Solar Electric Equipment
Thermal Solar Systems
New Solar Chargers
Sunforce 5 Watt Solar Battery Trickle Charger
The Sunforce model 50022 charger is a 5 watt solar battery trickle charger
that gives you another reason to love the sun. Just plug the this helpful 5-watt trickle charger into your vehicle's 12-volt lighter socket and position the panel to pick up the most daylight possible. This trickle charger is made of durable ABS plastic and amorphous solar cells
It measures 14 x 0.75 x 13 inches and weighs 4 pounds.
Eclipse Solar Gear Nova Solar Camera Bag (Solar Charger)
This solar camera and gear bag gives the photographer an extra power source in the great outdoors. The large cavity bag can handle a digital SLR camera and 3 lenses with room for more accessories. The bag features adjustable dividers and foam to customize the interior to fit your specific camera gear needs. The top cover features an integrated solar module designed to charge extra batteries or other electronic gadgets. It also includes an optional 12V cigarette lighter adapter.
Solar Computer Backpack
Never lose power again with this solar generated backpack. Solar panel powers internal rechargeable battery. The backpack includes a USB adaptor, AC adapter, 4 rechargeable batteries, solar panel, power box and 4 cell phone adaptors.
The interior includes an MP3 player pocket with earphone exit and a
padded computer sleeve. The pack is padded and has adjustable backpack straps and top grab handle. Size: 13"L X 18.5"H X 7"W, Materials: 1200d nylon. Weight is 4 pounds.
Solar Powered Battery Chargers
For many people their very
first experience with the benefits of solar energy may be in the form
of a small photovoltaic battery charger for their cell phone or iPod.
Thanks to the improved efficiency of solar cells and the development
of flexible thin-film solar panels, solar energy is something almost
anyone can use to keep their portable electronics charged when they
are on the run. Solar battery chargers not only reduce your energy costs
(you can spend a lot of money charging up all of those devices) but
they allow users tremendous freedom in where they can use their
portable electronics. Portable solar battery chargers have been a major
boon to outdoor photographers and outdoorsman. No longer do they need
to pack in lots of spare batteries when shooting outdoors. They
just keep their batteries recharged using lightweight portal solar
chargers. Solar chargers have also proven to be of tremendous
value to people in underdeveloped areas where no electric plugs are
available. In places like India and Africa many small villages which
have no power can still make use of cell phones and computers thanks
to these small solar chargers.
Types of Solar Battery Chargers
There are many different types of solar power battery chargers available and
most are targeted at specific types of batteries or devices. The most common types of solar power battery chargers are
- Automotive Solar Trickle Chargers: - There are a
number of solar chargers that are specifically designed for
vehicles. They come with a small solar panel hooked directly to a car
cigarette lighter plug so they can charge your battery without ever
having to open the hood. In talking to people who have used
these small trickle chargers we have found that they are
particularly useful in those situations where your car battery is
being slowly drained by a short or always-on features like a clock.
The solar charger acts like a trickle charger which compensates for those constant losses by replenishing your battery at a maximum rate of 125mAmps per hour in full sunlight.
Most of the chargers of this type do not have a big enough solar
panel to completely charge a 12 volt car battery but they can keep
you from slowly depleting your car battery. All of these types of
devices are equipped with a built-in diode so that at night they
won't in turn reverse the current and drain your battery.
Also, because they usually put out a small charge there is very
little risk they can overcharge your battery. Most of the chargers
of this type design the solar panels so they can conveniently sit on
your dashboard. This allows you to charge your battery while
keeping your car locked.
- Clamshell Solar Chargers: - One
of the more common types of chargers on the market are what might be
called clamshell chargers.
With these type of chargers the
solar panel is put into a folding case which protects the solar
cells and makes the charger easy to carry. These types of chargers
come in a variety of sizes and voltages depending upon the
application. Most will come with a multiple plugs and adaptors
so they can be used with many different portable electronic devices
such as cell phones, iPods, CD players and DVD players. Some
are designed to plug directly into the electronic device to charge
its batteries. Some others provide the option to charge
batteries separately so you can swap them out.
- Folding Solar Chargers: - One of the real
breakthroughs in the field of solar energy in the last few years has been the development
of flexible thin-film solar cells. These cells are now widely
used in portable chargers. They have
a number of advantages. They can
unfolded to allow a much greater surface area to be exposed
to the sun while still being something that you can roll up for
portability. They are less easily damaged than some types of
solar chargers and they are very lightweight. Most weigh less
than a pound but can put out plenty of power when given good
exposure to the sun. Many come with built in grommets or hooks so
they can simply be hung up on the side of a wall or vehicle.
