The sun is a beautiful thing, and solar battery chargers are beautiful too, answering some problems for which there was no solution just a few years ago. The latest battery chargers which are powered by sunlight are very different from the offering with which you may be familiar, the automotive solar panel which promised to keep your battery topped up, even if you only drove to the mall infrequently.

Of course, if you want you can still buy a solar battery charger to use on the car, motorcycle or RV that you only use occasionally, and it will keep your battery in good condition so that your vehicle will start when you want it. This might even be your best option if you leave your jeep or ATV at your remote weekend cabin in the mountains.

However, with the plethora of electronic devices with which we seem to load ourselves up nowadays, there are a wealth of other options and opportunities for solar power to help keep us in touch and entertained. Solar panel manufacturers have not been slow in noticing and filling this gap, to everyone’s benefit.

solar charger

Photo: by Iamnee

The solar charger which is fairly universal is the one that you can use with regular nickel-cadmium or the newer nickel-hydride rechargeable batteries. You can get chargers that take the whole range of sizes, from AAA through AA and C, up to D size. You may wonder why you wouldn’t just use a mains powered charging unit – but if you travel internationally, this charger would be just the thing to save buying all those mains adaptors for different countries’ standard outlets. It’s also great for charging “on the move”.

The other approach which is right in tune with modern technology is the universal charger for electronic devices with rechargeable batteries, such as cellphones and MP3 players, an example of which is the solio solar charger. This comes with a variety of interchangeable tips for plugging into your device, and features a built-in rechargeable battery, so you can charge the charger, then charge your device later! This really epitomizes portable power.

You may be wondering about the effectiveness of these chargers – for instance, if you went abroad to England, you might find it was raining all the time! Well, whether or not the rain happens, solar panels are sensitive and provide a usable output even on overcast days. You can help the output by orienting the panel towards the sun. Solar battery chargers have found a useful place in anyone’s set of gadgets.

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