Outdoor Activities with Power Banks and Solar Chargers
Whether mobile phone, GPS handheld or action cam: electronic assistant devices provide navigation, better training results and simply more fun to your outdoor activities. Powerful devices can place particularly high demands on their batteries. For instance some action cams need fresh energy after only one hour of use.
But replacement batteries are not readily available and the next charging opportunity may be unpredictable or insufficient – especially if you are travelling in a group and want to recharge different devices at the same time. A powerful power bank combined with a solar charger provides the ability to charge where and when you need it.
Power Bank and Solar Charger together provide the right power output
There is often little time between training sessions to recharge batteries. That’s why a solar charger alone wouldn’t be enough in many cases. For example, our Wing12 with 2A charging current delivers just as much energy as an iPad plug-in power supply, but for that it also requires enough sun.
A fully charged power bank like the MP18, on the other hand, provides continuous power via two built-in USB ports. Both ports provide the maximum USB charging current of 2.1A, while a normal USB output on a PC only provides a maximum of 0.9A (USB 3.0 standard). In cases where you require a 12V to 24V connection, the MP18 could also be used.
The optimal solution for outdoor activities is therefore a power bank that can be charged via a solar charger or, if available, a power socket. The solar charger can be attached to the backpack and recharge the power bank if necessary. For this purpose, our folding chargers Wing6 and Wing12 have integrated eyelets which allow you to securely fasten the device to your backpack.
But a power bank also has another advantage: Many mobile phones, tablets and other devices require a minimum charging current. For example, the iPhone needs approx. 400mA, the iPad approx. 800mA. This means that when the sunlight intensity is weaker, a conventional solar charger may not meet the threshold. A power bank can temporarily store this energy and thus ensure a higher charging current when it is actually needed.
The patented Sonnenrepublik PowerBooster goes even further: its technology increases the charging current of the solar charger to up to 1.5A, thus ensuring stable and low-loss charging of USB terminals.
Another less sensible way of dealing with the “minimum charging current problem” is to be found with some particularly cheap solar chargers and is often described with terms such as “Smart Power Chip.” Here only the current below 400mA is completely separated. This results in no current flow, even though considerable amounts of energy are lost.
Choice of Material
Durability and resistance are particularly important for outdoor activities. That’s why we offer our devices in Cordura, a Nylon (polyamide) fabric that is especially tear-resistant and is also used for other outdoor equipment such as motorcycle clothing and tents.
If you prefer a natural material, you can also choose a fabric made from Portuguese natural cork. It is not quite as resistant as Cordura, but can also cope with common stresses that can occur by daily use. Never the less the natural material is high quality, looks stylish, and is environmentally friendly. Currently we are the only suppliers to manufacture solar chargers with an outer material made of natural cork.
In both variants, integrated glass fibre reinforcements are used to increase stability.
But not only the outer material is important, the film on the solar cell side must both protect it and allow as much sunlight as possible to pass through. This is why our Wing6 and Wing12 solar chargers have a specially structured protective layer of fluoropolymer which is extremely resistant and durable and yet does not impair the performance of the devices. Other suppliers commonly use the much cheaper PET, which turns yellow after a few years when used regularly.