Review – Mobile Solar Chargers Executive Solar Charger
Back again with my series of posts on portable chargers. This time I’m looking at a 6,000 mAh solar charger. Again this has been supplied from Mobile Solar Chargers.
The “Executive solar mobile charger” is one of several solar power banks (i.e. portable chargers) sold by Mobile Solar Chargers. It’s the second largest that the shop sells. However, it isn’t quite as rugged as the Travel Solar Charger that is also a 6,000 mAh power bank.
The device is similar to other power banks – it has a Micro USB port for topping up the internal battery but only one power-output USB port, and four blue LED charge indicators triggered by a key on the device. The executive charger is cased in a glossy black plastic, with a handle on the top of the device – which is very handy for hanging out in the sun.
It’s disappointing that the charger can only charge one device at once, but at least the port supplies 2.1 Amps. The fact that it has one port, possibly speaks to the best scenario in which to use this device.
Of course, the promise of solar power is free energy from the sky. However, the efficiency of photovoltaic cells is still lower than we’d like. The best way to use this charger is to charge it from the mains before you head off – say on a weekend break. Then, the solar panel will maintain a trickle charge to compensate for the drain incurred by charging your mobile devices.
Most of my time testing the charger was done in the height of summer behind a glass window (I don’t get out as much as I’d like to!). In this situation I found it topped up about 5% day. Of course, glass will attenuate the most energetic sunlight wavelengths quite a lot. Therefore, you can expect that rate to at least double if you leave the charger outside, say by your tent, in direct sunlight all day. I would advise against leaving it on your car’s dashboard, as it will be starved of energetic UV light.
All of that means you have 6,000mAh plus say another 10%-25% (depending on weather) to keep your phone going.
Solar power can be a hard sell – you very much have to consider if solar power is really going to help you out or not. If it will, then this is a good looking solution that you can pick up for £45.