Solar energy is growing to be quite popular in a variety of different forms and solar power banks are no different. In the news recently, because of new technology from brands and companies like Tesla, power banks seem to be all the rage. However, many people may be lost on what exactly solar power banks are: what are they used for, what do they do, where do you get them.
To keep things clear and try to answer all the questions you may have about solar power banks, here are the most frequently asked questions. From how to use them to what they’re even used for, the answers here will end up making you an expert on all things solar power banks.
Q: What are solar power banks?
A: A solar power bank is a storage unit that produces energy from the sunlight it gains. These portable power banks are easier to carry than other solar power units, which means you can carry these banks around and use them for a variety of different purposes. They get renewable energy from the sun using small solar panels, a lithium-ion battery, and solar chargers and can charge mobile devices like smartphones and tablets via USB ports which act as a battery charger.
Q: What is the best way solar power banks are used? When are solar power banks the most useful?
A: You can really use portable power banks to whatever need you to deem fit. Everyone differs and many people use them for different reasons or scenarios. However, solar power banks are actually quite useful for camping trips or in situations where you’re outdoors and you know there’s going to be no electricity or electricity sockets. Many people use solar power banks for this sole reason.
However, you can really use them for a variety of things. If you need to charge your phone or electronic device and you’re not in an area where you can, you can use your fully charged solar power bank. Again, what you use your solar power bank for is up to you.
It should be noted that most solar power banks, especially the smaller ones that hold less energy, are mainly used for emergency purposes or short time frames. If you’re relying on having power your whole entire camping trip from one little power bank, you’re going to have a tough time. Always make sure to look at your individual model and brand to see just how much energy and power they can store.
Q: How do you fully charge a solar power bank?
A: Like any solar energy technology, a solar power bank needs sunlight. To get a full charge, and to be useful in whatever situation you need it in, the bank needs to be out in the sunlight prior to use. However, there are some smaller solar power banks that you can actually charge by plugging into the wall. Make sure you look at your brand and model prior to buying to see how they are best charged, as many models are now different.
Q: Can you power a whole house by using a solar power bank?
A: It depends on the solar power bank you’re using. If you want to use a solar power bank to power up your house, it means you plan on going off-grid (meaning you won’t be connected to the regular mainframe in your town or area). Most people who use off-grid solar energy live in more rural areas, where it saves money and makes sense to go off-grid.
However, it should be noted that power banks to power a whole house need to be much larger than solar power banks that can charge cell phones (like we were talking about above). The amount of solar power banks you need simply depends on how big your house is and how much power you normally use.
After planning and figuring out that you want to go off-grid, you’re probably going to need more than just one Tesla Powerwall. Many people who live off-grid prefer to have many batteries that can power their whole house instead of relying on just a Powerwall of an LG Chem RESU. A lot of these power banks aren’t used for completely off-grid powered houses—they’re almost always connected to the grid in some way. The Tesla Powerwall is used as a backup and reduces the energy you can send back to the grid, but it doesn’t really work as a completely off-grid option. You’ll likely need more than just one Powerwall to make sure you have no issues and to make sure your house is powered year-round, even on cloudy days.
Q: How do I find out if my electronic device is compatible with a solar power bank?
A: For the most part, the majority of solar power banks that are designed to charge things like smartphones or electronic devices will work with every device. Most solar power banks can be hooked up with any given electronic device because it comes with a USB compatible outlet to plug into. Therefore, you probably already have the wire you’ll use to connect your device to your solar power bank lying around in your house somewhere.
Q: How long does it take for small banks to charge in the sun?
A: For the average battery charge (were ranging about 1500mAh), it’ll take about two hours to charge half of the battery—in ideal conditions, that is. Many batteries actually slow down and take much longer to charge in their cycle towards the end (from 50% to 100%), so it will probably take longer than normal to charge. We recommend just putting your bank out in the sun on a good, sunny day and then leave it. Collect it later on in the night after it has had a full day of sun and you should be good.
Solar power banks are becoming much more popular—and much more useful. Whether you’re looking for a smaller bank that can just charge your electronic devices, a bank to use during camping, or if you’re looking for a large way to go off-grid and power your whole house, solar power banks can be used efficiently in a lot of different ways.