have to connect the device to be charged at the same time as its exposure to the sun.

Power and charging time

1) The disadvantage of solar power banks is their charging time, the built-in solar panel is very small, therefore the area of sun exposure is small and involves long hours for full battery charge.

However, they can be recharged via the micro USB port like any external battery.

The same problem occurs when you charge a device with the external battery via its solar panel:

2) If the external battery does not have energy stored in its battery and you have to charge it via the “mini” solar panel, the charging time of the device will be much longer than with a solar charger , which, as we have already mentioned, uses several large solar panels and provides greater power (W).

For this reason, from our point of view, external solar batteries should be used as a portable battery, that is, be recharged as much as possible via the micro USB port and use its solar panel only exceptionally.

If you plan to charge your devices directly using solar energy , then we recommend that you use a solar charger that is specially designed for this purpose.

UPDATE

We found this model of the X-Dragon brand which includes 4 foldable solar panels, which reduces the solar charging time unlike some external batteries which only integrate a mini solar panel. Finally an external solar battery which has several panels!

Best solar external batteries (2021)

Although we are more of a solar charger, we still wanted to compile a list of the best solar power banks  available on Amazon:

• Poweradd 12000 mAh
• X-Dragon 24000mAh – QC 3.0 + USB-C PD 18W + Wireless Qi
• Hiluckey 26800mAh – Wireless 5W
• iPosible 26800mAh with 4 Solar Panels
• Aikove 30000mAh – QC 3.0 + USB-C PD 18W + Wireless 10W