It may happen that you are on the move on the highway, or are planning to go somewhere backpacking for some days, but also need to exchange some important business emails during the course of the trip. Under these circumstances, more often than not, you won't get access to electricity to get your laptop charged. If you find yourself in such a fix, purchasing a solar laptop charger is the way to go. Solar power is an everlasting source of power. Even, if you are traveling across the middle of the Arizona desert, or tanning yourself on a far-off Miami beach, you won't have to take the extra efforts to get it charged. A portable solar charger will provide you with the requisite battery charging to help you take care of your business.
As the name suggests, this charger helps in charging the laptop battery using solar energy. Solar-powered battery chargers have acquired a new meaning in the recent times, with the burgeoning electricity costs, and the development of the energy conservation approach. They can generate about 50 to 70 watts of power, which is enough to fulfill the requirement of your battery for at least the time you urgently require the laptop. An LED logo is present in most of them to indicate the light hitting the solar panel.
The most important aspects, which you need to consider before purchasing one, are its size, weight, and power specifications. Make sure that it collects enough solar power throughout the day to provide it with a full charge. Nowadays, these chargers also double-up as a case for the laptop. Let us see which are the best ones available in the market.
You can use the various automotive solar battery chargers to serve the underlying purpose using a car battery socket and vice versa. Also, there are many portable solar panels available like the Brunton Solaris or the Brunton SolarRoll, which are flexible enough to be folded for transport, and they come with varying wattages to provide you a sizable energy output. Following are some of the widely used ones with favorable reviews:
Made from recycled material, it is lightweight, waterproof, and UV resistant, and it comes with 15 watts of power, with total peak output at 20 volts. Depending on your laptop, one hour of charging in the sun can provide 12 to 45 minutes of runtime. It has a 70-watt hour capacity, and the battery can be fully charged with five hours of sunlight. It can fit about 17" MacBook Pro, so size is also not an issue. It can also be used in case of various cell phones and handheld electronics, for which one hour of solar charge is enough.
It has a 24 volt and 5 volt USB socket, making it one of the ultimate renewable power stations for your laptop, mobile phone, iPod, and many more devices. It is portable, and its fold-up design protects the solar panels. It is water-resistant and weighs only 1.5 pounds. It is compatible with most notebooks, iPod, iPhone, PDAs, and many standard cell phones. It has two photovoltaic solar panels, generating an electric current when they are exposed to light. Its green LED indicates the strength of charge. If the UV intensity is more, it works better. The technically advanced solar panels are housed in a tough outer casing, thus ensuring superb power and reliable performance.
Its CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) panel is said to be the most efficient thin film solar panel for electricity generation. It comes with a maximum of 52 watts of power specification, with 12 volts output for operating laptops, digital cameras, DVD players, etc. It is sturdy yet lightweight, waterproof, and requires little maintenance. It has a built-in reversing diode and charge regulator that prevent the solar array from discharging your battery at night. Charging time may vary from two to three hours depending on the sunlight.
These are some of the best portable chargers available in the market. Of course, as the technology used to produce solar energy is new, or in lay terms, is a work-in-progress, they are a bit costly, ranging from USD 150 to USD 400. However, it is certain that these costs are going to come down in the coming years. There will come a day when they will become the most important accessory to have with your laptop, given the energy concerns all over the world.