A solar powered backpack is an innovative and earth friendly way for you to cut down on bills and more importantly, your carbon footprint by simply charging your gadgets with the sun’s power and while on the go. Outdoorsy people like those who love hiking or camping can obviously benefit from solar powered backpacks since they can use these portable and lightweight solar chargers everywhere they go—from mountaintops to rainforests, it doesn’t matter.
The importance of a portable solar charger incorporated into a solar powered backpack is highlighted more during emergency situations. Since you have a readily available source of power, charging your mobile phone is a breeze. However, not only the outdoorsy people can benefit from a solar powered backpack, since common urbanites are known to own gadgets of different kinds that need recharging almost daily since these gadgets rely on chargers, adapters, and plugs of all sorts.
This means that charging will be limited to places where you can get a hold of charging equipment. On the other hand, when you have a handy solar powered backpack, you can charge your gadgets anytime and anywhere. In addition, charging your gadgets by using solar powered backpacks is in a sense ‘free’. This is because once you have already purchased a solar powered backpack; you can charge your gadgets whenever you feel like it without having to give off any carbon emission.
How Solar Technology Works
In order to understand how a solar powered backpack functions, you should first understand how solar power or technology functions. Although it seems complex, it is actually very simple—just remember that the main components used are PV or photovoltaic cells. These photovoltaic cells are grouped or attached together as panels or modules. These are capable of collecting or harnessing the light coming from our mighty sun and then converting it to electricity that can be readily and easily utilized.
While the photovoltaic cells are the primary component, they can’t complete their task without the use of a semiconductor, which are substances capable of conducting the electricity harnessed from the sun. In this scenario, the semiconductor is silicon, which will be used on the solar cells. The issue with a silicon semiconductor however is that it is inherently reflective and shiny, which are characteristics that are not ideal to draw sunlight in. To remedy this, a special coating that resists reflections is applied on the cells for keeping a minimum ratio of energy loss.
Once the solar panel is hit by the sunlight, the silicon will absorb a considerable amount of light and energy and once this process takes place, the electrons contained in the silicon will be knocked loose and will then start to liberally flow. Next, the electrical field in the PV cells will shake up the electrons and will force all of them to go in only one direction, much like a shepherd herding his sheep.
When this occurs, electric current is created which can then be harnessed by the connecting contact metal points at the bottom and top portions of the photovoltaic cells. When the energy has been accumulated, it may either be utilized as electricity instantly, or just stored in several batteries or one battery so it can be used later.
Solar Power at Work – Solar Powered Backpack
A solar powered backpack has solar panels incorporated in its exterior portion which makes it capable of effectively harnessing the sun’s energy which you can then use for charging gadgets you normally use such as your mobile phone, mp3 player, PDA, or even your laptop. These solar panels are waterproof and very lightweight, and are capable of producing as much as 4 watts. In general, when the solar panels get direct exposure to sun for an hour, it will be able to produce energy sufficient to charge a mobile phone for say, an hour or an hour and 30 minutes.
A solar powered backpack also includes a battery pack of lithium ion that it uses for storing energy harnessed from the sun. While an hour of sun exposure can charge your mobile phone, a complete charge of 10 hours can offer you stored charging power for as much as 55 hours. On the other hand, solar powered backpacks also have AC adapters you can use for charging the backpack in your car for cloudy days. Generally, a solar powered backpack also comes with a USB plug and adapters for mobile phones.
Tips for Choosing a Solar Powered Backpack
Choosing a solar powered backpack for your personal requirements can be quite confusing for some. For one, you can actually get a higher amount of solar power by using various portable systems that don’t come integrated in backpacks. However, the main appeal of solar powered backpacks lies in their portability and functionality.
When deciding which solar powered backpack to purchase, you have take into consideration the benefits, power, and of course your budget. First, you should try to determine the gadgets you regularly charge since this will significantly narrow down your choices. Next, determine if flexibility of the battery storage is really important for you because solar backpacks with integral batteries offer more flexibility, as opposed to those that don’t have integral batteries.
Likewise, your budget is also important since solar powered backpacks can be bought starting from $75 to as much as $500. The more affordable ones generally have fewer solar panels which mean that it harnesses less solar energy than those that have more solar panels attached to them. Overall, when deciding on the most ideal solar powered backpack for you, think of your everyday requirements, the time you spend outdoors/ sun exposure, and of course, your budget.