What devices can I power? | How long does charging take? | How long will your power packs run my device? | Can I power my device directly from a solar panel?
What devices can I power?
OUR POWER PACKS CHARGE A WIDE RANGE OF DEVICESTo better help you understand your power needs we've divided our products into 3 categories.
You can power devices directly from a solar panel, although for the most reliable experience we recommend storing power and charging your device from one of our Power Packs.
HOW LONG DOES SOLAR CHARGING TAKE?Charging times between your solar panel and power pack will vary based on weather and the type of product used. This varying information can be found when viewing individual products on our site.
HOW LONG WILL YOUR POWER PACKS RUN MY DEVICE?The amount of time a power pack will last depends on the type of power pack and the power usage of your device. This varying information can be found when viewing individual products on our site.
CAN MY DEVICE RUN DIRECTLY FROM A SOLAR PANEL?
MOST USB AND 12V DEVICES CAN CHARGE DIRECTLY FROM SOLAR PANELS, IF THE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE GOOD ENOUGH.
Small USB devices like cameras of MP3 players require 1-2.5W of constant power to charge. Our panels can easily provide this amount of power even in sub-ideal conditions. Smartphones and tablets have a higher power requirement, usually around 5W of constant power. A 7W rated solar panel will only produce 5W in perfect sun conditions, and because smartphones are quite picky about their power requirements, they can "give up" charging if there is ever an interruption in constant power - like when a cloud passes by overhead.
For the best experience, we recommend using a Goal Zero battery pack as a buffer, instead of charging directly from the sun, for the following reasons:
Heat and batteries are enemies. Precision electronics don't like heat either. When charging directly from solar, care should be taken to keep the device with the battery in the shade. The shade of the angled panel is a good option. Do not store devices next to the panels when charging. The heat will lower the life of the battery.
If clouds pass by or weather changes, the charging can become interrupted. Phones will often reject the charge in cases like these. This means your phone could be sitting out there and not charging. Batteries give you a constant charge no matter the weather conditions. Goal Zero Rechargers/Power Pack charge well with solar regardless of the conditions – they never reject a charge opportunity.
You use your phone during the day and charge at night. Solar doesn't work at night, but batteries work anytime.
Weather uncertainty. Your phone may not be weather durable. Keep it protected.
You might not want to sit out in the heat of the sun, if you need to use your phone while it charges. Battery lets you move anywhere.