Solar-powered devices are great when you are outdoors hiking or camping, if you are living off the grid, or if you are looking to make your home more energy-efficient. However, not all solar-powered devices are truly useful. In this article, we will look at seven solar-powered devices that can really make an impact on your day-to-day life.
1. Solar-Powered Devices: Phone Chargers
Everyone needs to charge their phone at some point. Using a solar-powered phone charger in a typical home isn’t going to add up to tangible energy savings. However, if you live off-grid or travel in an RV, a solar-powered phone charger could be essential. When buying a solar-powered phone charger you need to make sure that the solar-powered device has a high enough capacity and output to actually fully charge your phone or tablet. One solar-powered phone charger that is affordable and well-reviewed is the BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger.
2. Solar-Powered Devices: Battery Banks
If you need to do more than charge your cell phone, a solar-powered battery bank is a great option. For a battery bank, you want a solar panel that can be used to recharge more devices like lamps, phones, and GPS units. The Goal Zero Nomad 10 provides more power than a solar phone charger so you can charge more devices. However, if you are looking to recharge a laptop you might prefer a smaller solar generator over a battery bank.
3. Solar-Powered Generators
Solar phone chargers and battery banks are basically small and simple solar generators. Those solar-powered devices are great options for occasional use and devices that have lower power needs. If you live off-grid or spend a lot of time in an RV, you will probably want to invest in a solar-powered generator that is more robust. Small solar generators like ROCKPALS 250W Portable Power Station and ROCKPALS 60W Solar Panel cost around $300. For larger solar generators like Jackery’s 500-Watt Continuous/1000W Peak Solar Generator SG550 with Solar Panel you can expect to pay upwards of $800.
4. Solar-Prowed Devices: Backpacks
For low-capacity devices like phones, you need a solar-powered backpack with at least 5 Watts. If you need to power a high-capacity device like a laptop, you will need a solar-powered backpack with at least 10 Watts. If you want a really high-end solar backpack, Voltaic Systems Array Rapid Solar Backpack Charger for Laptops is a leading choice among reviewers. However, if you are looking for more economical options, the company ECEEN offers a wide variety of styles and power levels. Before you purchase a solar backpack, consider if it would be more or less useful compared to purchasing a solar battery bank. You may find that having the panel on the back of your bag helps it charge for longer. Or, you may find that larger capacity panels are more useful solar-powered devices.
5. Solar Lighting for Outdoors
Solar panels for charging devices take up a lot of this list because we most often want to use solar energy as a power source. However, there are some useful solar-powered devices with built-in panels. Solar lighting for outdoors is very useful. Nobody wants to have to run extension cords all over their yard, and many outdoor places don’t even have power outlets available. Whether you are looking to light your landscaping or your campsite, here are some solar lighting options to consider:
- Motion Activated Outdoor Integrated LED Area Light
- Solar Powered Color-Changing Indoor/Outdoor LED String Lights
- LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Power Lantern
6. Solar-Powered Devices: Fans and Air Conditioners
Solar-powered fans and air conditioners can be impactful for home energy savings and can help make your off-grid home more comfortable. If you are just looking for a solar-powered fan for camping, there are many affordable options but few have ratings as good as the Ansee Solar Camping Fan.
There are a wide variety of solar-powered exhaust and attic fans to choose from. These can be easily installed to replace existing fans and provide energy savings and ventilation for off-grid homes.
There are three options when it comes to solar-powered air conditioners: DC-Powered Solar Air Conditioners, AC-Powered Solar Air Conditioners, and Hybrid Powered Solar Air Conditioners. Installing a solar air conditioner properly is very important. You’ll want to do some really deep research before purchasing one. As far as companies that make solar air conditioners, you can check out Solair World (also makes solar ceiling fans and refrigerators), GREE, Hotspot Energy, Lennox, and YMGI. Solar-powered air conditioning is probably one of the most impactful uses of solar energy in terms of actually saving money and conserving energy.
7. Solar Shades and Window Blinds
Solar window blinds by SolarGaps help keep your space cool while sending energy back to the grid. The company claims that you can use them to power home appliances and they come with Alexa voice control as well. For outdoors, you can shade your patio with a solar shade as well. Shades are a great place for solar panels because they serve their original purpose while generating more usable energy. The companies making solar-powered devices are often small, but taking advantage of their innovations can produce big savings, cleaner energy use, and more comfortable environments.
Final Thoughts: What Else Can Solar Power?
Truly, solar can power any device, all that is needed is the correct solar power source. Solar-powered devices are also useful for people from all walks of life. Whether you enjoy the outdoors, live off-grid, or have a conventional home.
- Solar-powered waste compactor
- Solar cooker
- Solar dryer
- Furnaces with Solar Power
- Solar inverter
- Solar keyboard
- Solar-powered flashlight
- Calculators (most are solar-powered)
- Solar-powered desalination unit
- Solar-powered pump
- PV Junction Box with Solar Power
- Fountains with Solar Power
- Solar-powered radio
- Solar-powered refrigerator
- Watches (many are solar-powered)
- Solar Spark Lighter
- Solar still
- Vehicles with Solar Power
- Solar golf cart