Characteristics and use of solar power bank– Electronic gadgets accompany a person throughout life: at home, at work, in transport, but they have an incorrigible “defect” – they are discharged during prolonged use. To restore the battery life, you have to constantly connect to the mains.
And if there is no outlet nearby? This annoying circumstance catches by surprise on a trip, on vacation outside the city or during an excursion in the mountains. To be left without mobile communication and access to the Internet is akin to a disaster.
How to solve the problem?
In such situations, ordinary users “gritting their teeth” urgently deactivate useful functions, close resource-intensive applications and turn on a low power mode.
This allows you to carve out a couple of hours of work. But did you buy an expensive gadget to turn it into an ordinary “calculator” with limited functionality? Global manufacturers recommend: “When going out of town or to the country, do not forget to take the Power Bank.” The device is just designed to charge modern digital technology far from civilization, in everyday life it is also called a portable “mini-socket” in your pocket.
The device will be very useful when you urgently need to replenish the battery life of a smartphone, MP3 player, tablet or digital camera – any electronic gadgets that support charging via a USB cable.
But here it was not without another “trick” – external batteries do not last forever, and therefore also need periodic recharging.
However, it is possible to get by with “little blood” if you buy a compact Power Bank with a solar battery. The innovative technology has become widespread, and the idea of accumulating the energy of the sun is simply ingenious, because you will not have to pay a penny for the resources consumed. But is everything really as cloudless as it seems at first glance?
Let’s figure it out.
What is it and how does it work?
Solar Power Bank is a handy portable device for everyday use. According to the principle of operation, it practically does not differ from traditional portable energy storage devices.
The appearance and shape of the device depend on the brand and model; the case has connectors for connecting mobile gadgets, and there is also LED indication. Original power banks are equipped with a standard set of adapters for gadgets based on android and iOS. An AC adapter is also included.
The main advantage of solar Power Bank, which is not possessed by other drives, is considered to be a built-in panel with photovoltaic cells. What does this give in practice? The “socket” in your pocket converts solar radiation into electricity
, which is stored in the “bank”. At the same time, during recharging, gadgets remain available for use, which is also an indisputable advantage.
The practicality of portable batteries lies in their compactness and excellent ergonomics. The smaller the device, the more comfortable it is to hold it in your hands. Power Bank is available on sale in the form of a bracelet – the best option for active people.
The principle of operation of a power bank is extremely simple. Place the device in such a way that direct sunlight falls on the photocells. The sky must be cloudless, otherwise the process of energy accumulation will stretch indefinitely.
However, even in good weather, due to the small coverage area of the photovoltaic cells, the Power Bank recharging takes up to 1–5 days. The energy recovery time is affected by the maximum storage capacity. To 100% charge the branded power bank 20,000 mAh, you will have to wait at least 3-7 days (provided that the weather outside the window is favorable).
Therefore, it is more advisable to charge the Power Bank from the mains, and use the free energy of the sun when you are outdoors.
Additional equipment depends on the specific model – some “banks” are equipped with stylish digital indicators that notify the user about the current charge level, others provide Wi-Fi access points, flashlights and other “chips” – they are useful, but consume energy.
The solar powered PowerBank most commonly uses lithium batteries. Recharging from the mains takes several hours, from the solar panel – up to 5-10 days.
What parameters are important to consider when buying?
When choosing a power bank, you need to find a compromise between practicality in use, battery capacity and cost. For “forays” into nature, it is enough to purchase ultra-compact devices.
If you often travel by public transport or are going on a hike, it makes sense to buy a solar power bank with a large capacity battery. For car owners who spend a lot of time driving, it will not be superfluous to additionally purchase a car inverter.
The Power Bank charger is available in two versions: plastic or metal case. If you are constantly on the move, it is better to choose the latter option, since metal batteries are resistant to wear and tear and mechanical damage. The case usually has several ports for charging equipment – a standard USB port, as well as a micro / mini connector. The power bank must be chosen based on the technical characteristics, interface and configuration.
