Are the solar chargers waterproof?
Splash water does not bother the solar chargers of the Wing and Base series, as the electronics are sealed inside. Nevertheless, for safety’s sake, you should only activate the devices when the USB port is dry, i.e. any water that has run in should first run out and let it dry. The Surf modules have a largely sealed housing and are therefore waterproof. However, you should avoid intensive contact with salt water for corrosion reasons.
How do heat/cold affect the solar chargers?
Our chargers work without any problems at outside temperatures of -20 to +50°C. However, with many end devices or Powerbanks, the batteries switch themselves off outside a temperature range of 0 to 45°C, otherwise they can be damaged during charging. In this range, charging should generally be avoided.
How sensitive are the fabric and cork surfaces of the folding solar chargers?
Our cork material is delivered as untreated natural material and is therefore not resistant to paint, stubborn dirt, etc. Nevertheless, this material is largely insensitive to cleaning agents that are not too harsh, such as soapy water or cleaning alcohol. Scratches are imprinted in the fabric, but are hardly visible due to the grain. Our Cordura fabric is PU-coated and also very insensitive to gentle cleaning agents. Cordura is extremely tear and scratch resistant as well as light resistant.
Is there a guarantee?
We offer a 5-year guarantee on our Wing products and a 2-year guarantee on all other appliances.
Where are the products of the Sonnenrepublik manufactured?
The Wing solar chargers are largely manufactured in Berlin and the surrounding area, the surf chargers mainly abroad. Our Powerbanks are completely produced in China, otherwise we would not be competitive anymore.
What is the difference between Sonnenrepublik products and other solar products?
We clearly distinguish ourselves from other (almost exclusively Asian) solar products in 4 points:
- Premium design and quality.
- High functionality, e.g. multiple use and modularity in the Wing chargers or integrated charge controller in the Surf solar modules.
- Maximum performance with low weight or small size.
- Sustainability in material selection and production.
Can I also have the products designed for my company?
We also manufacture special series of our products for industrial customers or brand them to customer specifications. Please send inquiries to: email@example.com. You can also order complete product developments from us.
Operation and handling
How big is the battery of the Energy5000?
The powerbank Energy5000 has a battery with 5000mAh capacity at 3.7V voltage. This is sufficient for 1-2 complete charge cycles of smartphones.
How can I tell if the battery of the Energy5000 is fully charged?
There are 4 small LEDs visible on the Energy5000. Each LED stands for 25% charge of the battery. That means 2 LEDs = 50%, 3 LEDs = 75%, etc.
Is it possible to charge devices even when it’s cloudy or with artificial light?
For all solar direct chargers such as our Wing, Base and Surf modules, the following applies: A connected terminal is only charged quickly and effectively in direct sunlight. The modules generate enough power for a certain charge even under less sunlight and even under a halogen lamp, but it takes much longer. In such light conditions it makes sense to use a powerbank or our PowerBooster as a buffer.
How robust are the solar chargers? Can I just put them in my pocket or should they be protected?
Our solar modules are embedded in an elastic material that can withstand shocks and scratches without damage and is weather- and UV-stable. However, sharp, hard objects such as scissors or screwdrivers can penetrate the material and damage the solar cells if exposed to strong forces. Normal use such as opening and closing or transport in a bag does not damage the modules.
Why don’t the solar chargers have a battery and what does this mean for operation?
The USB solar chargers of the Wing and Base series are so-called solar direct chargers. With these devices, the charging current in a connected device depends directly on the light irradiation. In full sunlight the charging current is as large as the specified maximum current of the solar charger. In a battery-buffered solar charger (often referred to as a solar power bank), the current from the internal battery flows into the terminal device and is usually much greater than the charging current from the solar module. In most cases, these solar modules are much smaller and have less power than solar direct chargers.
How long does it take the solar chargers to charge my smartphone?
In full sun, the Wing6 needs between 2 and 4 hours to charge a smartphone. It delivers 6 Watts at 5 Volts. With the Wing12, it takes a little more than half as long at twice the power. This is because the batteries in the end devices draw less current for the last 20%, even if the charger delivers more.
