So, this was my first time dabbling in the world of green energy solutions aka solar power! After witnessing my dear father play with his HUGE solar panels whenever we go camping in the USA, I was interested in trying this out for myself. Granted, not to the extent that father goes to because it just wasn’t necessary for what I wanted it for and wanted to start right at the beginning with this technology.
After lots of research, I thought I’d try the Cheotech 14 watt charger. I purchased this from Amazon at a total price of £27.99 which I thought was pretty decent! (They do another version which is 22 watt). What attracted me to this, was not only the 4.4 out of 5 star rating and the price, but the fact it was portable, lightweight, waterproof and uses USB connectivity. I had a play around with it before relying on it to charge my devices whilst we went camping (non electric). This is what I discovered…
…gained 12% within 20 minutes.
Before I go into this more, it’s probably worth noting that this device is a charger and doesn’t actually hold any charge (you’d need a separate solar panel and a battery or inverter for this). My first chance I got to play with this charger was actually in a car. Now, it’s true, this technology does not work behind glass! The little blue light comes on to show it’s receiving energy, but it doesn’t charge as it just doesn’t bring in enough energy to convert into power. Solar panels need to be outside in the light to actually function properly. Just touching on the little blue light some more… This is a handy feature that shows you it’s receiving energy from the sun. Even if you were to fold one panel backwards (this charger has 4 panels that open out), it still works and the light still shows but obviously not as well as if all 4 panels were opened out.
This device boasts a USB port which you can just use the cable that came with your device, providing one end is detachable from the plug adapter and is USB. It’ll work off both standard USB and Dash Charging USB cables and makes no difference with regards to the speed of it charging. I actually downloaded an app from the Play Store called ‘Battery Charging Monitor’ which again scored highly for ease of use and functionality. Simply plug your smart phone or tablet into the solar charger and open the application and it gives you all the relevant information such as the mA it is receiving, the health of your battery, the temperature and the charge level. The more sun it can get, the higher mA input you’ll see! I left my OnePlus 3T on charge outside on a partly sunny day and it gained 12% within 20 minutes. I actually think this is pretty decent to say it’s totally free energy we’re using here!
The fact that this charger folds up and is so lightweight is a major bonus. It comes with two carabiners which attach onto eyelets at the top of the panel which make it easy to attach onto your rucksack for example. It’s waterproof also which is handy. Accept you wouldn’t want your device out in the rain of course. But then this is where the handy little pouch comes in handy at the back! It’s finished on the back with a denim material, just adding to the overall quality and style of this device.
Overall, am I happy with my purchase? Yes! Does it work well? Absolutely!
You can see the product video here: https://youtu.be/DPMBW-XYhC8