Best Solar Batteries On The Market
We all know that we need to turn to more sustainable energy sources if we want to protect our planet. Environmental concerns aside, simply guaranteeing energy for the future generation requires some rethinking. However, not all solar products are created equal, so let’s try to find the best solar batteries.
Solar lights and batteries are a significant part of the move toward sustainability. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for the newcomer to discern the good from the bad.
In this article, we’ll review five of the many types of solar battery. You’ll get insight into the storage capacity, lifespan, and disposal of each product.
Some brands are affordable and will carry you through hard times. Others are faithful, if more expensive, and you can trust them to keep working.
Certain brands contain technology that keeps them from overheating. Other types have a design that protects them against overcharging and undercharging. Many varieties focus on avoiding the memory effect when cells “learn” to only charge a certain amount.
When you bring all the different types and possibilities together, it makes for a confusing mishmash of information. That’s why we’re here, to take you through the options and implications.
POWEROWL Rechargeable AA Batteries (x12)
These rechargeable batteries from POWEROWL store and maintain a charge of 2,800 mAh. Compared to many other products, that’s considerably more storage capacity.
However, this can be both a good and a bad advantage. It’s fantastic to be able to store more energy without overcharging your batteries.
If your product won’t use that much electricity, you’ll be recharging a tiny bit of your battery over and over again. It leads to premature self-discharging.
These batteries still maintain a 70% charge after three years of use. Furthermore, thanks to the large storage capacity of the unit, this product can keep your solar lights and other devices running for eight or more hours non-stop.
The POWEROWL rechargeable batteries have a Nickel metal-hydride (Ni-MH) base and are easy to recycle. The average lifespan of these batteries is 2,000 cycles.
Bear in mind that these parts can only function in a temperature range between -4°F and 140°F. If you live in a hot location, you may need to monitor the temperatures if your solar devices might get warmer than this range. Similarly, if you live in a place that habitually falls below 0°F, you need to keep an eye out.
PROS AND CONS
Fantastic storage capacity (2,800 mAh)
Keeps devices running for eight hours or more
Not ideal for cold places (under -4°F)
Not good for very hot places (over 140°F in long-term sun exposure)
Not ideal for devices that use very little electricity
Westinghouse Pre-Charged Solar Batteries (x24)
Westinghouse is a subdivision of manufacturer Camelion. These batteries maintain a charge of 800 mAh, which is relatively average.
The batteries come pre-charged, so you can plug and play. The high-quality Nickel-Metal hydride base means that they’re resistant (though not immune) to memory effects. The choice of battery fluid also means that these items are entirely recyclable.
You can put this product through 2,000 charge cycles before it reaches the end of its lifespan. According to the producer, these battery cells can maintain a charge for up to five years.
Remember that your battery life cycle is dependent on the type of solar cycle you subject it to. If you live in a cold place with little sunshine, the batteries may suffer undercharging. On the other hand, if you live in a scorching environment, they may suffer overcharging.
The battery will have the best life cycle if you monitor the power intake and don’t allow it to overcharge constantly. These batteries can be used in other devices as well.
PROS AND CONS
Pre-charged for optimal results
Lifespan of 2,000 charge cycles
800 mAh storage
Don’t maintain many hours of efficiency when fully charged
Tenergy Solar AA Batteries, Anti-leak (x12)
The Tenergy company generally has a stellar reputation for producing solar batteries. This product has a 1,000 mAh storage capacity, which means it lasts longer.
Purportedly these products can maintain a charge for up to five years, even if not charged or used in that time. The lifespan of each battery is 2,000 charge cycles, so you could get three to five years out of each.
These batteries contain a Nickel-Metal hydride (Ni-MH) base, which holds a charge well and is resistant to memory effects. Furthermore, this base makes it easy to recycle the batteries at the end of their lifespan.
As with most solar cells, the UV index and weather range of your region affect the lifespan. A higher UV index means that batteries charge more quickly and can exceed capacity faster. A lower UV index means that they take longer to charge but don’t have as much strain from overcharging.
This product has both overcharges and overheating protection to help preserve battery life.
PROS AND CONS
Leakage and overcharge protection
1,000 mAh for fantastic power
2,000 charge hour lifespan
Reportedly doesn’t hold a charge long
Difficult to charge once fully discharged
QBLPOWER AA Solar Batteries (x8)
These QBLPOWER batteries have a storage capacity of 600 mAh. They come from the same producer as the GEILIENERGY products. As such, this is a Chinese import.
Purportedly, these devices can last for 1,000 charges and have a lifespan of 25 months. No information is available on the website regarding the optimum temperature range.
These batteries are an improvement on previous models in that they’re resistant to overheating and overcharging. The producer still recommends discharging the batteries fully before charging them again. As with GEILIENERGY products, this isn’t ideal since solar devices charge non-stop.
Thanks to their base material, these products are fully recyclable. The Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) energy storage is less likely to adopt a memory effect than some other bases.
Memory effects happen when you only charge and discharge a certain percentage of the battery repeatedly. As a result, the battery “learns” to only charge that part, even when depleted fully.
PROS AND CONS
Lifespan of up to 25 months
Up to 1,000 charges
Can be used in standard appliances
Only lasts for five or six hours once charged
Requires full charge and discharge cycles to maintain lifespan
Customer complaints about product not charging
GEILIENERGY Solar Rechargeable AA Batteries (x20)
These GEILIENERGY solar rechargeable lights have a storage capacity of 600 mAh. Of the five products in this article, this one has the least power.