Here are the key points to look out for when buying:
- maximum battery capacity;
- maintained charge current;
- ergonomics and ease of use;
- additional functions.
The brand of the device is also important. Chinese manufacturers of Power Bank with a solar panel often use low-quality photocells, which is why external batteries simply cannot cope with the functions assigned to them.
In order to attract buyers to their products, they inflate the passport data of the device; in the end, the buyer receives a simply beautiful device that cannot even cope with charging a regular mobile phone.
When choosing a device based on photovoltaic cells, first decide which gadgets, as well as how much, you plan to recharge. If you connect 2-3 smartphones to Power Bank, then the device’s capacity must exceed the total battery capacity of mobile phones, otherwise charging will take a long time.
Modern models have a capacity from 1500 to 20,000 mAh – the higher this parameter, the more times it will be possible to recharge the equipment while away from the electrical outlet.
For the general picture, it is desirable to consider the capacitance together with the voltage that is generated during the recharging process. In addition to the resource intensity of the Power Bank, which is measured in mAh, it is imperative to take into account the voltage value of the lithium cells. Usually this figure does not exceed 3.7 V.
To recharge a smartphone, you will need to generate an output voltage of at least 5 V. This means that you will have to spend part of the useful energy to ensure the correct operation of the boost circuit.
Therefore, when choosing a power bank with a solar battery, one must also take into account the amount of stored energy, which can be easily calculated using the following formula:
1 W / h = 1 Ah * 1 V.
It follows that one and the same Power Bank for 20,000 mAh, but with different voltages (for example, 5 V and 10 V) will have different indicators of the amount of stored energy. At the output, you get a voltage of 100 and 200 watts, respectively. Let’s consider in more detail how this happens in practice.
If you have purchased a charger with photo panels with a capacity of 20,000 mAh, and you want to use it to replenish the energy resources of a smartphone, the battery of which is designed for 2000 mAh, do not think that you will be able to charge it 10 times.
In the best case, even 100% of the power bank’s charge is enough for 3-4 recharging cycles. The rest of the resources will be spent on providing the required voltage. Please note that if a voltage of 5 V is sufficient to charge smartphones, then for productive laptops the optimal indicator fluctuates between 12-20 V.
When choosing, take into account the magnitude of the current – the time of one charging cycle depends on this parameter. Today, there are universal models of Power Bank for 2 or more USB ports, which produce different amperage. For smartphones or MP3 players, a 1 A port is sufficient, while tablets and laptops usually require at least 2–2.5 A.
Device package and charging options
The wider the choice of adapters, the wider the range of mobile devices that can be recharged in field conditions. Power Bank devices are not deprived of such “gadgets”. And yet, when choosing a specific model, ask if there are adapters in the kit specifically for your mobile devices.
In addition, a reliable external battery must have an additional mains connector for recharging from the mains. This is very important because charging the battery from photocells usually takes a long time. What is the reason for this?
In many models, thin-film photovoltaic panels are used, the efficiency of which, even in cloudless weather, is kept at the level of 4-5%. To quickly charge mobile devices, it is best to purchase batteries with high energy efficiency photo panels that are foldable for easy transport and storage.
How to choose a device for beginners?
In order not to be mistaken with the choice of Power Bank, it is advisable to decide on the parameters of the device in advance.
If you plan to charge only smartphones or tablets, purchase “banks” with a power of 3-5 watts. To charge laptops, it is better to buy a fancy power bank with an output voltage of at least 20 V and a charging current of 3 A. And most importantly – always pay attention to the cost of the device.
Chinese devices attract users with their original design and low cost, but in practice they are of little use for exploitation.
Non-observance of assembly technology and low quality of materials affects. Saving on quality is a waste of money. It is better to give preference to proven global brands that are trustworthy and value their own reputation.