Some of the best solar gadgets offer utility and convenience, be it indoors or outdoors.
Solar power provides a cheap and clean source of energy, and you can find numerous useful devices that run using energy harnessed from the Sun.
There is a lot that solar power can do, including powering cars and aeroplanes, but you really don’t have to wait for such products to become part of the mainstream to start to benefit. If you’re considering going green, here are some of the best solar powered gadgets you can get.
1. Solar chargers
Solar charges can help you charge a variety of devices, from smartphones, to laptops, to regular rechargeable batteries. Designs of these chargers vary, where while you can attach some to window sills and let them charge through the day, you can also get portable variants. Some such chargers come with internal batteries, so they can provide stored energy in the absence of adequate sunlight.
You can also find integrated units like solar lamps with chargers, and such devices serve more than one purpose.
2. Solar backpacks
If you’re headed outdoors and don’t want to be left without power, getting a solar backpack is a good idea. Solar backpacks have come a long way since their introduction, and you can now expect to find them in an array of colours, styles, and even sizes. Such backpacks make use of sewn in solar battery chargers, with solar panels placed on the bag’s exposed side. These bags can offer multiple charging outlets, so you can look forward to charging more than one device at a time. If you get a solar backpack with a laptop sleeve, you can charge your laptop while it’s in the bag.
3. Solar powered tents
An increasing number of camping aficionados are turning to solar powered tents, and not without reason. You can pitch a solar powered tent just about anywhere, you no longer have to worry about pitch darkness, and you can even charge your electronic devices. The use of LEDs in solar tents is not uncommon, and the number of lights can vary from one model to the next. Such tents tend to come with roof-mounted solar panels, and like conventional tents, they are completely portable.
A newer technology makes use of solar threads woven into conventional fabric, so this gives designers the ability to do away with bulky solar panels.
Take a look at some cool solar gadgets below
4. Portable solar speakers
With the digitalisation of music, taking your music with you no matter where you go is easy, and with access to portable solar speakers you don’t have to limit you experience to headphones. There are a number of solar speakers from which to choose, and many come with protective shells so you can use them outdoors. Some even offer waterproof capabilities, making them ideal for the pool or the beach. Newer models give you the ability to pair Bluetooth devices, doing away with the need for cables. Some such speakers can double up as mobile phone chargers. Some come with dual-modes, allowing you to use power through USB chargers.
5. Solar ovens
Using sunlight to cook food is perhaps the most common use of solar energy, with some communities using solar ovens as the primary mode of cooking. Making your own solar oven is not particularly difficult; all you need is some cardboard, glass, aluminium foil and black paint. Alternatively, you can choose from a myriad of solar oven models. Such ovens sell in different sizes, and you can get models for personal use and ones meant specially for large-scale cooking. One of the world’s largest solar cooking systems, located at a temple in India, manages to cook more than 30,000 meals each day.
6. Solar mobile phones
Mobile phone developers continue to scout for newer ways to incorporate solar energy into mobile phone technology. Samsung had some success with its Blue Earth Solar Phone, which it launched in 2009. This phone made use of recycled and renewable plastic in its making, and its integrated solar panel worked in charging its battery. More recently, Kyocera showcased a smartphone prototype at the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona. This phone makes use of sunlight capturing components just under the touchscreen.
Solar powered devices can give you access to much needed energy just about anywhere, and since the Sun’s not going away anytime soon, you can be sure that this technology is here to stay.