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Solar power is becoming a more common thing. Today, this goes beyond solar panels for your home, they now have solar power banks. These devices boast being able to hold a charge. This is so you can use the energy to power your smart devices, flashlights, tools and a host of other handheld appliances that require electricity.
But do solar power banks work? Yes, solar power banks work. They’re portable, convenient, energy-efficient and come in handy. But, whether they’re worth having or not will largely depend on preferences, applications, and other intended uses.
Is It True Solar Power Banks Work?
While it is true that solar power banks work in general, this will depend on the type, model and brand you have. One made by a more reputable and reliable brand will be far better than one made by a little-known one. So, when shopping around, ensure you do your due diligence and perform some deep research on the ones you find.
What Is a Solar Power Bank?
A solar power bank (see Amazon) is a portable energy storage device that supplies power from a built-in USB port. It does this via collecting the sun’s rays. These devices are commonly small and compact. However, there are some models that are much larger and can handle a bigger capacity.
How Do Solar Power Banks Work?
Solar power banks work by storing energy directly from sunshine through the tiny solar panels built into the device. Inside the bank is a battery pack that fills up with converted sunlight. This battery then charges and powers things such as smartphones, speakers, flashlights, power tools and so much more.
The USB port is what makes it possible to use the energy for these things. However, larger styles of power banks will offer several outlets and often multiple USB ports. So, you should also make a note that the larger the power bank, the longer it will take to fully charge.
What Do You Look for in a Quality Solar Power Bank?
While solar power banks can be a great and handy device for powering nifty gadgets, it’s important to know what makes up a good power bank versus a sketchy one. Consider the following points when you begin shopping:
- It should be clear what the estimated ranges of charging time will be; whether using the sun or a power outlet.
- Manufacturer should list how the bank performs on a cloudy day.
- The battery capacity will be important; different models offer varying degrees of capacity. The output will come in units as either mAh (amperes per hour) or Wh (watts per hour). Wh is more reliable.
- The battery’s lifespan will also be a crucial aspect to the device.
- The type of battery the solar bank has will also be important. There are three kinds: Lead-acid, saltwater or lithium-ion. The one that will be best will depend on various factors that weigh upon your preferences, usage and intentions for the solar power bank.
Are There Limits on What You Can Use a Solar Power Bank?
You cannot power an entire house with a single solar power bank. Even with the larger, generator-type models, anything like a car, house or even a large appliance will not benefit from using a solar power bank. For this, you should have solar panels installed.
Solar power banks are for collecting energy to use on smaller, handheld devices. You can power the following with a solar power bank in relative certainty:
- GPS Systems
- Other Battery Packs
- Portable Radio/Speaker
- Small Power Tools
There are some larger solar banks that can run a small appliance, such as a hair dryer, curling iron or a blender. But this will depend on the manufacturer and the battery capacity of the device.
What Is the Difference between a Solar Power Bank and a Solar Charger?
During your search for a solar power bank, it is inevitable that you’ll come across solar chargers. As you probably guessed, these are very similar in concept but very different in function. The difference between the two is a matter of storage.
Solar power banks, as you know, store energy in batteries which you can then use at a later time. A solar charger will only work as it sits in direct sunlight with the device connected to it. It doesn’t keep energy for later use.
Solar power banks definitely work. They’re convenient and portable devices that allow us to get some quick energy on the go. It’s invaluable when your smartphone suddenly runs out of juice or when you want to prevent your speakers from dying out during that great song. Of course, how well a solar power bank works will depend on the model and what company makes it.