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The hike was exhilarating, but you lost your way! You look east, west, south, and north, and everything looks the same.
Your heart is pounding because you know that one false move will take you into the middle of nowhere. You look at your phone to make a call, but the battery is giving red warnings- the phone will be dead if you attempt to dial a number.
No, electric sockets to charge your phone and call for rescue. Your power bank has also run out of power!
What do you do? If only you could harness solar power to charge your phone! If only you had a solar power bank, you could sigh in relief! Wait! Power banks with solar panels exist in the market today.
But you might wonder can you charge a power bank with a solar panel? A power bank can be charged with solar panels. You can use a small and durable solar panel to help restore your power bank’s power even without access to a power outlet or electricity supply, particularly for those living off the grid.
This article discusses solar power banks and how you can use them to charge your devices. Read on to find out.
You might also enjoy reading: 6 Best Batteries for Solar Power Storage (with their advantages and drawbacks)
What Are Solar Power Banks?
Solar Power Banks are lightweight, durable, compact solar panels that can absorb sunlight and convert it into electrical energy to charge your power bank, even in the remote parts without access to an electricity supply nearby for days.
But to use these solar panels to charge your power bank, you need to know more about charge capacity and cell voltage to get the most out of them. This article will show you how to charge a power bank using solar panels and which type you can charge with panels.
If you are interested in investing in a solar power bank, I suggest you consider BLAVOR Solar Power Bank is among Amazon’s best and most highly ranked solar power banks.
How Do I Charge My Power Bank With a Solar Panel?
Your power bank and its solar panel system should be integrated to allow the system to work efficiently. Like most storage batteries, power banks are fitted with lithium-polymer batteries or lithium-ion that you can charge using solar panels.
You will notice that your power bank comes with a USB port or high-voltage input and a suitable adapter. The USB port is used when charging the power bank via electricity or solar panels.
If you are away from electricity, you can place your solar panel facing the sun. They will absorb the sunlight and convert it into electrical energy. The energy is then made available for power banks through a 5-volt USB output point.
However, sometimes during intense sunlight, the panels can generate excess electricity.
How do you prevent your power bank from overcharging? Investing in a solar charge controller is essential to control the amount of solar power entering the power bank. Besides preventing overcharging, the solar charge controller helps extend your battery life.
How Does a Solar Charge Controller Work?
It acts as a regulator, delivering power from the solar panels to the system before loading the energy into the power bank. When the power bank is almost full, the solar charge controller will regulate the charging current to maintain the needed voltage, thus preventing energy overload.
Some solar power banks have an embedded solar panel, making it easy to carry and use when camping or hiking. They are ideal travel companions if you want prolonged adventures in areas without electric power.
If you live off-grid or are an adventurous person planning to keep your phone, iPad, or tablet charged away from the conventional power source, the solar power bank is the way to go.
How To Use Solar Power Bank To Charge?
You need to know important things when using a solar power bank.
Read the user’s manual. Ignoring the users’ manual is easy because solar panel power banks are easier to use. Once you know how to plug your device into the power bank and it works, you could be tempted to rip off the manual without even reading it.
However, it is not just the “how to use” that is important; you also want to know.
- How to maintain its performance.
- How to keep battery life longer.
- How to preserve your solar power bank capacity.
Where do you get this information? You guessed right- in the users’ manual. So, take time to read it.
Charge The Solar Power Bank
You can charge your solar power bank using two power sources.
Charging via electricity involved plugging the power bank into an electric socket. The power from the grid is stored in the power bank for future use when needed.
2- The sun
We are interested in this power source because solar panels should utilize sunlight. Different power banks have different types of solar panels.
A solar power bank with more solar panels will likely be more efficient in using the sun to charge power banks than those with few solar panels.
For instance, if a power bank only has one solar panel on one side, you may use the panel as an additional charging option. If you rely on this type of solar panel as the primary charging option, you will wait for many hours, if not days, for the power bank to charge fully.
You will likely charge the power bank using electricity before heading for an adventure and use the sun to supplement the power until you come home.
