Solar Cell Phone Charger – Innergy Power 22W Solar Folder Review
Do you need to recharge your mobile phone where there is no place to plug in your charger? The Innergy Power 22W Solar Binder offers a convenient and reliable way to use sunlight to charge your cell phone or PDA.
Severe weather this winter downed power lines and caused prolonged power outages for millions of Americans. After the weather cleared in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, it still took several days to restore power. Recharging a phone in these conditions can be challenging, but if the sun is shining, a solar charger can get the job done. However, keep in mind that many solar chargers have small, inefficient collector surfaces that charge very slowly. Innergy Power 22W solar binder has a whopping four square feet of solar collector surface area, greatly reducing charging time.
The solar binder consists of three lightweight fiberglass solar modules packaged in a zippered ballistic nylon box. When closed, it is an attached slim case with a comfortable handle and shoulder strap that makes the unit easy to carry. There is also a side bag where you can store your cell phone, adapter cable, and a first aid kit or other items.
The binder comes with a cigarette lighter socket at the end of a 10 ‘cord. Take it on a desert trip in your backpack and you can stay in touch with the world you left behind in the event of an emergency.
How does it work
Operating the solar binder is very simple. Just put it in a sunny place, open the panels and connect your cell phone or PDA with a car power adapter. This winter, with the sun at a relatively low angle to the horizon, I oriented the panels to maximize sun exposure by placing the open folder on a board that rested on a pair of sneakers. You can lay it flat on the ground or on your patio deck in the summer when the sun is highest.
As soon as the sun hits the modules, they start generating electricity and the cell phone’s charging light glows green. There are no moving parts, no noise, and no mechanisms to wear out.
What else do you need
If you don’t already have one, you will need a car power adapter cable and power tip to connect your specific cell phone model to the solar binder. You can buy them at most stores that sell cell phones or PDAs. The model I use is made by iGo and it allows me to connect my cell phone to the cigarette lighter in my car. You can also order one for your specific phone at iGo.com. Mine is around $ 40.
What to expect
The time it takes to fully recharge your mobile phone or PDA depends on the amount of solar energy available, which in turn depends on latitude, time of day, season, and amount of cloud cover. I benchmarked a Sony Ericsson T610 in December on the terrace of my apartment on the central coast of California. Lux levels were recorded every hour.
Test 1 started on 12/19/06 at 11:30 AM under clear skies. Lux levels ranged from 86,500 to 98,000 with a mean of 93,250. The charging time was three hours.
Test 2 started 12/20/06 at noon under high cirrus clouds. At 3:30 PM the sky was cloudy and the test stopped. It rained for the next two days. Testing resumed at 12:15 PM on 12/23/06 under cloudy conditions. Over the entire testing period, lux ranged from 9,800 to 88,000 with an overall average of 49,496. The total charging time was 5.5 hours.
Conclusions: On a clear winter day, my cell phone was fully charged in three hours. Charging time rose to 5.5 hours in cloudy conditions.
How much is it
The 22W solar binder is priced at around $ 170. You can also add an auxiliary battery, which allows you to capture and store solar energy during the day and then charge your cell phone at night, for around $ 100.
Using the Innergy Power 22W Solar Binder charger shows that you support energy conservation and are doing your part to reduce global warming. Definitely cool; maybe one day we will all be Speaking of Sunshine.