Do the solar chargers charge even without direct sunlight?
The end devices can be charged by the solar chargers even when the sky is cloudy or even under a halogen lamp. However, the charging current is so low that charging takes far too long. This is simply due to the light, not the solar charger. A side effect that is totally unnecessary in itself, but which occurs with many smartphones and tablets, is a much too high internal consumption current, which is caused purely by the charging process. This is sometimes so high that it exceeds the charging current of even a powerful solar charger such as the Wing6 in diffuse light and thus leads to a discharge of the smartphone. Therefore we always recommend to use solar direct chargers only when the sun is shining or to use them with a powerbank as buffer storage or even better with our PowerBooster-Cable.
What exactly is the use of the PowerBooster-Cable?
A further effect is that the minimum charging current of about 400mA, which occurs especially with iPhones and iPads, is surpassed and these devices can be charged safely even under changing light conditions (sun/clouds, shadows etc.). With all other direct chargers without a buffer, the iPhone stops charging when the current falls below 400mA and does not start automatically even when the current exceeds 400mA.
Some direct chargers from Asia offer a different, rather primitive solution: Below 400mA the charging current is simply switched off completely. This means that in medium light conditions with e.g. 350mA charge current – not such a low charge current in itself – the entire solar yield is discarded and thus a much worse overall energy balance is achieved. But this solution is much cheaper to realize.
By the way, the PowerBooster can also be used as a power bank and thus charge smaller smartphones (e.g. iPhone5) to about 75%.
My smartphone is not charged by the solar charger despite full sun – Why?
This can be due to the fact that first the smartphone was connected and then the solar charger was placed in the sun. It can happen that the smartphone measures the charge current before it reaches full solar power, which is then, for example, below the minimum charge threshold – and simply switches off (especially iPhone or iPad). Remedy: simply leave the solar charger lying in the sun and pull out the charging cable than plug it in again. Or use our PowerBooster.
Can I charge my smartphone several times with the Powerbank?
That depends on the smartphone battery. The powerbank Energy5000 has 5000mAh, that’s about 2 charge cycles for smaller smartphones, 1 to 1.5 charge cycles for larger ones. The MP18 has about 3.5 times the capacity, so more charge cycles are possible.
Can I download the manuals of the products?
Our instruction manuals are available for download on the respective product pages.
How long does shipping usually take?
If the products are available, they are usually shipped within 3 working days. If there are delays because we do not have products in stock, we will display them in the shop.
Is shipping free of charge?
From an order sum of EUR 100.00, shipping within Germany is free of charge. Below that we invoice our shipping costs (4,50 € within Germany). You can find our shipping costs here.
Can I track my shipment?
Yes, we will be happy to send you the shipment number on request. Please include this in your comment during the ordering process or send us an email with your order number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I change my delivery address at a later time?
If we haven’t shipped the package yet, that’s no problem. It is best to send us the new delivery address promptly to email@example.com stating your order number.
Is there a right of withdrawal?
For Internet sales there is a legal 14-day right of withdrawal, which can be claimed. If this should happen, you can download our revocation form here. Please print this out and enclose it completely filled out with the return. You would help us a lot to improve our service constantly and to eliminate possible sources of error, if you indicate your reason for the return.
What should I do if my order is incomplete or incorrect?
Before shipments leave our facilities, they are always checked for accuracy. Should it nevertheless happen that a delivery is incomplete or incorrect, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org your order number. We will investigate the matter as soon as possible and correct your delivery.
Who will cover the costs in case of a return?
In the case of a warranty service, we take over the costs, in the case of return without reason for complaint, we charge you the shipping costs.
Do the solar chargers have to be specially disposed of?
For some years now, the “ElektroG” has applied EU-wide to the disposal of electrical appliances – including solar modules: According to this law, these appliances must either be disposed of in the electronic scrap of the local disposal company or returned to the dealer, who then disposes of them. Our equipment can be returned to us at any time. The disposal company can then recycle a large part of the materials and thus make a contribution to the good of the environment.