Tech Trend: Solar device chargers are here!
Bangalore, June 1 2015: Phone chargers which work from their own solar panels rather than a mains power outlet, are useful items to have if you are often on the move.
A number of models from Rs 500 to Rs 5000 are available on online retail sites. So which one is good for you? Here is quick guide.
Solar chargers come in two types.
- One charges your phone or tablet directly, usually through the micro USB port. These types are very compact, not larger than the phone itself Obviously they will only work in good light. And remember solar charging is much slower than mains based systems.
- The other kind comes with its own power bank of anything from 1000 mAh to 10,000 mAh. It charges the bank when light is available and yu can then charge your phone from the bank whenever you like, day or night. This kind tends to be bulky but more reliable and can cost up to Rs 5000. Some models which double as a torch -- useful when camping outdoors but be prepared to lug around half a kilo extra.
Some double as a torch -- useful when camping outdoors but be prepared to lug around half a kilo extra. For hikers there are also light weight models which use flexible solar panels that can be folded and put in one's pocket.
Solar chargers are rated in watts, not in milliampere hours. You need something between 3 and 7 watts for reliable phone charging.
See our companion piece on Wreless Qi Chargers
See our previous piece on Solar Chargers in Africa