On the other hand, if your power bank has several monocrystalline solar panels, you can rely on sun exposure to fully charge the power bank.
Monocrystalline solar panels perform better than polycrystalline, especially when there is intense sunlight. So, you could shop for power banks with thin film monocrystalline solar panels if you live off-grid without electricity. This will keep your device on throughout the adventure.
Charging Your Mobile Device With a Solar Power Bank
Once the solar power bank is fully charged, you can use it.
But how can you do it?
- Connect the USB end of your device charger to the power bank.
- Insert the other end of the USB into your device’s charging port.
You can charge more than one device using your power bank since most come with multiple USB ports. You will see these ports on the head of the solar power bank.
Check the Amp output of the solar power bank’s charging ports. The ports you use to charge a smartphone should not be more than 1 amp. If the port emits 2 amp, you may damage the phone’s battery. Ensure you read the power bank user manual to find more information.
What Tells You That Your Power Bank Is Fully Charged?
Check the light indicators; they will tell you how much solar power you have stored in the power bank. Most solar power banks have 4 indicators, and here is what they mean.
- One light shows 25% charged.
- Two lights show 50% charged.
- Three lights indicate 75% charged.
- Four lights indicate 95% charged.
These readings may not be 100% accurate for safety reasons; otherwise, you may overcharge the power bank. But you also want to ensure that you don’t completely drain the power bank before recharge.
If you completely drain the power bank, you may need electricity to boost it before charging it with solar. Charging it when the light indicator points to 50% is better.
How Long Will I Charge My power Bank With Solar Panels?
It depends on several things:
- The number of solar panels: A power bank with more solar panels will charge faster than a few.
- The type of solar panel: Monocrystalline solar panels will produce more power on sunny days. On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels may perform better on cloudy days.
- Weather and season: Your solar power bank will charge faster when the sun is bright in the summer than in cloudy winter seasons.
On average, a solar power bank of 25,000mAh will take between 25 and 50 hours of intense sunlight to charge fully. We are assuming ideal conditions for harnessing solar energy.
Can I Use My Phone While Charging With a Solar Power Bank?
You use your phone while charging with a solar power bank, but waiting until your phone is charged before using it is better. Charging your phone while charging with a power bank, put the battery in series with your smartphone. If the battery is in line with your device, it causes high power draw and heating, which may reduce your battery lifestyle.
I recommend reading the user manual to know the manufacturer’s guidelines on using the solar power bank.
How To Choose An Ideal Solar Charger For My Power Bank?
There is no one-size-fits-all solar charger for charging your power bank. Your choice will depend on your preference and needs. Fortunately, the industry is full of solar panels in different sizes, power ratings, shapes, and brands.
Nevertheless, here are common factors many look for when choosing a solar charger for a power bank.
- Wattage: A solar panel with more power watts will produce more solar energy and charge your power bank faster.
- USB outputs: You want a solar panel with versatile USB ports that can charge phones, power banks, MP3 players, etc. A solar panel charger with many USB outputs allows you to charge many devices simultaneously.
- Charging technology: Most modern solar panel chargers come with smart charge technology, which enables them to charge your devices efficiently. Smart charging technology also helps to prevent overcharging and overheating since it identifies the device and changes the charging rate accordingly.
- Portability: If you love traveling and adventure, the size and weight of a solar charger are vital. You could benefit more from a lightweight and small-sized charger because it is easy to carry on a backpack.
What to read next:
- How to Choose Batteries for Solar Panels? (7 Best tips!)
- How to Get Solar Panels from Government for Free?
- How Long Can Solar Panels Last Without Sun?
Using solar panels to charge your power bank is environmentally friendly and can save you where electricity is unavailable. Hikes, travelers, and the adventurous will undoubtedly benefit from portable solar chargers.
You can charge your power bank with solar panels to charge your devices wherever you are. Whether you live off-grid or need the power to supplement your existing energy source, solar panels are ideal for ensuring your power bank is fully charged.