Considering Buying A Solar Mobile Phone Charger?
In 1953, the first modern solar cell was invented by Bell Laboratories in the United States. Researchers had previously discovered that silicone was a powerful semiconductor, and their research is still relevant to this day. Since 1953, solar cells have become smaller, more functional, and increasingly powerful. They have been utilised in many different ways, and are now available in the form of a mobile phone charger.
In situations where you are unable to charge your phone electronically, solar chargers are a viable alternative, and many people are taking advantage of this new technology. Currently, solar mobile phone chargers can take a long time to fully charge a mobile phone battery, but developers are working on ways to make them faster and more efficient.
Looking At Solar Chargers
There are currently many different types of solar mobile chargers available on the market. Some modern mobile phones, such as the Samsung Blue Earth, have a solar panel built into the back of the phone. When the phone is placed in direct sunlight, the solar panel converts the energy from the sun into an electrical current. As photons from the sun fall onto the panel, electrons within the solar cells become active and cause a flow of energy. This energy is then stored in the battery of the mobile phone.
Alternatively, you can purchase a standard solar mobile charger. These are solar panels which connect to the phone via the charger port or USB. Leaving these in direct sunlight will charge the power pack, and it will then store this energy for months at a time. This type of charger ensures that your phone is available to use even when it cannot be electrically charged, and these chargers are often used as emergency back-up options.
Some of the best chargers on the market today include products developed by PowerBee. These are very reasonably priced, and are renowned for being quality products. They are also compatible with most modern mobile phones including the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S series. They are currently the best value solar chargers in the UK.
PowerTraveller is another brand renowned for its high quality products. They have a range which allows the user to not only charge a mobile phone, but other gadgets such as cameras and mp3 players. This is extremely useful if you are away from a computer or mains socket for an extended period of time. Their most expensive product comes with a large 9000mAh lithium battery pack, and the maximum output for the cell alone is 2100mAh. Their products are slightly more expensive, but are well worth the investment if you require a long life battery that will also charge other gadgets.
One of the best all round chargers currently available is the PowerBee Executive. It is reasonably priced at £19.99, and can even be found cheaper through online marketplaces. Not only is it an aesthetically pleasing gadget, it also comes with:
Free USB cable
Internal battery of 3500mAh
Capability to charge cameras, mp3 players, and sat navs
Ability to store an electrical charge for 4 months
As with all technology, there are frequent new developments in the field of solar chargers. Developers are currently working on a solar cell that can attach to a window using a suction cup, and can charge a small battery. It is not yet available in stores due to the fact that it can only charge a 1000mAh battery.
This is a small amount of power, and the solar panel itself is very small and takes 5-8 hours to fully charge. There are also developments in the material that is used to create solar cells. Gallium arsenide is the most efficient solar compound, and developers have mounted it onto flexible backing so it can be used on a wide number of products. Many researchers are focusing on creating prototypes for charging cases for smartphones, and this will hopefully be available in the near future.
Are You Looking At Getting One?
If you are considering getting a solar charger, it is important to remember that they are mainly for situations where you cannot charge your phone normally.
Chargers which connect to an electrical socket are much more efficient, but solar chargers are perfect for people who are regularly without electricity. Your country’s climate is also something you should take into consideration, as these chargers will not be as effective for long-term use in places such as the UK and Scandinavia.
They are, however, a worthwhile investment to take along on a holiday in a hotter climate. If you are lucky enough to live in Serbia, you can take advantage of their public solar charging areas, and they are currently the only country that offers this technology for public use. The chargers are known as ‘Strawberry Trees’ and they allow people to charge their phones whilst on the go.
Solar chargers are a wonderful way to charge your phone and help the environment, but they should only be considered for emergency use or in situations where you do not have access to a mains supply. They currently take a long time to charge, and your location is also a major factor as to how effective the charger will be.
Researchers are continuing to improve this technology, and hopefully this green method of energy transfer will eventually replace traditional chargers.