Updated: Jan 28
Innovations in the use of solar panels to generate electricity from sunlight have reached all aspects of our daily lives, one of which is the solar charger for laptops. For Nigerian users, solar laptop chargers are by all means, huge game-changers.
Solar laptop charger are a type of portable solar generators. (Read more about solar generators and their counterpart, portable inverter generators here.) They work in ways similar to both a PV system and traditional chargers. As photovoltaic systems, they convert sunlight into electricity. As traditional chargers, they are plug-and-use devices.
Your choice of solar laptop charger depends on your needs and of course, your budget. But generally, solar laptop chargers have the following main features.
Multi-Purpose: Most of them usually come as a kit that includes various plugs and adapters to fit different devices, from smartphones and tablets to laptops.
Some are designed as laptop chargers that come complete with an onboard battery or battery pack which store charge for use when there is no sunlight. These are best described as 'Solar Power Banks'. Power banks are generally costlier.
There are chargers that allow you to draw power directly from the solar panel using your laptop’s charger adapter.
Portable: Almost all brands of solar laptop chargers are portable. They are lightweight, can be folded into a slim-profile and placed inside small pouches to be used at any location.
They are generally more efficient and eco-friendly than normal chargers that use grid power.
They are low-maintenance. They are built to be durable and require only proper handling and use to last long.
Some come with additional features, for example, flashlights.
Water-Resistant: They are all built to be water resistant.
Scratch-Resistant. They are also built with scratch-resistant material.
Warranty: Most of these chargers are backed by up to 2-year warranties.
Indicators: Some come with indicators to show the charging status of your laptop.
They come with hooks that allow them to be hanged at a height.
Some are also able to perform even more sophisticated functions like detecting the type of device that is connected to them.
Small solar energy chargers and power banks are more popular than ever before. In the countries where they are manufactured, they are manufactured for getaways, outdoor use and emergency situations. But as the Nigerian power situation is far worse, solar laptop chargers are by all means, a great option for routine work and activities. While they have not yet become the local rage, they are expected to become even far more prevalent and cheaper as the improved manufacturing processes work to make the price of the technology low enough.
SolarKobo's engineers can help you make the right choice of solar laptop charger.