What types of Portable Solar Power Chargers are Available?
With solar panels dropping in price at huge rates (50% over the past 2 years), its clear that photovoltaic (PV) panels are here to stay. Solar technology has made significant strides recently, too. Efficiency (aka conversion) rates are climbing, allowing for greater energy from the same amount of exposure to UV light.
There are many portable solar power chargers on the market now. And each year, more new models are made available.
With two solar blogs and an environmentally-based blog, I've reviewed a number of solar power chargers! Perhaps the most stylish and easy to use are the Voltaic Backpacks, which are fitted with thin film PV panels. Prices range from $199 to $499. The fabric is also eco-friendly, created from recycled soda bottles!
For women, solar handbags are starting to gain prominence, as well. Both types of bags have solar panels incorporated into the fabric and also include USB ports for easy plug-in and charging of a variety of devices.
Love to camp, hunt or fish? Then I'll suggest either the roll-out solar panels, or a solar strap. Again, thin film solar technology is incorporated to allow for flexible, light and very portable solar power.
Obviously, convenience is a key consideration when it comes to keeping your batteries charged. When you don't even notice your power source being toted along with your other gear, that is a huge plus, in my book!
Why Go Solar?
Solar recharging devices are clean, green and convenient. Who could ask for anything more?
When you plug in your cell phone or mP3 device overnight, the charge is usually complete long before the night is. But you are still drawing on (and paying for) electricity thereafter. With portable solar charging devices, you can power up on the go, instead. You'll never waste energy when you use your daily UV exposure to recharge.
Obviously, solar power is a smart move for people that spend many hours outdoors. If you are already getting ample UV exposure, why not use it to energize your devices?
Beyond convenience and practicality, it makes sense to use solar energy instead of grid-based electricity, which is usually coal-based. Did you know that unplugging just a single device overnight each day for a year will save you nearly $100? That's right. Your computer can snooze when you go to bed, and you can charge up that baby during daylight hours as you commute to school or work.
Lest you think that you need bright, full sunshine days for solar energy - think again! Exposure to UV light is enough. Sure, an overcast day may result in a longer recharging time than otherwise, but fog, clouds and even rain should not dampen your solar power goals.
In short, solar energy is 100% clean, renewable and just there for the taking! Its time to put that sunlight to good use.