A solar laptop charger sounds like the perfect accessory for our times.
The portability of a sun-powered charger really suits the mobile lifestyle that we’ve grown accustomed to.
Also, since a solar charger takes advantage of clean, renewable solar energy, it’s perfect for our eco-friendly era.
To top it all off, laptop solar chargers are available in many different varieties so you can express your originality through the purchase of a mass-produced gadget.
Sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it?
There is one question we should ask, however, before we all run out and buy one of these portable power producers:
Will a solar-powered laptop charger actually produce the power our laptop needs?
After all, solar cell phone chargers and solar iPod chargers work great, but they don’t have to provide the amount of power that a laptop requires. When it comes to powering up a MacBook Pro or a VAIO, you’re going to need some serious portable power.
Let’s take a look at some of the solar charger options available and see what we can expect when we decide to power up a laptop with the power of the sun.
First off, we’ll consider one of the folding solar chargers that might be able to give you the computing power you need.
The bonus with folding chargers like the Brunton Solaris 26 is that, when unfolded, they can cover a large area to collect a lot of sunlight. They can then fold back up into a convenient size that you can throw in your backpack or bag.
The Solaris uses high-efficiency CIGS technology to produce 26 Watts of solar power for your computer, but is this enough to run your laptop with the power of the sun?
Well, a laptop generally requires about 50-80 Watts, so the short answer is: No.
This doesn’t mean the Solaris 26 isn’t a good choice, however, it just means that it will not have the power to run your laptop on its own. What it can do is charge your laptop battery to keep it topped up and provide you with extra computer time.
Next, let’s take a look at a roll-up solar charger that gives your computer the clean energy of the sun.
The SolarRoll 14 by Brunton provides 14 watts of power in a convenient, waterproof package. Now this won’t be enough to power your laptop by itself either, but it is a
great supplemental source of power to keep your
battery topped up.
Also, when the panel is rolled up it fits easily into a backpack or suitcase.
There is also a solar laptop charger that kills two birds with one stone. How about a laptop case that doubles as a solar charger by incorporating solar panels into its design?
That’s the idea behind the Voltaic Generator. This laptop bag features 15 Watts of high-efficiency monocrystalline power. The bag also includes a battery pack with about the same capacity as a laptop battery.
This panel/battery combo is a great idea since you can store power whenever the sun is shining and use it at your convenience.
The Voltaic Generator is also able to power most other gadgets you might be carrying out and about.
So here’s the bottom line on a solar charger for your laptop: It’s a great way to keep your laptop battery topped up and extend your computing time but don’t expect it to power your laptop on its own.
As long as you know what it can and can’t do, a solar laptop charger is a great way to harness the power of the sun no matter where you are.
So on your next camping trip, why waste your time with the majesty of nature when you could be updating your facebook status instead?