A solar charger uses the sun to put some juice back into your device. But solar chargers aren’t perfect, and one big downside is that they can take a long time to charge your device.
How long it takes depends on the capacity of the solar charger.
You need a solar charger with 5000-25000 mAh to fully charge most of your electrical devices. However, you may get away with a solar charger that has 1500-3000 mAh if you only charge smaller appliances, such as a cell phone.
In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about how solar chargers work, how to determine the mAh you’ll need, and how to pick the right solar charger for your needs.
I’ll also give tips on getting the most out of your solar charger.
Understanding mAh Ratings of Solar Chargers
Solar chargers work by converting the sun’s energy into electrical current. This current is then stored in a battery inside the solar charger, which can be used to charge your devices.
The amount of current a solar charger can store is known as its capacity and is measured in milliamp hours (mAh). This is why you’ll often see solar chargers advertised as “5000 mAh” or “10000 mAh”.
When you plug your device into the solar charger, the stored electrical current flows from the battery into your device, charging it.
The mAh rating of a solar charger will determine how long it takes to charge your devices. A solar charger with a higher mAh rating will take longer to charge your devices but will be able to do so more times before it needs to be recharged.
The power requirements of your devices will also affect how long it takes to charge them. A solar charger with a high mAh rating may be able to charge your devices more quickly if they have low power requirements.
However, your devices’ capacity and power requirements aren’t the only factors that affect how long it takes to charge them.
Solar chargers have different efficiency levels and can only convert a certain amount of the sun’s energy into electrical current.
The efficiency of a solar charger also determines how long it takes to charge the battery. A more efficient solar charger will take less time to charge than a less efficient one. The efficiency of a solar charger is typically between 10-20%.
Moreover, solar chargers lose some of their capacity over time. This is due to the battery inside the solar charger slowly losing its ability to hold a charge.
For this reason, choosing a solar charger with a high mAh rating is essential if you want it to last.
How To Determine How Much mAh You Need for a Solar Charger
When choosing a solar charger, you need to consider the capacity of the devices you want to charge and the number of times you want to be able to charge them.
Every device has a different power requirement. You can find this information in the product manual or a quick Google search.
Once you know the capacity of your devices, determine how many times you’ll need to charge them. If you intend to use the solar charger occasionally, you may only need to charge your devices once.
However, if you want to use the solar charger frequently, you may need to charge your devices multiple times.
For this example, let’s say you have a cell phone with a 3000 mAh battery, and you want to be able to charge it three times.
To calculate how much mAh you need, apply the formula:
Desired capacity = capacity of your smartphone × number of recharges × 1.25
That is, Desired capacity = 3,000 mAh × 3 × 1.25 = 11,250 mAh
Therefore, you would need a solar charger with a capacity of at least 11,250 mAh to charge your cell phone three times.
How To Pick the Right Solar Charger for Your Needs
In addition to capacity and efficiency, there are a few other factors you should consider when choosing a solar charger:
- Ports. Most solar chargers have multiple ports, so you can charge more than one device at a time. Choose a solar charger with the correct number of ports for your needs.
- Price. Solar chargers vary in price depending on their capacity, efficiency, and features. Compare prices to find the best value for your needs.
- Portability. If you’ll be using the solar charger while on the go, choose a compact and easy-to-transport model.
- Durability. To ensure your solar charger lasts for a long time, choose a model made from high-quality materials to withstand the elements.
- Reviews. Before purchasing a solar charger, read online reviews to see what other people have to say about it to avoid solar chargers that are known to be unreliable.
Based on the factors above, I recommend the Tranmix Portable Solar Phone Charger (available on Amazon.com).
It has a capacity of 25,000 mAh, which is more than enough to charge an iPhone 11 about 8 times. I also like that it has four solar panels which make it more efficient than many solar chargers on the market.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Solar Charger
You can do a few things to get the most out of your solar charger and charge your devices as quickly as possible:
- Make sure the solar charger is placed in direct sunlight. The sun’s energy is converted into electrical current more efficiently when the solar charger is in direct sunlight. This will ensure that it stores as much electrical current as possible to charge your devices.
- Avoid using your devices while they’re charging. Using your devices while charging will slow down the charging process and may even damage your devices. So, if you can, wait to use your devices until they’re fully charged.
- Charge devices that are used more frequently first. Devices that are used more frequently will need to be charged more often. So, it makes sense to charge these devices first. This will ensure they’re always charged and ready to use when needed.
- Be patient. Solar chargers take longer to charge devices than wall outlets and will not be able to charge your device at the same speed. Be patient and don’t expect your devices to charge as quickly as they would with a wall outlet to avoid disappointment.
Solar chargers are a great way to charge your devices without relying on a wall outlet. These chargers are powered by the sun, making them eco-friendly and cost-effective.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a suitable solar charger for your devices, but, in general, you should look for a model with the suitable capacity, and mAh rating, to fit your needs.
And by following the tips in this article, you can get the most out of your solar charger and charge your devices quickly and efficiently.
- SUNSLICE: The Solar Panel and the Battery: The Complete Guide
- ChargeTech: How Much mAh Do I Need in a Power Bank
- Plugged In Academy: How much Solar Power do I need to Charge a Phone? Quick Guide
- WindSoleil: What Is mAh?
- Pitaka: 1000mAh to 120000mAh: What’s the Best Capacity for A Power Bank?
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