Sunday Jan 29, 2023

Rosie on the House: Maximizing solar and rechargeable products – Arizona Daily Star


Question: I don’t have solar panels for my home, but I heard about powering my small electronics with solar chargers. How does that work?

Answer: Yes, you can power electronics without a full solar array (system). Considering the recent thunderstorms and blackouts, you may want to pick up a couple of solar chargers and other rechargeable devices.

Here are some options, uses and reasons you will want to have them available when the power goes out.

Solar chargers

These devices can power up your cell, laptop, camera and lights while the power is out. They are also helpful when you are enjoying outdoor adventures. Some can charge external batteries. Many are lightweight and can be folded to fit inside a backpack. Some are waterproof, too. Priced at $50 on up. Look for one with an auto-optimization feature that can recover lost power from shading. This way you won’t have to worry about your cell phone staying charged.

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Speaking of a backpack, check out the Birksun Solar Backpack. With its built-in lithium-ion battery, it can charge your devices at an output of 2.4 amps, which is as fast as a wall charger.

Solar generators

There are small solar generators that can power small medical devices or a tiny refrigerator. Note that this type of device can’t replace your main source of electricity during a power shortage. If you have medical devices such as an oxygen tank or CPAP machine, consider installing a full solar system, with a battery backup generator.

Solar-powered radio

Solar-powered radios are a must-have in the event of an emergency. Solar eliminates the need to replace batteries. You will need access to up-to-date information when the power goes out.

Solar flashlights

Flashlights with a built-in battery can be charged by using a solar panel. The Simpeak Hand Crank Solar Powered Rechargeable LED Flashlight ($23) is powered up by absorbing light from strong light bulbs or using a hand crank.

Portable table or desk lamp

Plugless table lamps that use LED bulbs and are powered by solar panels will turn …….


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