Solar Power - Partial Success

The picture here is misleading. This set-up won't charge a mobile phone I have discovered.

Winter in the west of Scotland is not the place to test solar chargers but even on a gloomy day my multi-meter shows some charge coming out of this system. However, not enough for a phone.

This is a simple, cheap package, bought for about £9 in Maplin’s electronic store. It’s a small plastic box with a molded handle and a lid that is also a 7 volt solar panel.

Inside are grooves in which batteries locate. It takes AAA, AA, C or D size but requires four batteries of the same size and brand each time. First results show it works, but not particularly swiftly. There again, sun has been in short supply.

There’s a blocking diode to prevent reverse charging and an extension lead which can be connected to small electrical devices. Despite fitting Liz's old Nokia telephone the output is too small to charge it.

My plan is to put the unit in an Ortlieb map case on the back deck when touring.

If you want a more effective set up, Axel has written about his and, in the comments, answered a few of my questions.

1 Comments Here:

Michael said...

I have also experimented with similar units and found them lacking as well. However, I have found they help prolong battery charge over the long haul when I regularly rotate my rechargeables through the unit and keep it exposed to the sun every day.