As the name suggests, solar powered chargers depend on solar energy to both charge and to supply electricity to devices. These are used for charging lead acid or Ni-Cd batteries to a maximum of 48V and 400 Ah capacity and are generally portable. Its portability makes it a favorite choice amongst people for use as a battery charger as it can be easily carried to charge your car wherever it may be.
There is a variety of solar powered battery chargers in the market today, used for charging various electrical items like:
- The portable designs which are popularly used for charging different types of mobile phones, iPods and other portable audio equipment. These chargers are connected to your cell phone using the help of a USB cable.
- Solar battery chargers used for cars come in a fold out model which you just have to place on your automobile dashboard, and plug it into the cigar lighter. This way, the charger will keep topping up the car battery, even when the car is not in use.
- Solar battery chargers are also found in torches that work with an additional charging mechanism like a kinetic charging system.
How solar battery chargers work
Solar powered battery chargers usually work with the help of intelligent charge controllers. Here, a series of solar cell array plates are separately installed on a roof top, and are collectively connected to a battery bank.
These chargers are not only used for recharging purposes, but can also be connected to the mains supply chargers to help save on energy costs during the day. Now you understand the set up of a solar battery charger, you will definitely wonder how these solar chargers actually work at generating electricity from sunlight.
Basically, free electrons that carry negative charges create movement in an electrical current. These free electrons are entangled in an orbit surrounding the atom nucleus made of protons and neutrons. This is the fundamental aspect that occurs in the atoms of everything in the universe.
Silicon is the material used in solar cells. In solar panels, these electrons are knocked loose from its orbit by the energy found in photons from sunlight This photon’s ability in disentangling electrons from its orbit is called photoelectric effect.
Positive and negative side
By adding impurities like Boron and Phosphorus, an imbalance is created between the positively and negatively charged particles in silicon, which in turn helps creates an electrical field. The electrons are pushed towards the front of the solar cell to create a negatively charged side while the protons are left behind on the other side of the cell to create a positive charge.
These two sides are then connected to an external load like the terminals of a solar battery charger to create electricity. As a single solar cell can only produce about one or two watts of energy, multiple cells are combined in a solar charger to produce sufficient energy to charge a battery.