Let’s just consider how you might use the device, with that kind of charge cycle. You might leave it outside on an upstairs windowsill for a week before you go away on holiday, but only assuming you were going camping where there would, at no time, be access to electricity.
Comes with a free carabiner, to hook it up, but work better in sunny California
If you’re in a hotel, you could charge it from the wall. Guest house, log cabin, caravan; the wall, again. Or from the cigar lighter in a car. The instruction sheet shows a Solbat2 suckered to the inside of a windscreen (a cradle with suckers is supplied), charging from its solar panel for when you next run out of juice five days into the future. But why wouldn’t you charge it from the USB socket on your car stereo?
Given the initial charge time for USB recharging is quoted as five hours and it took the review unit two hours for the charging light to go out, are you that stingy? A few pence for a USB charge, or a free one from the sun, but five, good, sunny days down the line.
Don’t get me wrong, the idea of a free, eco-friendly charge from our favourite neighbourhood star is appealing, but until solar panels are a lot – and I mean at least ten times – more efficient, the impracticality outweighs the greenness by about the same order of magnitude.
If you want a robust, handy backup battery you can take with you on trips, which is more sturdy than a second battery for your phone and can service a variety of portable kit, this is a good choice. If you're heading for a holiday in the sun this half term, it could well keep your mobile going all day as you Tweet from the beach, Yet given the UK weather, don't expect to get a lot of use from a solar charger here. ®
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Scosche Solbat2 solar charger
..if it charged in six hours, the idea that a lump of plastic with a solar cell and a lithium ion battery shipped for the far east is going to be less environmentally damaging or more economic than taking 5Wh from the grid/car/plane is just stupid.
As a reserve battery I guess it works ok, I bet however if someone did the maths the 1KWh or so of energy this thing is going to provide in its lifetime, won't offset the carbon used to manufacture, integrate and ship that solar panel.
overcome the time and weather by buying 5x for 5 sunny says plus a few more depending how non-sunny you expected it would be. So a string of about 25 of them dangling from your sporran would sort you for a week of Munro bagging.
If it's like anything else under that brand name, it's nicely made, very attractive but not competitively priced. The Seppos who run the company are rather excessively profit motivated.
A full charge takes x days. How much is a full charge?
I mean, say this thing can charge your phone ten times before it's dry. Then charging it from the sun only takes a few hours per phone charge. You can top it up, I suppose.
However, I have doubt about charging batteries from other batteries - that includes driving this from the laptop, too.
There are quite a few cycle dynamos, some with USB sockets, some with car cigar sockets. Not such a silly idea for people who commute into work (or go on cycle holidays)