GEILIENERGY is a Chinese import, which makes it extraordinarily affordable. As with most batteries, this product does best when allowed to charge fully and then discharge completely before charging again. Unfortunately, this scenario is uncommon with solar devices.
This product is affordable and comes in various pack sizes, including a pack of 20. If you need to replace the batteries on multiple devices, this is an ideal choice.
One distinct advantage to these batteries is that you can charge them in your solar device, then use them elsewhere. This hybrid approach to standard rechargeables and solar batteries is useful in theory.
However, this product may not be able to sustain the same lifespan that a traditional solar battery can. The producers claim that you can charge these 1,000 times before they die.
Since this product is filled with a Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Ca) base, it’s fully recyclable.
PROS AND CONS
Can be used in standard appliances
Small storage capacity (600 mAh)
Only lasts for six hours once charged
Designed for full charge and discharge cycles
BEST QUALITY SOLAR BATTERIES
The POWEROWL rechargeable batteries have a lot to offer. Foremost, they have the highest capacity of the batteries we reviewed. Not only that, but their lifespans can stretch as long as ten years.
Once they’re fully charged, this product can give light for up to ten hours in a standard solar lantern. With their anti-leakage protection, these products are safer than most solar batteries.
BEST VALUE FOR MONEY SOLAR BATTERIES
The QBL POWER batteries take the top position when it comes to value for money. Priced at a nominal $9.99, these batteries have all the high-quality components of their pricier counterparts but with none of the costly “brand centric” fees.
Not only do they last up to 25 months but the overall battery design protects them from the effects of overcharging and undercharging (including memory effects). These QBLPOWER batteries bring together fantastic value for money, superb quality, and safety. Of all the products we reviewed, we consider this the best in terms of customer value.
LONGEST LIFESPAN SOLAR BATTERIES
We’ve already determined that the POWEROWL batteries have the most overall power and capacity. However, when you move those aside, the Tenergy Solla rechargeable batteries have a lot to offer.
These batteries have a 1,000 mAh storage capacity, making them the second-largest product in this review. It can maintain a charge when not in use for up to five years.
As far as charge cycles are concerned, you can get 2,000 full charge and discharge cycles from these batteries. That’s similar to some of the other products we reviewed, but they all lack the stamina this one has.
BEST FOR SMALL DEVICES
When you’re using your solar batteries in small, low-voltage devices, too much capacity is a liability. When you have a monstrous battery and only use one-eighth of its capacity, it will fail sooner. Even products that are resistant to the memory effect can be worn down by repeated partial charging and discharging.
The solution? Westinghouse pre-charged solar batteries have a long lifespan, short charging hours, and less capacity. For small devices, this product’s capacity is perfect because your device can deplete the battery fully. The next day, your battery gets to charge completely again.
For small items that you use constantly, these batteries are the way to go.
We didn’t have to think very much about which product we considered the best. Our vote for the best quality is also our choice for the best product overall. The POWEROWL rechargeable batteries have enough capacity to run both small and large devices.
This product also incorporates a host of safety features that will help keep it from expiring early. In general, the lifespan of this product ranges between five and ten years. Compared to the other products, that’s a huge improvement.
Furthermore, these batteries can run a device for 9-10 hours when fully charged. Most of the other products only offered five or six.
Finally, these batteries are affordable despite their many advantages.
Solar Batteries FAQs
Are solar batteries and rechargeable batteries the same?
Solar batteries are a type of rechargeable battery, but not all rechargeable batteries are solar batteries.
The basic concept is the same: both store energy now for use later. However, standard rechargeable batteries aren’t designed to receive the constant flow that a solar battery does.
Even in a standard battery charger, it’s possible to overcharge a rechargeable battery enough to make it explode. That’s why many modern battery chargers come with an automatic cutoff switch.
Solar batteries receive a constant charge for six to nine hours a day, so conventional batteries aren’t a wise choice. Solar batteries often contain the same compounds as rechargeable batteries, but their cells have a different construction.
Since these types of batteries receive both heat and energy in large amounts, the design makes room for small amounts of dissipation. This technique keeps the battery fully charged without the risk of explosion.
Can solar batteries be charged in a battery charger?
Since solar batteries are full of Ni-CD or Ni-MH, like standard rechargeables, it’s possible to charge them with a battery charger. However, as with the solar batteries versus rechargeable batteries debate, we don’t recommend it.
Within hours of your inserting the solar batteries into the device, they’ll have plenty of charges. Why risk using a battery in a conventional charger if it’s designed to receive and store energy converted from solar panels?
How long do solar batteries last?
The short answer is 12-24 months. However, it largely depends on where you live and what your UV index is like.
Thanks to the high-pressure environment in which they function, solar batteries degrade over time. Every day, the cells charge continuously during daylight hours. While the design allows for some dissipation of excess energy, the batteries begin to self-discharge more and more over time.
If you live in a colder area with a low UV index, your batteries will overcharge less often and last longer. If you live in a hot and sunny climate with a high UV index, you can expect shorter product lifespans.
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It’s not difficult to find the right solar batteries when you know what to look for. You need a battery that charges well, has a long lifespan and isn’t prone to failure. Of course, affordability is another critical aspect. If you use one of our selected products, you can’t go wrong.