If you are in the market for solar chargers or already have a couple of them stored and ready for use, then you need to learn how to take good care of them. Failing that, you’ll find that your solar rechargers not only refusing to work properly but actually doing more harm than good.
So without further ado, here are five particularly glaring “red flags” you should avoid when using solar chargers:
Just because your solar chargers are meant to be put under the sun does not mean that they – or the other gadgets connected to them – can tolerate soaring levels of heat.
If the heat from sunlight is trapped in an area and is not able to dissipate fast enough, it could build up to the point where sensitive electronics start to fry. Even the solar panels and solar batteries found on portable solar packs need to be properly ventilated when left out in the open.
This is especially important when it comes to the gadgets leeching power from the solar chargers. One prime example are the backpacks that come with solar chargers. It is a very, very bad idea to leave your phones inside the zipped-up pack while it’s drawing power from the sun, as the heat will most likely fry the electronics if you leave the pack out under the sun.
Assuming Your Charger Will Provide For All Your Power Needs
One very common mistake people make with solar chargers is that they overestimate their ability to charge energy-hungry gadgets and gizmos.
A portable solar recharger pack that’s about 26 inches long and 9 inches wide will only be able to generate on average 10 watts at a time. Smaller micro-chargers that you can carry around in your pocket or come attached to power banks can generate a mere 0.4 watts at a time.
Compare that to your average power outlet, which can churn out up to a whopping 2,400 watts before the breaker trips, and it will be easy to see just how little energy these chargers produce.
Of course, having some energy is better than none at all – especially when you’re off the power grid – but always keep these values in mind whenever you are tempted to assume that you chargers will work as effectively as wall outlets in providing power.
Exposing your chargers to sudden shifts in temperature
If you want to break your solar chargers, then by all means splash them about in cold water or chuck them into a heavily air-conditioned room right after letting them bake under the noon sun for an hour or two.
As mentioned earlier, solar chargers have a tendency to get very hot when left out in the sun. When really hot objects are suddenly exposed to very cold temperatures, they have a tendency to crack and get damaged. This is why it is a very bad idea to expose your solar chargers – especially solar power banks with brittle glass and/or plastic components – to sudden shifts in temperature.
The way to avoid this red flag is relatively simple. Let your charger cool down in the shade before bringing it into an air-conditioned room, and don’t let any water touch the charger. Sounds easier said than done, but that’s all there really is to it.
Make sure to avoid these red flags, and you’ll be able to significantly extend the lifespan of your solar charger by years instead of months!