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Can a Portable Solar Charger Adequately Charge Your Devices?

Portable solar panels can charge several different types of devices while you enjoy your outdoor activities. Our rugged, durable and weatherproof foldable solar panels can hang from your backpack while hiking, horseback riding, kayaking or while at a music festival and keep your phone, tablet, and other devices charged while on the go.

What Will a Portable Solar Panel Charge?

Below is a non-exhaustive list of a few of the USB chargeable devices that our 15 Watt and 25 Watt solar panels can charge during your outdoor adventures:

  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • iPad
  • Camera
  • Small Laptop
  • Chrome Book
  • Kindle
  • Portable Speaker
  • Vape Pen
  • Flashlight
  • Radio
  • Electronic Lighter

But What About Other Devices?

Do you have something to charge that you don’t see on the list above? Not to worry, the list is far from complete. Our 15 and 25 watt foldable solar panels can charge almost anything that powers with a USB cable. If you want to know for sure, you just need to do some simple math. There, we said it. We realize most people are traumatized by the mere mention of the dreaded word “math” since their high school days. But don’t worry, it truly is a simple calculation or, in most instances, a comparison.

It All Comes Down To…

Watts! Yes, it all boils down to watts. Every device uses a certain number of watts and every solar panel produces a certain number of watts. As long as the solar panel produces enough watts necessary for the device you are charging, you are good to go.

Here is a simple example. A typical cell phone uses about 6 watts of power when it is on. Our 15 watt solar panel generates up to 15 watts of solar power when exposed to full sun. That is more than enough power to keep your phone charged and powered even if you are using it all day.

But What About Larger Devices?

Say, for instance, the device requires more watts than the solar panel can generate. Not to worry – the solar panel can still power the device, just not at optimal levels.

Let’s do an example with a large device like a laptop. A typical 15” laptop will use about 65 watts when it is running. Our 25 watt portable solar panel produces up to 25 watts when exposed to full sun. While this cannot keep up with the power discharged from the laptop while in use, the 25 watt panel can extend the amount of time you are able to use your laptop. Let’s take a closer look.

You would normally start the day with your laptop battery fully charged. For this example, let’s say the battery holds enough energy to run the laptop for 5 hours with no charger attached. If you hook the laptop up to the portable 25 watt solar panel as soon as you turn it on, and the solar charger is in full sun, it should provide an extra 25 watts, which is approximately 38.5% of the required power (65 watts).  In other words, you will gain an extra 38.5% of the total run time of 5 hours, or approximately an additional 2 hours of run time. Now your battery will last 7 hours instead of only 5 hours.  

Additional Factors

How Do You Use Your Devices? We just discussed using your portable solar panel to get 2 extra hours of life out of your laptop, but that is only occurs if you use the laptop all day.

If you are out camping, hunting, or fishing, you aren’t going to use your laptop all day. It is going to be sitting idle and plugged into the foldable solar charger all day and you are going to get back to camp at night and use it for 1 or 2 hours. With that scenario, the 25 watt solar panel will keep your laptop charged indefinitely and still produce enough extra energy to re-charge your cell phone that you carried with you all day.  

Another consideration is if you are charging for work or for play. While one person may need to use their laptop to check building plans while on a construction site, another person might want to keep their iPad powered up for late night reading on a week-long camping trip. Your daily use and amount of continuous use of your devices plays an important role in the size of the charger needed.