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Photo of a small solar panel and portable battery, suitable for charging a smartphone.
The best solar phone charger (solar panel and battery pack tested)
If you want to use solar energy to keep your smartphone or portable electronics charged, you can find hundreds of choices on Amazon. We took a close look at a few of them in an earlier article. While some of them do a pretty good job, it’s also true that most of them don’t work nearly as well as most people expect. If a product is advertised as a solar phone charger, you generally expect it to actually charge your phone on a sunny day.
Photo of an Anker portable solar panel.
5 Portable solar panels with USB ports
Does your life involve taking lots of little electronic devices with you? Do you constantly worry about how much battery charge you have? Is the nearest outlet sometimes too far away? The solution that people typically reach for is an external battery. These are great and cheap, but suffer from a couple major flaws. First of all: you need to remember to keep them charged. If you have difficulty remembering to charge your phone, with an external battery now you have two things to keep track of.
Solar powered generators: 3 options for clean, portable power
Whether you’re a camper, boater, someone who wants backup power for occasional blackouts or an uninterruptible power supply for important equipment such as a home server or computer, a solar generator can be a great option that also happens to be more environmentally friendly. A solar generator isn’t a generator in the same way that a traditional gasoline generator is. There’s no engine inside: instead, a solar generator consists of a large lithium-ion battery and one or more solar panels to recharge it.
Example of a solar powered garden light
Best solar landscape lighting for your garden or patio
Those little solar powered landscape lights that you can buy almost anywhere are convenient, and look great too. The best part is being able to add landscape lighting to your yard without having to run wiring. Just stake them into the ground wherever you want, and you’re done! Where are often aren’t so great is product quality. I’ve thrown away a lot of cheap solar lights before concluding that I needed to spend a little more money to get something that I wasn’t going to break after only few months.
Photo of a Goal Zero solar kit with power station/battery storage.
Solar panel kits for RV, camping, and other off-grid uses
If you like to get off the grid, whether it’s roughing it in a tent, or you’re more of a “glamper” who likes to stay comfortable in a boat or RV, you probably still like to have electricity to keep your devices powered. We’ve written articles about some of the solar technology you can use to make this happen, such as flexible solar panels, charge controllers, and solar phone chargers. However, if you have big power requirements that involve keeping a larger battery charged, things get a little more complicated.
Top folding solar panels for portable off-grid use
If you’re reading this during coronavirus times, you might be giving the idea of getting out of town and going off the grid more thought than usual. Whether that’s the case or you’re just normally into outdoor activities like camping, boating, or hunting, one thing that most people want is portable power. You might only need to keep some low-power devices charged like some phones or a tablet, or you might have more extensive electricity needs for things like a portable fridge to keep your drinks cold.
Everything you need to know about flexible solar panels (and recommended 4 products)
All of us are packing more and more energy-hungry devices with us all the time. Smartphones, tablets, cameras - indispensible little things that we need to keep charged all the time. If you’re into outdoor activities that take you off the grid, keeping your devices charged starts to be a challenge if you’re away from a power outlet for a day or more. If you only need a little power, portable batteries are good for a few charges of small devices.