As with the clamshell chargers, most come with a variety of plugs
and adapters so they can be used with many different portable
- Solar Bags and Backpacks: - The new flexible thin-film
solar cells are also being employed in to a wide variety of bags and
backpacks. This includes things like camera bags, bike bags,
briefcases, tackle bags, backpacks and even soft-sided
water coolers. In most cases the bags are specifically
designed to charge the very device that they are carrying. Sometimes
they charge the devices directly and in others they are usually
charging double-A or triple-A batteries in a built in charging
Our goal is to enhance your personal electronics battery life by providing a convenient source of solar energy especially when no other traditional power source is available. Using a solar backpack or any solar charger can extend the use of your personal electronics and contribute to the protection of the environment. Bring renewable energy into your daily life with an eco-friendly Eclipse Solar Gear solar bag!
Tips on Selecting Solar Chargers
Solar battery chargers can be a real boon to the outdoorsman and to
anyone who spends a lot of time on the road. However, there are
some things you should consider carefully when getting solar chargers:
- Plug Compatibility - Standardization has been something
less than successful when it comes to portable electronics.
There are a lot of different kinds of power plugs for cell phones
and portable electronic devices. If you are just going to use
the solar charger separately to charge batteries and then swap them
then this is no big deal but if you plan to connect your device
directly to the charger make sure you have a connector that fits.
- Charge Time - Most solar chargers have only one or two
solar cells and so put out a relatively small amount of power in a
short period of time. It is going to take some time in the sun to
charge your device. The more solar cells the charger has
the more watts of power it can generate and the faster it can charge
your devices. When comparing chargers look for the charger with the
most output in watts for its physical dimensions and price.
- Durability - If you are getting a clamshell type charger
make sure that the charger has a good, durable case to protect the
solar cells. If you are getting a solar backpack or camera
case durability is also an issue for your equipment you are carrying
if not for the solar cells.
- Dimensions - Pay attention to the dimensions of the solar
panel that comes with the charger. A bigger panel usually (though
not always) means more solar cells which is a good thing.
- Heat Tolerance - Solar chargers that are used with
automobiles are often used with the solar panels inside the car.
If you are planning to do this make sure that the panel and its
casing have good heat tolerance because the insides of cars can get
So that's the basics. Check out the chargers that are on the
market and let us know what you liked or didn't like about them so we
can keep our reviews up to date. Thanks!
|We have been getting a lot of questions
lately as to the costs for a solar
PV system and how soon PV systems pay for themselves. It is not always
easy to tell given the host of federal and state regulations. To
provide some clarity on these cost issues we have updated our section on
Typical Costs to reflect the
latest prices and have added a new article on
Calculating the Payback for
a solar PV System. Take a look!
|PV Demand Growing -
Global photovoltaic demand continues to soar in 2010 and is currently projected to double over the rate of installations
year last year, according to Solarbuzz®, a solar energy market research company.
Solarbuzz has raised its 2010 market size to 15.2 GW, which compares with a revised 7.5 GW in 2009.
New Solar Chargers
Brunton Solarport Foldable 4,4 Watt Solar Charger
The compact Brunton SolarPort 4.4 watt Portable Solar Charger. will keep
your electronics charged and ready when no power is available. This Solar
Charger produces enough power to charge small electronics and run cell
phones, GPS units, digital cameras and more. It's made with durable
polycrystalline solar cells and is weatherproof to stand up to the rigors
of camping and backpacking. Includes battery charger for AA / AAA batteries
and has a 12V DC vehicle outlet in the hinge. Dimensions: 9 1/4 x 6 x 1
Solar 2 in 1 Folding Panel, Power supply, AA and AAA battery charger.
This convenient folding pocket solar charger comes with a battery charging unit for charging 4 AA or 4 AAA rechargeable batteries at a time. The power cord has a pre-wired multi-plug connector. It will fit common power supply ports on many electronic devises. The rugged housing unfolds to expose the 6 volt, 200
mille-amp folding solar panel to the sun. It also comes with a belt clip that will
allow you to clip it to your backpack, purse or belt. Rechargeable batteries and cell phone pictured are not included.
Eclipse Solar Fusion Messenger Bag
This bag won the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show for the Best of Innovations. This stylish messenger bag offers a sharp, urban design with an integrated solar charging solution for your hand-held electronic devices. The messenger has pockets for your cell phone and PDA as well as a large cavity for a laptop computer. The Fusion messenger bag features an extra large cavity for storing folders, paperwork, and books. The front flap features a ligh-weight, flexible, integrated 2.5 watt solar charging module. The bag has a built in water bottle pocket, a padded shoulder strap and a top grab handle.